Cougars Take Third at Phill Hansel Invite
Nov. 23, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston swimming and diving program finished in third place as host of the Phill Hansel Invite at the Campus Recreation over the weekend. Rice took home the top spot followed by Idaho, Houston, New Mexico State, Tulane and North Texas.
Freshman Taylor Olanski picked up her second win of the weekend and third of her young career taking top marks in the platform event. Olanski scored 279.80 on her first collegiate tower competition while sophomore Danielle Shedd came in fourth at the event (184.00).
“It was very successful competition for us for a number of reasons,” said head diving coach Jane Figueiredo. “We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries this season and this was the first time we’ve all been healthy so that was an accomplishment. Secondly, we needed to compete and this was a good field of divers. We need to keep challenging ourselves and never settle, this is an amazing group of divers and I’m so excited to see what they can accomplish this year if they keep at it.”
Personal best times and school records were assaulted by the Houston swimmers as the Cougars turned in a strong performance over the three-day meet.
“We had an outstanding effort from top to bottom,” said head swimming coach Rich Murphy. “We had young and inexperienced swimmers really step up and swim their tails off for us. Some of the seniors surprised even themselves with where they’re at in terms of the season and they are excited about what the next few months of training will bring. This was a good barometer for us and we leave this weekend optimistic, excited and eager.”
In the 200 fly, two Cougars established themselves on the UH Top 10 boards with a pair of personal best times. Senior Laykin Lowry finished third (2:01.45*) in the race to move up to the third fastest time in in program history with her third PR of the meet. Sophomore Mackenzie Alspaugh finished fourth (2:02.55*) and moved into seventh all-time.
Swimming for a split time in the 1,000-yard free and to conserve energy later in the meet, Winn clocked in at 10:01.97 during the mile free and set another new personal best. The time was just two seconds shy of the 30-year record held by Debbie Caldwell (9:59.73) and ranks second in Cougar history.
The strategy for conserving Winn paid off again as she joined with Morrell, Maya Owens and Lindsay Schultz to take third in the 400 free relay with second-fastest time in school history (3:24.99) to close out the meet in third place in the race and overall team standings.