Kansas Rallies for Fourth at 2008 Big 12 Championships
March 1, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas - Five broken records, one NCAA automatic qualifying mark and a number of NCAA provisional and career-best times completed the 2008 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships for the fourth-place Jayhawks. Kansas engaged in a back and forth battle for third place with archrival Missouri throughout days three and four of Big 12 competition, but the Tigers edged the `Hawks halfway through day four. Missouri finished third with 519.5 points, while the Jayhawks totaled 505.5 points. Texas A&M finished first for the second-consecutive year (967), while Texas placed second (748). Iowa State (347) and Nebraska (343) finished fifth and sixth.
Kansas diving coach Eric Elliott captured Big 12 Diving Coach of the Meet as he led the Jayhawk divers to a successful Big 12 championship campaign. Under Elliott on day four, divers Hannah McMacken and Erin Mertz returned to top-eight finals of the platform diving competition Saturday evening for KU. Mertz finished fourth with 219.05 points, while McMacken tallied 205.15 points, an eighth-place finish.
"We are very happy to have accomplished one of our team goals, to score over 500 points," head coach Clark Campbell said of the team's finish. "We haven't done that in four years. As a team we did well and we are very happy for Eric and the diving program. They really stepped it up. This was definitely a swimming and diving effort because our divers did marvelous."
Prior to the final night of competition, Big 12 Conference officials and coaching staffs congratulated seniors from all six Big 12 teams. Among the seniors honored with flowers were Jayhawks Lauren Bonfe, Jenny Roberts and Terri Schramka.
The Kansas 400-yard freestyle relay, composed of Maria Mayrovich, Schramka, Danielle Herrmann and Emily Lanteigne made a final push in the last event of the Big 12 Championships, finishing third with a time of 3:23.99, just shy of the KU all-time record.
Herrmann stepped up to the challenge, totaling three team records, also three personal best times, paving the path to her second NCAA Championship meet. Herrmann automatically qualified for NCAAs with her 200 IM performance on day two of Big 12s. Herrmann concluded day four by shattering an 11-year old all-time record in the 200-yard breast with a time of 2:15.30, good for a second-place silver medal and a NCAA provisional time. Herrmann captured the 200 IM (2:00.21) and 100 breast (1:02.13) KU all-time records earlier in the championship meet.
Returning to finals of the 200-yard breast alongside Herrmann, freshmen Joy Bunting and Sarah Edwards and junior Rhynn Malloy dropped significant time from their preliminary marks, Edwards dropping nearly four seconds to finish with 2:23.63 and Malloy dropping three, clocking in at 2:20.78. Bunting dropped nearly a second to finish seventh in the `A' final with a time of 2:18.85.
In other day four action, junior Mayrovich set a career-best mark in the 100-yard freestyle in morning prelims, clocking in at 49.72, a fourth-place preliminary swim. During evening finals, Mayrovich dropped a tenth of a second and finished fourth, improving her career-best time to a 49.69. Sophomore Erin Goetz tapped in at 51.20, dropping a half second from her 51.72 prelims swim, additionally good for a career-best swim. Junior Anne Liggett (52.01), Lanteigne (51.54) and Amanda Maez (52.48) stacked depth for Kansas in the 100 free.
On the backstroke front, Schramka set the pace in the 200-yard event, finishing eighth (2:01.35) after a 2:00.96 prelims swim. Sophomore Melissa Heyrman recorded a career-best time in finals of the 200 back, placing ninth with a time of 2:02.53, while Bonfe (2:05.83) and sophomore Carrah Haley (2:07.61) both improved upon their prelim marks.
Freshmen twin sisters Brittany and Alyssa Potter shined for the `Hawks in 200 butterfly action, finishing 10th (2:02.67) and 12th (2:04.73), respectively, while junior Ashley Leidigh reeled in eighth, touching in at 2:06.91 after a morning prelims time of 2:02.93. Junior Kendall Matous rounded out the four Kansas returners in the 200 fly with a 2:10.06.
KU MEET HONORS:
Big 12 Women's Diving Coach of the Meet, KU diving coach Eric Elliott
KU RECORD COUNT:
200-yard IM, 2:00.21, Danielle Herrmann
100-yard breast, 1:02.13, Danielle Herrmann
200-yard breast, 2:15.30, Danielle Herrmann
BIG 12 FINAL TEAM STANDINGS:
1. Texas A&M (967)
2. Texas (748)
3. Missouri (519.5)
4. Kansas (505.5)
5. Iowa State (347)
6. Nebraska (343)
1. Texas (1129)
2. Texas A&M (778)
3. Missouri (775)