Vaisse Claims Overall Pentathlon Title, Three Individual Titles
Mean Green Swimmers Win Four Of Five Pentathlon Events
DENTON -- The North Texas swimming and diving team opened the weekend with a strong overall performance in its pentathlon meet against Texas-Permian Basin and TCU on Friday afternoon.
Sophomore Sarah Vaisse claimed the overall individual title with a combined time of 4:55.74 in the 100 yard butterfly, 100 yard backstroke, 100 yard breaststroke, 100 yard freestyle and the 100 yard individual medley, claiming the individual titles in each of the last three events.
Freshman Natalia Kwiatkowska was the second-best overall finisher for North Texas, placing seventh overall with a combined time of 5:11.35. Sophomore Claudia Kitching, another talented newcomer to the Mean Green program, joined Vaisse and Kwiatkowska in the top 10, placing ninth overall with a combined time of 5:12.12.
"I was really happy with our performance," head coach Brendon Bray said. "For the returners, we did better as a group than we did this last time last year. We're always trying to improve. The enthusiasm was also better. I told the team that there was three goals.
"One was to be competitive within the races, and I thought we did that. The second was to take events seriously that they may not race again, and I thought everyone gave an honest effort. The third was to be aggressive and set an aggressive tone in each of their swims, and they all did that. This meet set a really good tone for us. This is an exhibition, but it gave us a good chance to see where we are."
The Mean Green placed three in the top five of the 100 yard butterfly, led by freshman Kelsey Opiela with a time of 58.42. Senior Bianca Bocsa finished fourth (59.15), while sophomore Sydney Buckley finished fifth (59.35).
Bocsa claimed the individual title in the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.68, and she was followed by Vaisse and Kwiatkowska, who tied for third place with a time of 59.48. After that third-place finish, Vaisse won her first event of the day in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.13, and she was joined in the top five by Kitching, who finished in third with a time of 1:05.60.
Vaisse (52.41) and sophomore Isabelle Morris (53.10) finished 1-2 in the 100 yard freestyle, and they were joined in the top five by Bocsa, who finished with a time of 53.58. The five-event meet concluded with the 100 yard individual medley, where Vaisse won her third straight event and clinched her overall title with a time of 58.37.
"She's doing great, and she's going to continue to improve," said Bray of Vaisse, the sophomore from Montesquieu-Lauragais, France. "That was just the beginning of where she can end up. She had an especially great start. She's going to continue to improve. Everyone is going to continue to improve from today's meet."
"It's great to have the opportunity to compete at this time of the year and see how fast we are and see how much we have to improve for future meets," Vaisse said. "I enjoyed swimming against TCU and UTPB. I'm really proud of the team. I'm proud of my performance today, but I still have to improve. I'm really excited to see what I can do this season."
The Mean Green return to action Saturday with its annual Green & White intersquad. The divers will compete for the first time this season at 8:30 a.m. in the PEB Building, and the swimming portion of the meet will start at 9 a.m. in the Pohl Recreation Center. Admission is free.