Ebeling, Hopkins, Nelson & Smith Win Two Events Each
Houston, TX -- With Cougar head coach Ginger Hurley still sidelined after undergoing an emergency appendectomy earlier in the week and with four seniors making their final competitive home appearance, the University of Houston swimming & diving team had more than enough motivation for its meet against Louisiana-Monroe Saturday afternoon (Jan. 20) at the UH Natatorium.
With the added incentives Houston coasted to a 170-114 victory over visiting ULM by winning 12 of the meets' 16 events. Four Cougars, including the junior tandem of Elissa Nelson and Stacey Ebeling, sophomore Falon Hopkins and freshman diver Veronica Smith each won two events as the team posted its largest margin of victory this season. Hopkins and Ebeling paced the Cougars in the sprints while Nelson captured both distance races. Smith swept both the one- and three-meter springboard diving events.
After winning the grueling 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:28.88, Nelson came back and claimed the 500-free (5:17.52). It was also her second consecutive win in the 500 in less than 24 hours after taking the event at Texas A&M the night before.
Hopkins won the 100-yard butterfly (58.21) and displayed some versatility by posting UH's best time of the season for a victory in the 100-backstroke (1:00.03). The standout from Lamar High School in Houston then capped the day by swimming the final leg of the Cougars' 200-freestyle relay.
Ebeling likewise set a new team-best for the season with her 1:06.62 win in the 100-yard breaststroke. She then defeated Louisiana-Monroe's Abby Gregalis in the 200-individual medley by two one-hundredths-of-a-second in the meet's closest race of the day.
Smith looked polished sweeping both diving events. Though only a true freshman, it is the second time for the Cougars' lone diver on the current roster to win both springboard events in the same meet.
The Houston seniors meanwhile were more than just recognized before their final home meet. Yelena Matovic and Cindy Wolf both recorded season-bests to win the 100-freestyle (54.25) and 50-freestyle (25.66), respectively.
The Cougars will next be in action in a dual meet
against state rival TCU in Fort Worth on Friday,
January 26. UH will then face SMU on the road in
Dallas the next day.