Vaisse Shines On Day Two Of Phill Hansel Invite
Junior Breaks North Texas' 100-Yard Breaststroke Record
HOUSTON - The North Texas swimming team continued its impressive showing in the Phill Hansel Invite, as it sent 16 swimmers to the final round on Saturday, and secured its first victory of the weekend in day two of competition.
"Day two was a great step forward for our swimmers," head coach Brittany Roth said. "Just as we had on day one, each of our athletes swam either a season-best or a career-best time in the prelim session. We have such a team-oriented environment, and when one person achieves their goal, it becomes a proud moment for every team member."
After swimming a time of 1:02.20 in the preliminary round of the 100 breaststroke, Sarah Vaisse claimed North Texas' first victory of the weekend with a time of 1:01.38 in the finals.
"Sarah's swim in the 100 breast was one for the record books," Roth explained. "She has been putting in the work day in and day out and tonight's race was a celebration of her putting her race prep and plan into action."
A swim for the record books it was, as Vaisse broke North Texas' 100 breaststroke record, something she fell just short of a season ago.
Claudia Kitching (1:03.58), Kathleen Rousset (1:06.00) and Meaghan Rousset (1:06.22) also set season highs in the 100 breaststroke. Kitching's time was good for 13th place.
Isabelle Morris swam a season-best time of 1:49.14 in the 200 freestyle, good for the fifth-fastest time of the preliminary rounds. She finished sixth in the finals with a time of 1:49.88.
"Isabelle was impressive today with her composure and patience in the 200 freestyle," Roth added. "She pieced together two sound races and fell just short of her personal best time of 1:48.94."
Sara Whelan swam a time of 1:50.53 in the prelims of the 200 free, and followed that up with a 1:50.60 performance in the finals, finishing 11th.
Jowita Sienczyk finished 11th in the 100 backstroke, swimming a time of 56.08 in the finals. She also qualified for the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:28.20. She finished 22nd with a final time of 4:28.78.
Ash Stone finished the 100 backstroke prelim round with a time of 56.90, breaking her previous career-best time of 56.98. Stone shattered that mark with a time of 56.27 in the finals, tying Gaby Colunga for the seventh-fastest time in the North Texas record book.
"Ash continues to amaze me," Roth added. "She is able to find a way to continue to swim faster. She has the ability to put it all on the line and go for it. She swam her two best times today and demolished her best time like a seasoned vet. She is a true lead-by-example athlete that each of our swimmers and divers can learn from."
North Texas' 200 medley relay team comprised of Sienczyk, Vaisse, Kelsey Opiela and Morris finished third with a time of 1:42.24, the best time a North Texas relay team has posted this season.
North Texas picked up another top-five finish in the 800 freestyle relay. The relay team comprised of Emmabeth Jensen, Morris, Katie Moore and Whelan logged a time of 7:30.22, securing a fifth-place finish in the finals, completing day two for the Mean Green.
The North Texas diving team finished the UT Diving Invitational with the platform board on Saturday, marking the first time the team has competed in the event this season.
Senior Samantha Scheck led North Texas with a score of 177.85 across five dives, the second-highest total of her career in the event. Her highest round of the afternoon was the fifth, where she posted a score of 43.20 on a forward 2 ½ somersault tuck dive.
Freshman Gabryella Silva posted a score of 161.80 in her first-collegiate platform dive.
- Jowita Sienczyk qualified for the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.93, the fourth-highest mark in North Texas history.
- Lindsey Blanchard also hit season-best times in the 100 backstroke (57.90) and the 400 IM (4:35.95).
- Emmabeth Jensen's time of 55.33 in the 100 butterfly is the fastest time a North Texas swimmer has clocked this season. Kelsey Opiela's time of 56.00 in the event is the second fastest of the season.
- Katie Moore (1:50.95) finished 25th in the 200 freestyle.
- Claudia Kitching's time of 1:03.58 in the 100 breaststroke marked a season high.
- Sydney Buckley swam a season-best time of 56.92 in the 100 butterfly finals.
- Haley Timmons qualified for the 400 IM and the 100 fly. She finished 40th in the 400 IM (4:47.41) and 38th in the 100 fly (57.96).
- Abbie Imes' time of 59.69 in the 100 butterfly is the fastest time she has clocked in three years.
Up Next For North Texas
The North Texas swimming team will complete the Phill Hansel Invitational tomorrow starting at 10 a.m.