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Courtesy: Paul Kelly
The four-day league championships run Wednesday through Saturday.
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Trojan Swimming Begins Sun Belt Championships Wednesday
UALR Sports Information
Release: 02/21/2012

LITTLE ROCK - The UALR swimming and diving team heads to Rockwall, Texas, this week for the 2012 Sun Belt Championships at the Rockwall Aquatics Center. The four-day league championships run Wednesday through Saturday, with live results available through the Sun Belt Conference website.

"This is what we train for all year," said head coach Amy Burgess. "We should see a lot of in-season or lifetime-best times, but also I think we're going to see a bunch of records fall. We're hoping to kind of top what we did last year, which will be exciting."

Last year, the Trojans broke 12 schools records and tied another in what was one of the most successful weeks in UALR swimming history. Junior Amber Kelly led the way by having a hand in nine records total, setting four new individual records while being a part of five record-setting relay teams. Sophomores Holly Myers and Kara Raney combined to set three new individual records in their first appearance at the league championships, while senior Megan Nelson broke a 29-year-old school record in the 1,650 freestyle. Seniors Jenna Rutecki and Audra Stalzer combined to be a part of three record-setting relay teams.

Much of that success, Burgess says, is attributed to a change in the way the team trains between its final meet and the conference championships.

"It's very much a transition in training," said Burgess. "We really start to go from our long-aerobic training into a lot more of our speed work. These last few weeks we do what we call a taper, so we decrease the yardage a little bit each day and really get the girls feeling good."

UALR has been led individually this year by Raney, who was named the Sun Belt Women's Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 18 and enters the league championships with five individual victories on the year. Freshman Lexie Keller will be coming off a strong performance against Vanderbilt on Feb. 3, winning both the 100 (53.35) and 200 free (1:55.32) events in career-best times. Holly Myers has garnered three individual victories on the year, while sophomore Hope Myers and Kelly each have one individual win this season.

The three UALR seniors will be looking to go out on a high note. Nelson, Rutecki and Stalzer combine to hold or be a part of seven school records, and will be looking to build on those numbers in Rockwall.

"The seniors are always a good class to watch because it's their last year going out," said Burgess. "They're always a little more energetic, a little more fired up, just because of that."

The action will start Wednesday with time trials and prelims at 2 p.m., and finals beginning that evening at 6 p.m. Live stats will be available through the Sun Belt's website, or though the conference Twitter feed.  

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