Oct. 6, 2010
HOUSTON - The University of Houston swimming and diving team held its annual Red and White Meet on Wednesday afternoon at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
After starting practice last month, the exhibition meet gave the Cougars the opportunity to race in a competition-like environment, an experience most beneficial to the eight Cougar freshmen.
"That's one of the main reasons we have competitions like this and like the scrimmage we'll have at Rice next week," head coach Mark Taylor said. "They (freshmen) have been in different competitions and meets, but not in college. The pace is so much faster, and we set it up to run very quickly at this meet to make sure they get comfortable with it."
Junior Kim Eeson set the pace on Wednesday, winning three of the five exhibition events. Fellow junior Beccy Hillis nabbed a victory in the 100-yard breaststroke while sophomore Reka Kovacs took the 200-yard IM.
"That was unexpected and a pleasant surprise," Taylor said of Eeson's shining performance. "A lot of them swam very well for this time of year. We're just getting started and aren't in the meat of our season yet and they still did very well. All in all, I'm very satisfied with how today went."
The 100-yard freestyle kicked off the afternoon as Eeson claimed the close race with a time of 57.55. Senior Andrea Kells earned her highest finish of the day in the event, posting a time of 58.15. Kovacs stayed close behind with a time of 59.09 to round out the top three.
In the next event, Eeson led the pack again when she swam the 100-yard backstroke in 1:00.70. Freshman Marissa Blumenthal pushed hard to get the win from her teammate, but took barely took second with a time of 1:00.88. Kovacs came in third with 1:01.30.
Hillis jumped in to take the next event in her specialty stroke. The sophomore won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.16. Kovacs was on her tail with a time of 1:06.68 and sophomore Holli Pisarski notched the third-place finish (1:09.13).
Eeson was at it again in the 100-yard freestyle, winning by nearly three seconds. Sophomore Moira Fraser took second with a time of 54.05 and Kovacs followed her up in third (54.93).
In the last swimming event of the day, Kovacs posted the largest-margin victory when she bolted out to win the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:07.12. Eeson was in the mix again, placing second with a 2:12.44 time. Hillis rounded out the top three with her 2:13.31.
The divers used the Red and White Meet as an intense practice, scoring the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions.
"We have added a few new hurdles that has us not quite competition ready," head coach Jane Figueiredo said. "But we are working really hard everyday so I know that we will be ready by the start of the season."
The Cougars will scrimmage against Rice on Oct. 15 as they further prepare to officially open the season on Oct. 22 at SMU.