Cougars Finish Day One of C-USA Championships in Third After Thrilling Relay
Feb. 23, 2011
HOUSTON - The University of Houston swimming and diving team kicked off the opening night of the Conference USA Swimming and Diving Championships in third place at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC) Wednesday evening.
Houston edged crosstown rival Rice in an exciting 800-yard freestyle relay to take second place behind No. 23 SMU. Sophomore Reka Kovacs, freshman Laykin Lowry, sophomore Moira Fraser and junior Kim Eeson teamed up to post the Cougars' season-best time of 7:23.32.
Kovacs moved into the program's top-10 all-time performers with her 200-yard freestyle split time of 1:51.20. As the final leg of the race, Eeson sprinted past Rice's Stephanie Wei to clinch second-place by one-tenth of a second and execute the second-best time in program history.
"I'm not surprised at all; I'm extremely satisfied," head coach Mark Taylor said. "I knew we could swim this well tonight. The girls believe it, too, and if you believe it you can achieve it."
The Cougars kicked off the 2011 C-USA Championships with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Freshman Marissa Blumenthal swam a personal-best time in her 50-yard split (26.86) to kickoff the event and help the Cougars to its third-fastest time in program history (1:43.72).
"Our energy and enthusiasm as a whole team was incredible tonight," Taylor said. "Even our girls who weren't swimming in tonight's events were excited, loud and very much behind their teammates. As the times came in, I know they were getting excited about the opportunities that they will have when they swim. That type of enthusiasm snowballs, and it snowballs in a positive direction."
Thursday's action will begin with the 500-yard freestyle. Eeson leads the Cougars in the event this season as she swam an NCAA `B' time (4:50.44) in the event this fall. The divers will start their competition with the 3-meter prelims at 1 p.m. Senior All-American Lacey Truelove enters the event as the conference's leading scorer in the 3-meter (366.45).
Thursday's preliminary sessions will begin at 10 a.m., while finals are set for 6 p.m.