Swimming And Diving Dominates TCU On Senior Night
Mean Green Win 14 Of 16 Events
DENTON - The North Texas swimming and diving team sent its seniors out in style with a 202-89 win over TCU on Friday evening. The Mean Green touched the wall first in 14 of the 16 events.
"We're at the peak of our training right now and the girls haven't backed off at all," North Texas head coach Brittany Roth said. "We had a lot of girls who were maybe sore, tired or not feeling well, but we knew it was going to be more of a mental battle."
North Texas celebrated the careers of nine seniors who participated in the final home meet of their careers. Those individuals stepped up in the spotlight, accounting for six of the 14 wins, but it was the underclassmen who made it a truly special night for those seniors.
"They wanted to send them off on a high note," Roth said. "Our seniors left it all on the line and we got some pretty good swims out of all of that."
Claudia Kitching put together one of the top performances among the seniors with first-place finishes in both the 100- and 200- breaststroke, but it was those who finished behind her that provided a boost as the Mean Green swept the top-three spots in the 100-yard breaststroke. Sarah Vaisse (1:04.50) took second and Meaghan Rousset (1:06.46) took third.
"It's nice to have your teammates with you and all beating out the other team," Kitching said. "We're just helping each other out and getting as many points as we can."
"It shows the depth of our team," Roth said. "We talk a lot about the athletes that get to the wall first, but this team is full of talented athletes. When you have a sweep like that, it rejuvenates everybody and gets them excited."
Seniors Sarah Vaisse and Isabelle Morris each posted an individual and relay victory in the meet. Vaisse posted a 2:07.41 in the 200 IM and swam the second leg of the 200-medley relay, and Morris won the 200 free (1:54.44) and anchored the 400-free relay.
Sophomore Jowita Sienczyk posted a pair of individual wins in the 100- and 200- backstroke and helped the Mean Green to relay wins in the 200-medley relay and the 400-freestyle relay.
Freshman freestylist Leigh Faires McGee continued her dominant rookie campaign with three total victories, including a personal-best time of 10:20.14 in the 1000-free. She also took first in the 500-free and swam the second leg of the winning 400-free relay team.
Junior Brittany Thurstin helped North Texas kick off the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay, anchoring the A relay and clocking a 23.00 split. Thurstin went into the season with the goal of hitting 23 seconds or faster in the 50-freestyle, marking another achievement for her in the meet.
"When I dove in, I knew I needed to win this relay because it was going to be a dog fight," Thurstin said. "It was an added bonus after winning the relay. The real goal was just to beat TCU."
Thurstin also led the Mean Green's 400-free relay team to a win with a time of 3:30.15, and she took first in the 50-free with a time of 23.94.
On the boards, freshman Meghan Miller was victorious in both the one-meter and three-meter dives with personal best scores in both events. Miller scored a 254.85 in the one-meter and 250.95 in the three-meter.
"It was cool to go out there against TCU as a freshman and win both boards," Miller said. "I never really go out there trying to win both boards every time. I just want to do my best."
The win was a huge step for North Texas with only one dual meet remaining until they head to Atlanta for the 2018 Conference USA Championships.
"It gives us a lot of confidence," Roth said. "It gives us the opportunity to take this momentum and turn it into a great team vibe going into conference."
North Texas faces another metroplex rival in SMU on Friday, Feb. 2, at 5 p.m. at the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center in Dallas.
- The Mean Green had nine individuals take first or participate in a winning relay on Friday.
- North Texas has won three straight dual-meets over the Horned Frogs.
- Thurstin's 23.00 split marked the fastest 50-free on the team this season.