- A year after nearly knocking off Vanderbilt in its own waters, the UALR
swimming and diving team makes the return trip to Nashville, Tenn. to take on
the Commodores Saturday (Feb. 2) at 1 p.m.
"We have a big challenge this weekend heading to
Nashville. Vanderbilt is a solid team and we hope to see the same excitement
and racing we saw last year against them," said head coach Amy Burgess.
Last season, the Commodores slipped past the Trojans in a
meet that literally came down to the final second. Holding a slim one-point
lead heading into the final event of the evening, Vanderbilt's 400 yard free
relay team out-touched the UALR quartet by 0.65 to clinch the victory.
Top finishes included Kara
Raney in the 50 free (24.63) and a UALR win in the 200 medley relay
(1:50.94). Rebecca McEachern took
runner-up honors in the 50 free (25.49) while Holly Myers took second in the 200 backstroke (2:09.32).
This season, UALR is coming into this year's meet riding the
wave of three solid dual victories. On senior day against Hendrix and Rhodes
(Jan. 18), the Trojans claimed 10-of-13 event wins. UALR beat Rhodes 64-46
while cruising by Hendrix 75-30.
Leading the way was freshman Megan Scott and her pair of diving wins. She captured the 3-meter
platform victory by almost 100 points, finishing with a season-high total of
271.50. Scott captured the 1-meter event with a total of 248.30.
Seniors Amy Tran
and McEachern swept the 50 free. McEachern won the event with a time of 25.31,
just ahead of Tran's 25.70. Freshman Natalie
Swindle claimed a pair of wins, taking the 200 yard freestyle and
butterfly. She turned in a win in the butterfly by more than 12 seconds with a
time of 2:10.26. Swindle and senior Amber
Kelly finished 1-2 in the freestyle with times of 157.74 and 1:58.99,
Stone won the marathon mile swim with a time of 19:03.19, more than 20
seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Rounding out individual event
titles include freshman Valeriya Teplova
in the 100 free with a time of 53.73. Holly Myers took the 500 free with a time
In the relay events, the team of Kelly, Teplova, Raney and
sophomore Meghan Petersen took the 400 medley relay with a time of 4:04.58.
Holly Myers, Petersen, Swindle and Tran took second in the 200 yard free with a
time of 1:45.54.
"The team has been getting better at racing and gained
a lot of confidence over our last few competitions. We are hoping that
continues through the weekend and they finish the regular season with high
spirits and eagerness for the grand finale," Burgess said.
For the season, Scott has already clinched participation in
postseason competition with a season best total of 295.40 on the 1-meter
springboard, more than 30 points better than the 265-point qualifying standard.
With a 274.20 season-best on the 3-meter springboard, she is less than six
points away from hitting the 280-point qualifying mark. Scott will compete at
zones in Houston March 11-13 with the top finishers moving on to the NCAA
championships March 21-23 in Indianapolis, Ind.
After the meet with Vanderbilt, the UALR swimming and diving
teams return to action Feb. 27-March 2 when it travels to Rockwall, Texas for
the annual Sun Belt Conference Championships.