New Orleans, LA (2/2/07) The North Texas swimming and diving team competes in its final dual meet on Saturday before heading to the Sun Belt Conference Championship in two weeks. The Mean Green heads to New Orleans for a dual meet with the Privateers on Saturday morning at 11 am.
The meet is taking place at Tulane University because New Orleans’ pool was damaged due to Hurricane Katrina.
“This is going to be the first home dual meet that UNO has hosted since the hurricane and their only one of the year,” said first-year head coach Joe Dykstra at Tuesday’s North Texas press luncheon. “I am excited that we are going to be involved in the rebuilding process.”
In his first year as head coach, Dykstra has led the Mean Green to a 6-5 dual meet record and ended 2006 by winning the UALR Christmas Invitational. The six dual meet wins are the most in the nine-season history of the program.
In the Mean Green’s last meet on Jan. 24, North Texas defeated Incarnate Word for the second time but lost to TCU (83-48) for the second time this season. TCU’s star swimmer Erica Tate proved to be a thorn in NT’s side for the second straight meet. She won four events, including two individual races, in their most recent meet.
Freshman Alicia Hale, who holds four school records, broke the record in the 400 IM for the second straight meet in a row with a time of 4:32.78 last week. She placed first in both the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle, and notched a second-place finish in the 400 IM.
Dykstra has the difficult job of determining what events to race Hale in at the conference championships. She holds school records in two medleys and two freestyle events.
“We are going to enter her in six different events,” said Dykstra. “You are only allowed to swim three individual events at the meet. We are going to decide at the meet based upon where we think she can place the highest and how she is looking in the water that week.”
Dykstra is excited about Hale’s prospects in the 200 freestyle. He also thinks junior Hannah Bakke and senior Gwen Rourke should perform well in the breaststroke events.
The Sun Belt Conference Championship will take place on Feb. 15-17 in Nashville, Tennessee.