Swimming And Diving Remains In Fourth Place At C-USA Championship

Feb. 23, 2017

Day 2 Results

ATLANTA -- The North Texas swimming and diving team remains in fourth place with 133 total points after two days of competition at the Conference USA Championship at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of Georgia Tech.

"Today was a really good day for us," interim head coach Brittany Roth said. "Historically, this has probably been our weakest day of competition, but we walked away with two school records and we put someone the podium as well."

Junior Sarah Vaisse highlighted Thursday's action for North Texas, securing the team's first podium-finish of the meet with a bronze medal in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:00.01, a North Texas record.

"Sarah is one of the most naturally talented athletes that I have ever worked with," Roth explained. "She has a tendency to try to force things, but for the first time, I saw her implement her abilites and let her training take over. We spent a lot of time improving her weaker strokes over the summer, and I attribute her performance to all the hard work she has put in to get to this point."

Freshman Jowita Sienczyk finished fifth at 2:02.30, dropping nearly .4 seconds off her preliminary time. In the morning prelims of the event, Vaisse clocked the third-fastest time (2:02.40) while Sienczyk touched the wall in 2:02.68, good for sixth place.

The second record that fell on Friday was the 200-yard freestyle relay mark set in 2010. The relay team comprised of sophomore Brittany Thurstin, Sienczyk, junior Isabelle Morris and sophomore Emmabeth Jensen finished in 1:32.99, topping the previous record of 1:33.26. 

"We had a disqualification with this team earlier in the meet, but those girls decided at the end to redo the race as a time trial," Roth added. "They took something that could have been wind out of the sail and turned it into something that we can build on moving into the rest of the meet."



North Texas sent three swimmers to the 50-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle "B" finals, while three others qualified for the 50-yard freestyle "C" final and two posted times good enough to advance to the "C" final of the 500-yard freestyle event.

In the "B" final of the 500-yard freestyle, sophomore Sara Whelan took home 11th place, swimming a time of 4:54.74, marking the ninth-fastest performance in program history. Morris finished 15th with a time of 5:00.18.

Jensen, who clocked a time of 23.28 in the 50-yard freestyle prelims, finished the event in 12th place after posting a time of 23.37 in the "B" final. Thurstin (23.40) andsophomore Kelsey Opiela (23.70) finished 13th and 16th, respectively.

Competing on the boards for the first time this week, junior Cecilia Hernandez posted North Texas' highest score (218.40) on the three-meter event, finishing ninth. Sophomore Averie Ruiz (216.75) followed her in 10th, while senior Samantha Scheck finished 12th with a score of 207.40.

"Our divers showed up for us this afternoon," Roth said. "They are ready to go for tomorrow and that will be huge for us."

With two days left in the C-USA Championship meet, Florida International remains in the lead with 344 points, followed by Marshall with 251, Rice with 225, North Texas with 133, Old Dominion with 99 and FAU rounds out the field with 86.

"We are excited that we had a good day today, but the fact of the matter is we have two more days of racing left," Roth said. "It's not that we aren't excited, but we need to continue to look at what is in front of us. Tomorrow could be a really great day for us."

Up Next

Tomorrow's schedule format remains the same, with preliminaries beginning at 10:30 a.m. followed by the finals at 6 p.m. The schedule of events includes the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke, the one-meter board and the 400-yard medley relay.

The C-USA Championship will be streamed on ESPN3.

Mean Green Quick Hitters

Barbara Wasilewska finished 16th in the 500-yard freestyle (5:03.70) and Deneen Carter hit the pad in 5:02.46, securing 18th.

Mikaela Cornelissen finished 18th in the 50-yard freestyle event with a time 23.80. The swim was her first individual one as a member of the Mean Green.

Courtney Connelly (23.92) and Sydney Buckley (24.21) finished 20th and 22nd in the 50-yard freestyle.

Gabryella Silva finished 14th, logging a score of 201.35 on the three-meter board.

• North Texas' 200-yard freestyle relay team comprised of Kelsey Opiela, Buckley, Connelly and Meredith Manry combined for a time of 1:34.96.

Claudia Kitching finished first in the 200-yard IM "C" final with a time of 2:07.35. Lindsey Blanchard (2:08.65) and Meaghan Rousset (2:10.68) secured third and fifth in the event.

North Texas Mean Green