Thurstin Ties School Record, Earns NCAA B Cut On Day Two Of C-USA Championship
Team Posts Six Personal-Best, 10 Season-Best Times
ATLANTA - Excitement carried over to day two of the Conference USA swimming & diving championship as North Texas saw six personal-best times and 10 season-best times set on Thursday at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
The day began with the Mean Green sending 13 participants into Thursday evening's finals and four in championship finals, including two in the 50 freestyle. Junior Brittany Thurstin (23.06) and senior Isabelle Morris (23.31) each posted personal-best times to take fourth and eighth, respectively.
"It was a fun race to watch," assistant coach Rachel Friel said. "Brittany was focused and prepared. She continues to improve season after season."
In the "A" final of the 500 freestyle, freshman Leigh Faires McGee took sixth with a personal-best time of 4:53.35, making her the ninth-fastest performer in school history. McGee dropped five seconds from her previous record, set at the Kansas Classic in November.
"I'm excited to see how she's going to swim the rest of the week," Friel said.
Claudia Kitching (2:06.37) and Sydney Buckley (2:06.99) each posted a career-best time in the "C" final of the 200 individual medley to take third and fifth, respectively.
"It's always exciting seeing seniors go out with a bang at their last conference championship," Friel said. "They swam next to each other at finals and were pushing one another through the whole race."
After getting disqualified in the final, the 200 free relay team of Thurstin, Morris, Jowita Sienczyk and Emmabeth Jensen clocked a time of 1:33.03, just four-hundredths shy of the group's school record set at last year's conference championship. Thurstin led off the relay with a 22.99, which tied the 50 free school record and earned a NCAA "B" cut.
Junior diver Averie Ruiz qualified for her first-ever "A" final in the three-meter dive, taking eighth with a score of 231.70.
"She now understands the intensity of finals and has the nerves out of the way," diving coach Mark Murdock said. "She's confident in her abilities to have a great prelim tomorrow on one-meter."
Day three of the C-USA Championships begins Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. CT with preliminary heats in the 400 individual medley, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and one-meter dive.
⦁ Thurstin's 50 free time ranks as the second-fastest in program history and Morris' ties Thurstin for sixth-fastest.
⦁ Freshman diver Meghan Miller won the "B" final in the three-meter with a personal-best score of 254.25.
⦁ Jensen (23.60) and Kelsey Opiela (23.92) each posted a season-best time in the "B" final of the 50 free to take fifth and seventh, respectively.