DENTON, Texas (10/3/07) The University of North Texas swimming team opened its regular season with a second place finish at the Mean Green Relays Wednesday afternoon.
The Mean Green finished the relay-only meet with 98 points. Southern Methodist University, ranked No. 12 in the nation, took the team title finishing first in all 10 events. TCU finished third with 82 total points. Despite not counting toward their dual-meet record, the victory over the Horned Frogs was the first for the Mean Green in the program’s ten year history.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of our girls right now,” said North Texas head swimming and diving coach Joe Dykstra. “Finishing ahead of TCU means a lot in terms of how much we’ve improved as a whole. This is the best I’ve seen since I’ve been here as far as us going into a meet and being competitive.”
After finishing third in the 300 butterfly relay to open up the meet, North Texas finished second in the next nine events. On two separate occasions, Nicole Leslie narrowly missed setting a school record in the 50 free. Leslie, who set the record last season as a freshman, was just six and nine hundredths of a second off doing it again.
Leslie teamed with Morgan Morrow, Amanda Neal and Bonnie Garcia-Meitin to take second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Their time of 1:38.44 was a second-and-a-half off the school record set last season at the Sun Belt Conference Championships in which that relay team finished third.
In the lead-leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay, Alicia Hale posted the third-fastest time in school history in the 200 yard free with a time of 1:53.38. Hale owns four of the top five times in Mean Green history.
“We’re all very excited on how we’ve started off the season, but we have set the expectation so high,” Dykstra said. “We’ve tasted success and now we want more.”
North Texas will be back in the pool Thursday, Oct. 11, at Springfield, Mo. The Mean Green will take on Missouri State in its first dual-meet of the season.