The Razorbacks swimming and diving team fell 199-101 to the No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers on senior day January 13.
Despite the loss, Arkansas’ seniors held their own and recorded nine of the 17 top-three finishes.
The meet started at 10 a.m. after a loud “Hog call” from the fans in the bleachers. The first event was the 200 medley relay. This race consists of four swimmers who each swim a different stroke (backstroke, freestyle, butterfly or breaststroke) for 50 meters.
The race resulted in a 15-2 lead for the Vols after their three relay teams would finish first, second and fifth. Arkansas had three teams, as well, but they finished third, fourth and sixth.
After the relays, both teams went on to the 1000 Freestyle and the Vols once again had two swimmers, freshman Amanda Nunan and sophomore Tess Cieplucha, in first and second with junior swimmer Brianna Leverenz coming in sixth.
The Razorbacks did a little better in this event, as they had three swimmers finish in third, fourth and fifth. Sophomore swimmer Ayumi Macias led the way for the Razorbacks with a time of 10:06.97. She was followed by true freshmen swimmers Peyton Palsha and Alyssa Lemon.
Senior swimmer Jesse Garrison placed third in the 200 freestyle race to beat her season-best with a time of 1:49.92. Senior swimmer Chloe Hannam was a star in the meet. She noted three top-three finishes highlighted by her second-place finish in the 200 backstroke race.
“Going in as a senior and the emotions, they were just crazy at the beginning,” Hannam said. “It was all quite intense, and we all got behind each other.”
Freshman diver Brooke Schultz controlled the board at the first diving break, winning the one-meter dive with a score of 344.78. Senior diver Nicole Gillis followed with a second-place score of 301.28 to give the Hogs a first and second finish and some much needed points.
“I think we were all happy with individual performances and pushing through, especially after a hard week of practice,” Gillis said. “Personally, I was very happy with being able to have a consistent meet.”
During the second dive break, Gillis and Schultz repeated their efforts with a first and second finish on the three-meter boards.
“Today was a great day for our seniors,” said Razorback head coach Neil Harper. “To be able to host and compete against a top-10 team in Tennessee and recognize all of the many contributions of our seven seniors was nostalgic, emotional and was a tremendously proud day for our Razorbacks.”
Arkansas is now be 2-2 in conference play with a 6-3 overall record. The Razorbacks will move on to a meet against the Houston Cougars, followed by a rematch against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Hogs beat the Commodores the first time around at Vanderbilt, but this time they will be swimming in a neutral site in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 19.