Houston Swimming and Diving Earns Win over SMU

SMU v Houston, Nov 2 2013

The University of Houston swimming and diving program earned a 158-141 dual meet victory over SMU on Saturday to improve their record to 2-0 on the season. Five individuals earned victories in their events to help lead Cougars over the Mustangs for the first time in a dual meet setting since Feb. 8, 1986.

“I can’t even begin to describe how I feel today,” said head diving coach Jane Figueiredo. “For our program, this is unbelievable. A win like today really shows a whole lot to where this program is going.”

The Houston divers dominated the boards scoring 32 points and sweeping the top-three places in both the 1M and 3M events. Veteran Natasha Burgess placed first in the 1M (291.60) followed by Taylor Olanski (269.63) and Danielle Shedd (262.27). Olanski, the freshman, led the UH diving trio in the 3M with a 312.38 score followed by Shedd (303.75) and Burgess (300.08).

“Our expectations are very high and that probably comes from me since I ask a lot from them,” said Figueiredo. “We’ve been plagued by injuries the last six weeks and really started to get going this week. They really did an awesome job..”

Over in the swimming pool, Houston turned in another solid all-around effort led by the Cougars seniors.

“I’m really proud of our effort,” said head swimming coach Rich Murphy.  “These meets are important as a reflection of our training and our confidence. We’ve got a lot of people who are making improvements and the energy that they have for each other really is contagious. That spirit, care and commitment to one another really helps us in the second half of meets like today. 

“The seniors continue to perform well. I think that they are growing into their role within the team and they are in a position based on their experience to really set the tone as well as let their experience shine through as far as racing and preparation goes. They’re acting as really good role models for our swimmers.”

Senior Lizzie Justice placed first in the 1,000 free (10:29.61) in the second race of the day to help set the tone for the day. Justice was followed by Mackenzie Alspaugh (10:41.65), Leah Ortiz (10:52.79) and Rachel Hobbins (10:55.39) as Houston took the top four spots in the event.

Senior Laykin Lowry earned a win in the 200 fly (2:06.57) followed by classmate Justice (2:09.21) and sophomore Mackenzie Alspaugh (2:10.06) for a 1-2-3 showing.

Sophomore Maya Owens (58.19) and Holly Criscuolo (58.51) took first and second in the 100 fly during the third to last event of the day to give the Cougars their cushion they needed to coast to the victory.

Heather Winn earned a pair of runner up finishes in the 100 (52.51) and 200 (1:51.84) free.

UP NEXT: Houston hosts the Phill Hansel Invite Nov. 21-23 at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center Natatorium.


1. Houston     158

2. SMU 141


1. Natasha Burgess   291.60

2. Taylor Olanski       269.63

3. Danielle Shedd      262.27


1. Taylor Olanski       312.38

2. Danielle Shedd      303.75

3. Natasha Burgess   300.08

200 Medley Relay

2. Houston     1:46.89

Taylor Gregory, Cameron Balkom, Michelle Detka, Maggie McCord

3. Houston     1:49.35

Taylor Derevyanik, Marissa Lehman, Holly Criscuolo, Krystan Morrell

4. Houston     1:52.22

Jasmine Williams, Samantha Young, Laykin Lowry, Lindsay Schultz

1,000 Free

1. Lizzie Justice          10:29.61

2. Mackenzie Alspaugh         10:41.65

3. Leah Ortiz  10:52.79

4. Rachel Hobbins     10:55.39

200 Free

2. Heather Winn        1:51.84

4. Maya Owens          1:55.84

5. Lindsay Schultz     1:56.65

6. Laykin Lowry        1:57.21

100 Back

2. Taylor Derevyanik            58.05

4. Taylor Gregory     58.44

6. Doroteja Bednjanec          1:01.21

7. Jasmine Williams   1:02.09

100 Breast

2. Cameron Balkom  1:08.36

3. Marissa Lehman    1:09.59

5. Samantha Young   1:10.84

6. Rachel Hobbins     1:11.89

200 Fly

1. Laykin Lowry        2:06.57

2. Lizzie Justice          2:09.21

3. Mackenzie Alspaugh         2:10.06

5. Holly Criscuolo      2:21.13

50 Free

2. Maggie McCord     23.97

3. Krystan Morrell     24.14

6. Maya Owens          24.70

7. Michaela Hamrick 25.48

100 Free

2. Heather Winn        52.51

3. Krystan Morrell     52.60

4. Lindsay Schultz     53.00

6. Maggie McCord     53.60

200 Back

3. Taylor Derevyanik            2:09.14*

4. Jasmine Williams   2:13.22

5. Doroteja Bednjanec          2:15.69

6. Mackenzie Alspaugh         2:17.10

200 Breast

2. Cameron Balkom  2:28.40

3. Marissa Lehman    2:29.12

4. Samantha Young   2:29.65

6. Rachel Hobbins     2:38.09

500 Free

2. Heather Winn        5:03.71

3. Lizzie Justice          5:09.41

4. Michaela Hamrick 5:13.51

7. Leah Ortiz  5:20.92

100 Fly

1. Maya Owens          58.19

2. Holly Criscuolo      58.51

4. Michelle Detka       59.34

6. Taylor Gregory     1:00.08

200 IM

3. Taylor Derevyanik            2:11.38

4. Samantha Young   2:12.40

5. Laykin Lowry        2:13.37*

7. Marissa Lehman    2:19.06

200 Free Relay

2. Houston     1:36.62

Maggie McCord, Maya Owens, Heather Winn, Krystan Morrell

3. Houston     1:37.61

Lindsay Shultz, Michaela Hamrick, Doroteja Bednjanec, Taylor Gregory

5. Houston     1:41.00

Holly Criscuolo, Mackenzie Alspaugh, Michelle Detka, Jasmine Williams

This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of Houston Cougar Swimming and Diving.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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