Saturday, August 11, 2007

Surging swimmers on a roll


Kansas University swimming and diving coach Clark Campbell lauded last year's team, ranking it above the others he has coached during his five years at the school.

"It's been the best," he said. "We set the bar higher this past year and had a number of accomplishments."

Coming off a year in which KU finished 6-1 in dual meets and in third place at the Big 12 Conference championships, Campbell has goals this season of reducing the margin between the Jayhawks and conference powers Texas and Texas A&M; and scoring points at the NCAA meet.

To check those items off its to-do list, KU must replace departed senior co-captains Jenny Short and Lisa Tilson. The former set a team record with a 1:59.92 in the 200-yard backstroke.

"They bring really good things to the table athletically," Campbell said. "They also bring a lot of things to the table such as leadership, support to the teammates, knowledge of the progam."

A four-person senior class - one of Campbell's smallest at KU - of Lauren Bonfe, Nikki Maples, Allie Rubino and Terri Schramka will help fill that void. Bonfe won the 100 backstroke and set a pool record with a time of 57.81 at a dual meet at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Other notable swimmers include junior Danielle Herrmann, sophomore Ashley Robinson, a Free State High graduate, and sophomore Alicia Casillas.

The Jayhawks also welcome talented newcomers, including Joy Bunting and Sarah Edwards. Campbell called Bunting the top breaststroker he has ever recruited and praised Edwards' all-around ability, particularly in sprint events.

"We've got a really good freshman class," Campbell said.

High expectations surround the diving team as well after it finished second in total diving points at the Big 12 championships, and Shelby Noonan, Jenny Roberts and Meghan Proehl qualified for the Zone "D" Diving Championships.

"They were awesome," Campbell said.


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