North Texas Splits Dual Meets In Houston
North Texas Falls To Rice, Defeats Houston In Back-To-Back Days
HOUSTON — The North Texas swimming and diving team hit the road for the second consecutive weekend, splitting a pair of dual meets at Rice and Houston.
Despite two individual wins and several season bests, North Texas came up short at Rice by a score of 139-67 on Friday afternoon. The Mean Green bounced back Saturday morning, winning 10 of the 16 events and defeating Houston by a score of 164.5-135.5.
“I was really happy with how we swam against Rice,” head coach Brendon Bray said. “We had to swim in very tough conditions there. We’re not used to swimming outside, so we had to overcome some disadvantages as an indoor team. That said, we raced really well, and it will really help us going forward.
“Houston was our best meet in my three years here. Everybody stepped up. We put some people into events that they sometimes wouldn’t do, but the kids responded and everybody stepped up. We won a lot of close races. I couldn’t be happier with our team.”
With the weekend split, North Texas heads into the Houston Invitational and Texas Diving Invitational, both set for Nov. 19-21, with a 2-3 dual-meet record. The win over Houston was just the fifth in school history, improving to 5-16 all-time against the Cougars.
North Texas won both relays against Houston, opening the meet with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay and closing the meet with a first-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Individually, freshman Natalia Kwiatkowska and senior Bianca Bocsa each won two individual events. Kwiatkowska won the the 100-yard backstroke (57.38) and 200-yard IM (2:07.87), both season-best times. Bocsa won the 50-yard freestyle (23.99) and 100-yard freestyle (51.97), also-season-best times.
Other individual winners included sophomores Sydney Buckley (100-yard butterfly), Claudia Kitching (200-yard breaststroke), Sarah Vaisse (100-yard breaststroke), and Isabelle Morris (200-yard freestyle). Among them, Buckley posted a season-best time of 57.33, as did Vaisse with a time of 1:03.90, in their respective events.
Led by Morris with a time of 1:52.89, North Texas swept the podium in the 200-yard freestyle, with freshman Katie Moore in second place (1:56.04) and senior Sarah Manning in third place (1:56.87)
Against Rice, Bocsa won first place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.80, while Vaisse won first place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a season-best time of 1:04.17.
Other top finishes included a pair of second-place finishes for Morris in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.92) and 100-yard freestyle (52.32), both season bests, as well as a second-place finish for Bocsa in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.11.
The 400-yard medley relay team of Bocsa, Kitching, freshman Kelsey Opiela, and Vaisse also picked up a second-place finish with a season-best time of 3:52.98, and the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Morris, senior Michelle Balcaen, freshman Brittany Thurstin and junior Courtney Connelly also placed second with a season-best time of 1:37.70.
“The team is going to be really confident going into the Houston Invite,” Bray said. “When we come back here in three weeks, we’re going to be really confident and swim faster.”
- Looking for its second consecutive season sweep of Rice and Houston, North Texas split this season’s dual meets against the Houston-area schools.
- North Texas will see both Rice and Houston at the University of Houston Invitational, which will be hosted by Houston from Nov. 19-21.
- The 200-yard medley relay team of Bocsa, Vaisse, Opiella and Morris won first place against Houston with a season-best time of 1:45.74.
- Sophomore Barbara Wasilewska posted a season-best time of 10:29.16 in a third-place finish in the 1000-yard freestyle against Houston.
- Sophomore Ash Stone (2:05.16) and freshman Natalia Kwiatkowska (2:05.34) each posted season-best times in the 200-yard backstroke against Houston.
- Entering the weekend with the league’s second-fastest time in the 200-yard breaststroke, sophomore Claudia Kitching bested her previous season-best with a time of 1:04.93 against Houston, finishing second to sophomore Sarah Vaisse, who also recorded a season-best time in the event.
- The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Vaisse, Morris, Bocsa and Connelly won first place against Houston with a season-best time of 3:30.61.
- Junior Samantha Scheck was the highest-scoring diver in both events against Houston, placing fourth in the one-meter competition (229.73) and three-meter competition (226.88).
- Sophomore Sarah Vaisse (2:06.97), freshman Natalia Kwiatkowska (2:11.45) and sophomore Claudia Kitching (2:12.87) each posted season-best times in the 200-yard individual medley against Rice.
- Sophomore Sydney Buckley (58.30), freshman Kelsey Opiela (58.40) and sophomore Caroline Culpepper (58.57) each posted season-best times in the 100-yard butterfly against Rice.
Both the North Texas swimmers and divers will dive back into action in three weeks, with the swimmers returning to Houston to compete in the University of Houston Invitational and the divers traveling to Austin to compete in the Texas Diving Invitational.