Swimming and diving break records at championship
After almost a month of preparation, the UALR swim team finished fifth in the season-ending 2013 Swimming and Diving Championships at the Rockwall ISD Aquatic Center in Rockwall, Texas.
Although Western Kentucky won the title with 853 points, UALR had a strong showing and set several school records while amassing 246.5 points over the four-day competition.
Though the UALR team could be considered undermanned with far fewer swimmers than some of the larger SBC schools in the competition, several members of the 12-woman team managed to place themselves in the record books while gaining praise from their coach.
“I was impressed at how we stepped up this week,” said Head Coach Amy Burgess. “We always come in a little intimidated, but every day and every session our team got better. We had the most final swimmers and top-eight finishes we’ve ever had. It was a lot of fun.”
Among the many records she set over the event, junior Kara Raney broke her own record Friday in the 100 backstroke. Freshman Valeriya Teplova broke the school record twice in the 100 freestyle on Saturday. Also on Saturday, junior Holly Myers broke the record in the 200 backstroke during the morning session while finishing 10th in the evening session. Senior Amber Kelly broke her own record in the 200 fly and Senior Amy Tran finished at 16th in the 200 backstroke finals while sophomore Lexie Stone finished 15th in the mile swim.
The record-breaking began in earnest on the first day of the meet with an 800-freestyle relay that was more than a second better than the previous record.
The 800 freestyle team featured Kelly, Myers, Teplova, and freshman Natalie Swindle. The record-breaking sessions continued for the UALR swimmers for the entirety of the four-day conference championships. While Western Kentucky ultimately came back from 14 points behind North Texas to win the title on the final day, the UALR Trojans continued to raise the bar for themselves.
During the awards ceremony on March 2, UALR was recognized for its academic achievement by the SBC. The Trojans earned the “Team Academic Award” by maintaing a cumulative GPA of 3.7 all while training and competing.
While the season may finally be over for rest of the team, freshman diver Megan Scott will go on to compete in the Zone Regional Diving Meet on March 11-13th in Houston, Texas.