Swimming & Diving Begins Busy Weekend Of Competition
First Of Three Days Complete At Phill Hansel Invitational And Texas Diving Invitational
DENTON -- The North Texas swimming and diving team opened its weekend of competition, with the swimmers competing at the Phill Hansel Invitational in Houston and the divers at University of Texas Diving Invitational in Austin.
The swimmers set several season bests, and three different swimmers finished in the top 10 of their respective events. Paced by those individual efforts, North Texas is in seventh place of 10 teams with 171 points after the first of three days of competition in Houston.
Sophomore Isabelle Morris advanced to the A final of the 50-yard freestyle and finished seventh overall with a time of 23.66. Also in the 50-yard freestyle, senior Bianca Bocsa won the B final with a time of 23.43, which places her ninth overall in the event. Her time of 23.43 was not only the fastest by a North Texas swimmer this season, but it was also fourth-fastest in the finals session and the fifth-fastest of the entire day.
In addition to Morris and Bocsa, sophomore Sarah Vaisse also finished in the top 10, placing second in the B final -- 10th overall -- in the 200 individual medley finals. She eclipsed her previous North Texas season-best time in both the preliminaries and then again in the finals with a time of 2:03.87.
North Texas also competed in two relays events, taking sixth in both the 200-yard freestyle relay with a season-best time of 1:34.48 and the 400-yard medley with a season-best time of 3:46.14.
In all, the Mean Green had a combined 17 swimmers finish in the top 40 of the preliminaries and advance to the finals of the three individual events, in addition to the teams that competed in the two relays.
On the boards in Austin, the divers competed in the 3-meter preliminaries and quarterfinals. Junior Samantha Scheck posted the best mark with an average round score of 36.07 and an event average score of 5.11.
"The divers did well today," diving coach Mark Murdock said. "The atmosphere of the competition is much more intense than what they are used to and they are doing a good job of performing under the pressure. They are beginning to show more control and understanding of themselves and their dives during competitions. Today was a good start for the rest of this very competitive invite."
- Six North Texas swimmers ranked among the top 40 in the 500-yard freestyle preliminaries, advancing to the finals, led by sophomore Isabelle Morris with a time of 5:00.53, the team's best mark this season, which was also the 15th-fastest time of the preliminaries.
- In addition to Morris, sophomore Barbara Wasilewska (5:01.20, 17th), senior Haley Goertz (5:04.73, 26th), sophomore Deneen Carter (5:05.44, 29th), sophomore Caroline Culpepper (5:06.23, 32nd) and senior Sarah Manning (5:08.21, 38th) qualified for the finals of the 500-yard freestyle.
- Culpepper placed second in the D final of the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:01.20, a personal-best for her and tied for the second-fastest time by a North Texas swimmer this season.
- Four more swimmers advanced to the finals of the 200-yard individual medley, led by sophomore Sarah Vaisse with the 11th fastest time of the preliminaries. Her time of 2:05.68 topped her previous season-best time of 2:06.97, which was the fastest by a North Texas swimmer this season.
- In addition to Vaisse, freshman Natalia Kwiatkowska (2:07.81, 28th), sophomore Sydney Buckley (2:08.51) and sophomore Claudia Kitching (2:08.63, 36th) also qualified for the finals of the 200-yard individual medley.
- KItching (2:07.77), in the finals, and Kwiatkowska (2:07.81), in the preliminaries, both set personal bests in the 200-yard individual medley, which is the fourth-fastest and fifth-fastest times by a North Texas swimmer in the event this season.
- In the final preliminary event, seven more swimmers advanced to the finals of the 50-yard freestyle. Two finished among the top 11 with Morris in eighth place (23.69) and senior Bianca Bocsa in 11th place (23.75), both eclipsing the team's season-best time this season previously held by Bocsa.
- After Morris and Bocsa, sophomore Lauren Tidwell (24.09, 23rd), freshman Brittany Thurstin (24.10, 24th), junior Courtney Connelly (24.13, 26th), senior Zoe James (24.24, 34th) and senior Michelle Balcaen (24.28, 35th) also qualified for the finals of the 50-yard freestyle.
- The team of Morris, Bocsa, Vaisse and Thurstin took sixth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a season-best time of 1:34.48.
- The team of Bocsa, Vaisse, Buckley and Morris also took sixth, in the 400-yard medley relay, with a season-best time of 3:46.14.
Both the North Texas swimmers and divers continue their respective weekends on Friday and Saturday at the Phill Hansel Invitational and Texas Diving Invitational. The swimmers will compete in five individual races and two relays, while the divers will compete on the 1-meter boards on Friday.