Kansas University's swimming and diving team will compete in its final competition of 2004 when it plays host to Harvard and Houston in a dual meet starting at 6 p.m. today at Robinson Natatorium.
The two-day meet will feature three different scores that place each team against one another individually. The event will wrap up the fall season for the Jayhawks before it returns for its first meet of the spring season Jan. 15.
KU's Amy Gruber received an early holiday gift with an NCAA-provisional-qualifying time in the 100-meter freestyle of 47.70. She earned the mark two weeks ago at the Nike Cup in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The race earned Gruber CollegeSwimming.com's National Collegiate Swimmer of the Week award, followed by the Big 12 Conference Swimmer of the Month.
The meet also signaled the emergence of sophomore Emily Knopp. She shaved four seconds off her personal best in the 200 butterfly, a performance that impressed KU coach Clark Campbell.
"That was definitely the swim of our meet and definitely one of the best swims I've seen in my 12 years of coaching," Campbell said.
Campbell said Knopp had gone from struggling to making the traveling squad a year ago to becoming a prominent swimmer for this year's Jayhawks.
It will take performances like Gruber's and Knopp's to overcome a talented Houston squad and an even better Harvard team.
Harvard is undefeated after three dual meets against Ivy League opponents. The Crimson are led by sophomore Noelle Bassi, who recently broke Harvard's record in the 200 butterfly and swam four seconds faster than Knopp's breakthrough performance.
Houston comes to town to reciprocate KU's appearance last year in Houston. The Cougars (2-3) have won their last two meets.