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Raney concludes record-breaking career on UALR swim team

Submitted by Clayborn Waters on February 27, 2014 – 3:24 pm4 Comments

Photo courtesy UALR Sports Information

Senior Kara Raney accomplished many goals and set several records before the end of her swimming career at UALR. Raney competed in sprint, freestyle, and backstroke competitions for the UALR swimming and diving team from 2010 through 2014.

Raney is from Houston, Texas, where she was born April 15, 1992 to Ken and Cathy Raney.

Kara explained how the school’s atmosphere and great coaching influenced her decision to come to UALR. “I’m familiar with Little Rock,” Raney said. My grandparents live here. So when I came here, it seemed familiar. I really like the team and the small school kind of atmosphere. I mean money had a lot to do with it. They’re helping pay for my school, but I really do like the team and coach is great.  She’s awesome, Raney said referring to UALR head coach Amy Burgess.

Raney attended Kingwood Park High School in Kingwood, Texas, a Houston, Texas community. She competed for the school’s swim team and was named MVP for three-straight seasons (2008-10). During her senior year, she was named District Swimmer of the Year, after she won the regional championship in the 50-yard freestyle event, and was a state finalist in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle events.

In her first year at UALR, she won her first competition in the season opener against Ouachita Baptist. She won the 50-yard freestyle event and finished second place in the 100-yard freestyle event. She was also named to the Sun Belt Conference’s Honor Roll after achieving over a 3.0 GPA. She also reached the honor roll last year after achieving between a 3.0-3.49 GPA.

Raney was named Sun Belt Conference Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 18, 2011 during her sophomore season. This award made her the first swimmer at UALR to win since 2006.

Last year, she set two new records for the UALR Swim Team that included two backstroke records. She also had a season-best time of 52.38 in the Sun Conference Championship that tied her for 13th for 3.5 points in the 100-yard freestyle event.

On Feb. 15, Raney participated in the final event of her UALR career when the team competed in the Missouri Valley Championships in Carbondale, Ill.

Raney, a mass communications public relations major with a minor in health science, is set to graduate in May. After graduation, Kara plans to go into public relations, but she’s not going to stray too far from sports.

“I would really like to go into sports public relations, but I want to go into the social media side of public relations.  I think that it’s more creative,” Raney said.  I like the way you can be creative and I can also have sports, which I love, and can put into my career, she said.