PROVO -- The women of BYU battled against the Razorbacks of Arkansas Friday night in a close meet where the Cougars were able to merge victorious with a final score of 125 over Arkansas’s 118.
“We were excited to have a ranked team in our pool tonight and we knew it was going to be a competitive meet,” BYU head coach Tim Powers said. “Arkansas is used to winning and we raced to beat them.
“We’ve had some sickness on the team and the girls have not been physically healthy, so we had that working against us. However, we had girls like Rachel Grant step up and get us some crucial points. Rachel doesn’t usually swim the 500 free, but she won first and set a pool record as well.”
The first event of the night began with the team of Candice Smith, Sara Jayne Baldwin, Kim Welch and Aleesha Miller taking first in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:48.78.
In the next event, the 100 free, Chelsea Franklin of Arkansas took first with a time of 10:10.33, setting a new record for the Richards Building pool, while Jamie Marks, also of Arkansas, followed her to take second with a time of 10:23.06. The record for the 1000 free was previously held by Cherrill Haws in 1996 with a time of 10.16.64.
In the 200 free, Rachel Grant finished first with a time of 1:49.54, also setting a new pool record as the previous one was held by Natasha Menezes, set last season. Katie Whitbeck of Arkansas took second place with her time of 1:52.88.
Miller and Taryn Toolson had a 1-2 finish for the Cougars as Miller took first in the 50 free with a time of 23.93 and Toolson with a time of 23.95
In the 200 IM, Grant finished with 2:05.55 earning her second first-place win of the night. Second place went to Jillienne Schilling of Arkansas with her time of 2:08.92.
Freshman Kim Welch touched in at first for the Cougars in the 200 fly with a time of 2:03.42. Second place went to Marks of Arkansas with her time of 2:04.88.
In an intense race, Carly Mercer of Arkansas touched in for first in the 100 free with a time of 51.86 while Baldwin finished second right behind her at 51.87. Third went to freshman Angela Bennion with her time of 53.30.
In the 200 backstroke, Candice Smith placed first with a time of 2:02.27, while Haley Smith of Arkansas finished second with a time of 2:03.69. Erin Pabst finished third with her time of 2:04.75.
Grant edged passed Chelsea Franklin of Arkansas for the first place win in the 500 free with a time of 4:54.99, setting yet another pool and team record for the Cougs. The previous record was again held by Natasha Menezes, set just last swim season.
In the 200 breast, Londyn Clawson touched in at 2:21.35 for the first place win while Marks of Arkansas finished second with her time of 2:21.51.
In the final race of the meet, the team consisting of Grant, Sam Crist, Miller, and Toolson took first in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:26.74. Arkansas' team of Whitbeck, Sigrun Sverrisdottir, Courtney Hubbard and Nicole Menzel came in second at 3:30.16.
In the women’s 3-meter diving competition, Alex Roman and Kesha Naylor of Arkansas finished first and second while BYU’s Syrena Miskin placed third.
In the 1-meter competition, Naylor took first while Dana Christensen came in second and Liana Bugslag of Arkansas in third.
Both men and women will be in the water tomorrow night as they compete against Seattle University in the Richards Building Pool at 12 p.m.
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