photo courtesy of Rick Yeatts
Swimming Goes For Gold in Day Three
ROCKWALL, Texas- Day three on the Sun Belt Conference Championships will be one to be remembered for North Texas. Seven school records were broken with numerous personal best times being recorded. The Mean Green were able to end the night on a high note as the 400 Medley relay team became the first North Texas squad to win a relay at the Sun Belt Conference Championships.
At the end of 14 events, North Texas and Western Kentucky are battling for second place. The Hilltoppers lead the Mean Green 491.5 to 483 with Denver leading the pack after racking up 571.5 total points.
"Tonight's 400 Medley relay victory was the first time we've ever won a relay at the conference meet," commented Dykstra. "We shattered the school record and clocked another one in the opening leg. Mona Groteguth ended up breaking the school record in the 100 back three times today. All four swimmers had best splits and overall it was a great evening session for us. Many girls performed at their best today and we need to carry this energy into tomorrow."
8:28 p.m.- In the most exciting event of the night, North Texas won gold in the 400 Medley relay (3:41.25) with a narrow finish over Western Kentucky. This was the first relay victory for the Mean Green at Sun Belt Championships since the program's existence in 1998. Composed of Mona Groteguth, Krista Rossum, Rosa Gentile, and Catia Weickgenant, the Mean Green relay team cut over four and a half seconds off the school record set in December (3:45.90) and qualified as a NCAA "B" cut. Groteguth's 100 back split (55.17) created her third school record and personal best in the race for the third time in a matter of hours.
8:27 p.m.- Sophomore divers Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Taylor placed second and fourth in the one-meter diving finals. Johnson's dive would earn the English native her second silver medal of the meet.
7:33 p.m.- The Mean Green was able to record three new personal bests in the 100 back finals. Bronze medalist Mona Groteguth dropped her 55.20 finish into the books, climbing to the fastest program time in the 100 back. The freshman shaved almost a full second off (.07 seconds) her individual top time set earlier during prelims.
7:12 p.m.- Freshman Krista Rossum finished the 100 breaststroke ahead of the compeition, winning gold and becoming the Sun Belt meet record holder in 1:01.46. Rossum's NCAA "B" cut time was a new school record, surpassing her best time set earlier during prelims (1:02.27). Sarida Muslow pushed a fourth place finish and individual best 1:03.87.
In consolation, Chloe Tong was the third North Texas swimmer to set a new personal best 100 breaststroke finals (1:06.66).
6:54 p.m.- The four North Texas swimmers in the 200 free all swam collegiate bests in the 200 free finals. Catia Weickgenant reserved a spot on the podium, earning the Mean Green a second place finish in the 200 free. The junior surpassed her school record in the 200 free with a program best 1:48.45.
In the consolation finals, Bryn Lewis (56.17) beat her fastest time by 0.4 seconds.
6:14 p.m.- The lone North Texas swimmer Kaitlynn Jackson cut almost two and a half seconds off her fastest 400 IM time that she had set only a few hours prior. Jackon's 4:27.99 landed North Texas a third place finish in the consolation finals.
In the morning preliminary races, North Texas sent 16 of its 20 swimmers to the evening events. Out of the six early morning events, seven personal records created, two program best times broken, and one NCAA "B" cut time registered.
2:10 p.m.- Sophomores Rebecca Taylor and Catherine Johnson landed a second and third place finish in the one-meter dive prelims. Swimmers Brandi Townsend and Carleigh Kutac both competed in the event, scoring personal bests and qualifying for the one-meter dive finals.
12:25 p.m.- The Mean Green sent four swimmers to the 100 back finals. Freshman Mona Groteguth swam the third fastest prelim time (55.27) and topped the program record by almost a full second (56.07). All North Texas swimmers in the race (four) qualified for the 100 back finals.
12:09 p.m.- Krista Rossum stole the show in the 100 breast prelims, yanking a first place finish (NCAA B cut 1:02.27) and Mean Green best by over a full second (1:03.30). Rossum has topped the program's top time four different times.
11:56 a.m.- Four of six North Texas swimmers succeeded to the 200 free finals. Catia Weickgenant locked a first place finish in the prelims, leading the competition in 1:49.14.
11:34 a.m.- Rosa Gentile produced a third place finish in the 100 fly (55.32). Mona Groteguth and Stephanie Bernier went fifth and sixth in the prelims. Groteguth (55.88) and Bernier (55.55) swam their career best times along with Bryan Lewis (57.04), who qualified for the consolation finals.
11:18 a.m.- Kaitlynn Jackson opened the prelims for the Mean Green by qualifying for the 400 IM finals in a personal best 4:30.48. Jackson reduced her top time in the race by over two and a half seconds. Danae Welch also clocked a career best 4:35.53 in the 400 IM as she locked an alternate spot for the finals.
The final day of the Sun Belt Championships starts tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at the Rockwall ISD Natatorium in Rockwall, Texas. The schedule of events and live results can be followed at www.sunbeltsports.org.