Courtesy: Houston Athletics
HOUSTON – The University of Houston Swimming & Diving team will return to action after a four-week hiatus and host 11 teams for the Phill Hansel Invitational Nov. 16-18 at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Prelims will begin at 10 a.m. on each day and will be followed by finals starting at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Finals will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- The Cougars will host 11 teams from across the country in a championship-style meet, spanning three days.
- Houston has won the last two Phill Hansel Invitationals and posted a program-best 1,749.50 points at last season’s invite.
- So far this season the Cougars have won three American weekly awards (Katie Deininger, Zarena Brown, Haley Benjamin) and posted six wins in dual-meet action.
- Freshman Haley Benjamin has been a great addition to the Houston swimming personnel, with multiple first-place finishes in the 500 Freestyle and the 1000 Freestyle.
- The last time Houston competed Laura Laderoute posted a pair of podium finishes in each of the backstroke events, winning the 100 Backstroke (56.62) and finishing third in the 200 Backstroke (2:04.80).
- Zarena Brown has continued to be a force for the Cougars in the 100 Freestyle and the 200 Freestyle, winning the 200 Freestyle event three times this season.
- Gaby Jimenez has had a strong season for the Cougars thus far, posting podium finishes in both the 100 and 200 Breaststroke at each meet this season.
- Cougar senior Eleanna Koutsouveli returns to the Phill Hansel Invitational for her final season at Houston after scoring a meet-high 112 at the 2017 Phill Hansel Invitational.
- The Cougars are in their fourth season under Head Coach Ryan Wochomurka and are on the hunt for their third consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship.
SCOPING OUT THE FIELD
- Houston will host teams from the Mountain West, Southland, WAC, The American, SEC, and the Pac-12.
- This is the first trip to Houston for Washington State, the Cougars faced Air Force, Tulane, Incarnate Word, North Texas (Divers) and Rice earlier this season.
- 11 of the 12 teams competing this weekend sent either swimmers or divers to the 2018 NCAA Championships, Nevada scored 33 points at the meet.
WHO IS PHILL HANSEL
From 1975-1996, Hansel was the most influential man for the University of Houston swimming and diving team. He guided the Cougars to more than 70 dual meet victories and ten Top 20 finishes at the AIAW and NCAA Championships. All of that hard work paid off, as Phill Hansel was inducted into the Hall of Honor on Nov. 14, 2008. In 1996, Hansel finished out the season with over 39 years of coaching experience and was recognized as one of the most successful collegiate swim coaches in the nation.
In his honor, the University of Houston will host the Phill Hansel Invitational every fall. The event will take place this season from Nov. 16-18 at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium.
WHERE TO WATCH
Meet information including teams, event schedule, parking, and meet results can be found by clicking HERE.
Houston will return to action after the New Year when it travels to Fayetteville, Ark. for a meeting with the Arkansas Razorbacks on Jan. 19.