North Texas Falls Short Of History At SMU
Freshman Rebekah Bradley Posts NCAA B Time Standard In 200 Backstroke
MANSFIELD, Texas — The North Texas swimming and diving team put together several good swims and dives, including four first-place finishes, but they came up just short, falling to Metroplex rival SMU by a score of 132-109 on Friday night at Mansfield Natatorium.
Those swims and dives included an NCAA B time standard for freshman Rebekah Bradley, who picked up her ninth first-place finish with a time of 1:58.03 in the 200-yard backstroke. Her time also made her the second-fastest swimmer in Conference USA and the second-fastest swimmer in North Texas history.
At the pre-conference time trial, Bradley posted an NCAA B time standard with a time of 54.49 in in the 100-yard backstroke. That time also made her the second-fastest swimmer in Conference USA and the second-fastest swimmer in North Texas history. She joins sophomore Claudia Kitching, who holds two NCAA B time standards in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Freshman Sara Whelan won her first individual event with a team season-best and career-best time of 4:53.91 in the 500-yard freestyle. She closed strong in the event, out-touching her competitor from SMU with a final 50-yard split of 26.96 and a final 100-yard split of 56.99.
“You can’t control the other team,” head coach Brendon Bray said. “SMU is a great team, they’re a top-25 team for a reason, but we swam great tonight. We swam unbelievable times. We had many times better than lifetime bests and we had many times better than when we were rested at the fall championship meet. We were much better than we were the weekend before against TCU. That’s all you can control. In swimming, you can’t do things based on the other team.
“Our program took another huge step forward tonight. We had so many really good swims. We have a couple of things that we can learn from. We had a couple of touch-outs that might have swung some points our way. If we maybe had one or two touch-outs in our favor, we might have won the meet. I’m really happy with the team.”
After just missing an NCAA zone qualifying score on the 1-meter against TCU, junior Samantha Scheck swept the diving events against SMU with a first-place finish in both the 1-meter (235.72) and 3-meter competition (237.22). In other diving action, freshman Averie Ruiz posted a career-best score of 225.90 to finish third in the 1-meter competition.
“Our divers showed that they can persevere through a quick turnaround from last week,” diving coach Mark Murdock said. ”They did well mentally. It’s tough to expect it to happen right away again, but they showed some consistency tonight. Samantha is doing a lot better. She’s starting take every correction in and focus on the little things that will help her increase her scores.”
Other highlights included the 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay, where North Texas placed second in both events, clocking the second-fastest times by a North Texas relay team and the third-fastest time in Conference USA this season in each event. North Texas also finished second and third in the 1000-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle.
North Texas finishes the dual-meet portion of its season with a 7-4 dual-meet record and a winning percentage of .636, tied for the second-most dual-meet wins and the second-best winning percentage in school history. It's also the best marks under Bray.
- North Texas came up just short of sweeping Metroplex rivals TCU and SMU for the first time in school history
- With four first-place finishes against SMU, North Texas now has has 76 individual wins and 14 relay wins, including 52 overall first-place finishes, for the season
- Freshman Rebekah Bradley now has nine first-place finishes in her first four career meets for North Texas
- In addition to her first-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke, Bradley posted a team season-best and career-best time of 23.41 in the 50-yard freestyle, which is also tied for the fifth-fastest time in Conference USA this season
- With two first-place finishes against SMU, junior Samantha Scheck now has three first-place finishes and four dual-meets wins for the season
- Sophomore Barbara Wasilewska (10.17.99) and senior Haley Goertz (10:21.83) finished second and third in the 1000-yard freestyle, posting the fastest and second-fastest times by a North Texas swimmer in the event this season
- Sophomore Isabelle Morris (1:49.62) and freshman Sarah Whelan (1:49.91) finished second and third in the 200-yard freestyle, with Whelan becoming the second-fastest North Texas performer in the event this season, behind Morris
- Senior Gaby Colunga posted a career-best time of 2:05.49 in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing in fourth behind sophomore Caroline Culpepper, who finished third with a time of 2:03.05
- Senior Bianca Bocsa posted a season-best time of 51.72 in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing in third in the event
- The other NCAA B time standard holder on the team, sophomore Claudia Kitching, placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke, clocking a time of 2:15.79, her third-fastest time of the season and the fourth-fastest time in Conference USA this season
After competing in a pre-conference time trial event on Saturday, North Texas turns its attention to the Conference USA Championships that begin on Wednesday, Feb. 24 in Atlanta. The Mean Green have finished fifth at the conference meet in each of the last two seasons.