Cougars Beat Rice and Florida International at Phill Hansel Dual Meet

    Sophomore Kim Eeson
    Sophomore Kim Eeson
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    HOUSTON -- The University of Houston swimming and diving team opened up the season with victories over Rice and Florida International in the Phil Hansel Dual Meet on Friday night at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatroium. Houston defeated Rice 119-93 and topped Florida International by a score of 162-56. This is the second year that Houston has swept the competition at this event. The Cougars won eight of the twelve events and two personal records fell on their way to victory.

    "I'm very excited about how we were able to perform in this competition," head coach Mark Taylor said. "We were able to swim some very good times for such an early meet. We are thrilled to have those types of scores against our rival Rice and also against Florida International."

    "Our upperclassmen really stepped up to show our freshman what it's like to be at this level. And then the freshman turned around and stepped up. So we were very thrilled with the results."

    The Cougars won the opening event in the 200-yard medley relay. Senior Jessica Shamburger, freshman Reva Kovacs, junior Andrea Kells and freshman Christine Salinas earned 11 points with their first place finish of 1:47.87. Salinas and freshman Kimmy Ballo finished in fourth and fifth place in the 100-yard freestyle with times of 54.83 and 56.03, respectively. Sophomore Haley Weathers placed eleventh with a time of 59.54 and freshman Catherine Finley finished in 12thplace with her time of 1:04.03.

    Sophomore Kim Eeson took home first place in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:01.76. Close behind her were sophomore teammates Beccy Hillis and Natalie Newcomb who finished in third and fourth place with times of 5:11.05 and 5:12.24. Newcomb established a personal record in the event. Sophomore Rachel Holcomb placed 11th with a time of 5:36.17.

    Senior Anastasia Pozdniakova continued her winning ways by taking first place in the 3-meter diving event with a score of 361.21. Sophomore Jessalyn Almond earned second place with a 271.83 score.

    Eeson won her second event of the night when she finished in first place in the 200-yard freestyle with a 1:52.77 time. Olga Bordatcheva took home fifth place in 1:58.90 while Rachel Holcomb placed ninth in 2:05.01.

    Shamburger picked up her first victory of the year in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 56.65. Teammates Kovacs and Ballo weren't far behind with finishes in fourth and fifth place in 59.45 and 1:00.92.

    Hillis won the 100-yard breaststroke event in a time of 1:05.45 for her first victory of the year. Freshman Holli Pisarski earned her first points of her career with a third place finish in 1:08.84. Olga Bordatcheva took home seventh place with a 1:10.64 time, while Finley finished in eleventh place with a 1:17.36 time.

    Pozdniakova and Almond again swept the diving event, this time in the 1-meter competition. Pozdniakova scored 362.11, while Almond garnered 269.93 points. Andrea Kells earned a first place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.14, only 0.2 seconds behind her personal best. Eeson placed third in 57.80, while Newcomb took home sixth place in 1:00.64.

    In the 50-yard freestyle event, Salinas placed third with her time of 25.50. Pisarski and Haley Weathers finished in sixth and ninth place with their times of 26.37 and 27.45.

    Kovacs clocked in at 2:08.71 to place second in the 200-yard IM. Hillis took third place in 2:10.05 and Newcomb set a personal record with her time of 2:11.62 and finished in fifth place.

    The competition concluded with Houston taking second and seventh place in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The "A" team consisted of Shamburger, Kells, Ballo and Pisarski finished in 1:40.79 while the "B" team of Holcomb, Bordatcheva, Finley and Weathers finished in 1:50.35.

    The Cougars return to the pool tomorrow to conclude the Phill Hansel Duals at 11 a.m.



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