North Texas Blows Past TCU In Senior Day Meet
Swimming & Diving Off To Program-Best 7-3 Start In Dual Meets
DENTON — The North Texas swimming and diving team sent its eight seniors out in style, downing Metroplex rival TCU by a score of 180-120 in Friday’s home dual meet. The Mean Green never trailed in the meet, winning each of the first 10 swimming events and winning 12 of the 16 events overall.
With the win, North Texas improves to 7-3 in dual meets this season, its best start in school history, and the seven dual-meet wins are the second-most in school history. The win over TCU was also just the fourth in 23 meetings all-time.
“We’re really happy for our seniors,” head coach Brendon Bray said. “We wanted our seniors to go out on a high, and we’re really happy to get this win. And when you’re 3-19 against a team all-time, it also means a lot to the program.
“The girls had some times and goals, and regardless of whether they won their events, we would be happy with that. And I thought we swam to our potential, and I think the girls had confidence and belief in what they were doing and that translated to winning the meet and it also translated to us swimming the best we have swam in-season during my three years here.”
North Texas bookended the meet with wins in the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. Individually, freshman Rebekah Bradley, sophomore Isabelle Morris and sophomore Claudia Kitching each recorded a pair of first-place finishes.
Freshman Natalia Kwiatkowska swam a season-best time of 10:24.79 for a first-place finish in the 1000-yard freestyle. Other individual winners included senior Bianca Bocsa, sophomore Caroline Culpepper, freshman Brittany Thurstin and sophomore Sarah Vaisse.
“This was our most complete meet during my three years, and it’s not just because of the times, but it’s because of how closely they swam to what I believe they can do. I don’t think we’re there yet, but that was the most complete meet we have swam.”
On the boards, junior Samantha Scheck placed second and third in the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions, respectively, while senior Jasmine Abercrombie finished fourth in both competitions. Scheck’s scores on the 1-meter (263.92) and 3-meter (254.10) were the best by a North Texas diver this season, while Abercrombie’s scores on the 1-meter (249.22) and 3-meter (249.97) were the second-best by a North Texas diver this season.
"The divers had a great day posting a few personal bests," diving coach Mark Murdock said. "They are beginning to realize their abilities and are becoming more consistent with their competition lists. It was great to see the divers enjoy competing."
Bray pointed to a strong start as one of the keys to overall success against TCU. It started with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, followed by Kwiatkowska’s season-best time in the 100-yard freestyle, and then a strong final 100 yards from Morris to take first place in the 200-yard freestyle.
“When you get rolling, it’s easy to jump on the bus,” Bray said. “That’s why that medley relay was so important. When you swim well in that relay, everybody jumps on, and it makes it easy for everyone to swim well. But we also won close races and we also had good plans and strategies.
“Everybody on this team is improving. We want to be really good. We want our team to be on the national level, be a top-25 program, and this is the kind of step we have to take to get to that level.”
- North Texas honored its eight seniors with a ceremony during the second break of the meet. This year's group of seniors includes: Jasmine Abercrombie, Michelle Balcaen, Bianca Bocsa, Gaby Colunga, Haley Goertz, Zoe James, Sarah Manning and Ashley Payne
- North Texas defeated TCU for just the fourth time in school history and the first time since the 2011-12 season
- The 7-3 record in dual meets represents the best start in school history and the most dual-meet wins under head coach Brendon Bray
- Freshman Rebekah Bradley, senior Bianca Bocsa and junior Ash Stone swept the podium in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing 1-2-3 in the event
- Senior Bianca Bocsa and sophomore Isabelle Morris tied for first place in the 100-yard freestyle with identical times of 52.38
- Freshman Rebekah Bradley, junior Ash Stone and Sarah Manning also swept the podium in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing 1-2-3 in the event
- Sophomore Claudia Kitching posted her third-fastest time (2:18.49) of the season and the fifth-fastest time in Conference USA for a first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke
- The 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that won first place in their respective events were both the second-fastest by a North Texas relay team this season
North Texas faces another Metroplex rival in SMU on Friday, Feb. 5 in Mansfield, Texas. It’s the Mean Green’s last dual meet of the season, before pre-conference time trials on Saturday, Feb. 6 and the Conference USA Championships that start on Wednesday, Feb. 24 in Atlanta.