Mean Green Reach Podium On Day Three Of C-USA Championship
400 Medley Relay Team Takes Third
ATLANTA – On day three of the Conference USA Championship, the North Texas swimming and diving team earned its first podium finish as the A relay took third in the 400 medley relay final on Friday at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
The team of Jowita Sienczyk, Claudia Kitching, Brittany Thurstin and Isabelle Morris clocked a time of 3:42.19, the fourth-fastest in the event in school history.
"Each girl on that relay went for it and raced well," assistant coach Rachel Friel said. "Isabelle did a great job anchoring. Ending the night with swims like that is going to give our team the extra boost going into the last day."
The third day of competition was another successful one for the Mean Green with 17 season-best times and seven personal-best times set across six individual events. UNT qualified six swimmers for the finals in the 100 fly who each posted either a season-best or personal-best time. Thurstin (55.16) and Sydney Buckley (55.54) took fifth and seventh, respectively, in the “A” final.
"We have a really talented group of butterfliers and that showed tonight," Friel said. "They got up and raced well tonight."
The Mean Green placed four swimmers in the finals of the 200 free who each also posted a season-best or personal-best time, highlighted by Leigh Faires McGee’s career-best time of 1:48.24, the third-fastest time in program history.
"Leigh Faires has had a phenomenal meet so far," Friel said. "We're proud of the work she's put in and she no doubt has a ton of potential for the next three years. She's such a positive leader on our team as a freshman and has been a fun athlete to coach."
After qualifying for her first-ever championship final on Thursday, junior Averie Ruiz followed it up with another championship final appearance in the one-meter dive, taking sixth with a score of 239.50.
"She had a few nerves midway through her list but handled it well by performing an amazing last dive that pulled her into sixth," diving coach Mark Murdock said. "She's done a great job so far this week."
Senior Claudia Kitching took sixth in the championship final of the 100 breast with a season-best time of 1:02.00, which ranks as the eighth-fastest performance in school history.
Sophomore Lindsey Blanchard posted a pair of personal-best times in the 400 individual medley (4:32.33) and 100 back (57.77).
The final day of the C-USA Championships begins Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. CT with preliminary heats in the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform dive and 1650 free.
- The third-place finish in the 400 medley relay was the first podium finish for the Mean Green in this year’s conference championship.
- Thurstin and Buckley became the fifth- and eighth-fastest performers in school history in the 100 fly.
- North Texas divers took three of the first four spots in the “B” final of the one-meter dive as Megan Miller (241.20) took first and Ceci Hernandez (219.65) and Allison Crites (208.20) took third and fourth, respectively.