VIDEO: Swimming & Diving To Open Season Friday In Pentathlon Exhibition
Event Will Be The First Look At The Team's Unusual Incoming Class
DENTON -- The North Texas swimming and diving team opens the 2014-15 season in an exhibition matchup against Texas Christian University and the University of Texas-Permian Basin in a pentathlon on Friday at 4 p.m. in the Pohl Recreation Center.
The event will be the first opportunity for fans to get a look at this year's squad, a group that features 10 newcomers with experience at every level. The unusually large incoming class accounts for one-third of the team's total roster.
"When there's 10 new people in the pool there's a higher level of competition," coach Brendon Bray said. "Everybody has to challenge each other for spots and earn respect in practice because there's a lot up for grabs."
American freshmen Lauren Tidwell, Cecilia Hernandez, Allison Crites, Sydney Buckley, Caroline Culpepper and Deneen Carter bring experience at the state and club championship levels. Meanwhile, sophomore Marisa Pulaski, a transfer from the University of Buffalo, posted a time in the 200 breaststroke to qualify for the long-course and short-course nationals.
Of the international newcomers, Barbara Wasilewska of Poland had a number of top finishes at the Polish Nationals, including a time in the 1500 freestyle that ranked her 16th in the world in 2013. Also in this group is Isabelle Morris of Canada and Annamaria Zombai of Hungary, each having competed at the national level in their countries.
Entering his second season at the helm, Bray believes that the added talent will help build on the team's fifth-place finish in last year's Conference USA Championships.
"Once everyone gets settled in I think we're going to be off to a great start," Bray said. "I have big expectations for our new athletes and our returning swimmers as well."
This is the second-consecutive year that North Texas will open their season with the pentathlon exhibition. In last year's match, the Mean Green handled TCU, claiming victories in four out of five events as Krista Rossum was the women's pentathlon champion and Mona Groteguth finished third in total points.