HOUSTON -- The Houston Swimming and Diving Team came out with a bang on the opening day of the Phill Hansel Invitational. With seven NCAA Divison 1 B-Cut times, twelve times that fall in the top-10 of program best, and numerous personal records the Cougars closed out day one with 473.50 points to sit in first-place.
"Many, many lifetime records and one school record," said Head Swimming and Diving Coach Ryan Wochomurka. "I am disappointed we got disqualified on that relay (400-Yard Medley Relay). It is what it is, if the officials say we did it, that's what we did. It would have been a school record. That was a heck of a relay, and I think our B-Relay would have won the event. I'm excited about where we are and excited to see what we've got for tomorrow morning."
Zarena Brown got things started for Houston, posting the second-best time in program history and a personal record in the 500 Freestyle. The sophomore touched the wall at 4:44.13, an NCAA-B-Cut time, to cement a spot in the finals of the event where she finished in second-place with a time of 4:47.99. Reese Lamph finished in fifth-place with a personal record time of 4:51.67, and was followed up by Samantha Medlin in sixth-place with a time of 4:52.25.
Houston continued to shatter personal records when Eleanna Koutsouveli and Laura Laderoute both collected NCAA B-Cut times in the 200 IM. Koutsouveli turned in a time of 2:00.72 for the second-best time in program history and second-place overall to move onto finals. The junior would go on to shatter the previous program record in the same event, posting her second B-Cut time of the day in 1:59.86. Laderoute finished with in 2:01.06 for third overall to move onto finals where she would collect another B-Cut time, finishing in 2:00.76. Peyton Kondis earned her first podium finish of the weekend after finishing third in the 200 IM with a career-best time of 2:00.92. Both Kondis and Laderoute recorded the second and third best times in program history.
Ksenia Yuskova earned her second podium finish of the day after coming within milliseconds of shattering the program record in the 50 Free. The senior finished in 22.86 for a second-place finish and NCAA B-Cut time. Cait Horner would round of the top-eight for Houston in the event with a seventh-place finish. Horner finished in 23.46.
On the diving side, three Houston divers finished in the top-eight in the 1-Meter to move onto finals. Micaela Bouter finished in first-place after racking up 285.15 points. Lauren Burrell finished not far behind in second-place with 263.25 points. Sophomore Claire Liptak would post a sixth-place finish and 221.95 points in the prelims to advance to the finals for the first time this season in the 1-Meter.
Bouter went on to win the 1-Meter with 305 points, followed by Burrell in second-place with 263.45. Liptak rounded out the top-eight for Houston with 233.30 and a sixth-place finish.
The Cougars continued to shine in the relays when Cait Horner Laura Laderoute, Ksenia Yuskova, and Mykenzie Leehy teamed up for a third-place finish in the 200 Freestyle Relay after posting a time of 1:32.07.
The three-day event is named after former Houston Swimming and Diving Coach Phill Hansel who coached at Houston from 1957-96 and is known as the, "Father of Cougar Swimming and Diving". Hansel guided Houston to over 70 dual meet victories and 10 top-20 finishes at the AIAW and NCAA Championships. In his honor, the University of Houston will host the Phill Hansel Invitational every fall.
For all of the latest meet results download the Meet Mobile App, where times and scores will be posted in real time. To find out more information about the Phill Hansel and all of the participating schools visit the Phill Hansel Invitational Meet Page by clicking HERE.
Houston will return to action tomorrow morning for the second day of the Phill Hansel Invitational. Prelims will begin at 10 a.m., followed by finals at 6 p.m. Diving events will begin at noon and will be immediately followed by a consolation final. Finals for the 3-Meter will begin at 6 p.m.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS!
Fans can keep up with the latest in University of Houston Cougar athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HoustonAthletics), Twitter (@UHCougars), Instagram (houstoncougars) and YouTube.com (Youtube.com/UHAthletics). In addition, the swimming & diving team has established its own official Facebook (Facebook.com/UHCougarSwim) and Twitter pages (@UHCougarSwim), which provide regular updates on the team and live results during home meets.