Houston Takes First At Phill Hansel Tournament For First Time Ever

by SwimSwam 0

November 21st, 2016 AAC, College, NCAA Division I Mid-Major

Meet Stats

  • Hosted by Houston
  • November 20,02016
  • Score
    1. Houston 1392.5
    2. Rice 1214
    3. UC-Davis 841

Press Release

Courtesy of Houston Athletics

HOUSTON – Junior Ksenia Yuskova wins the 100-yard freestyle to help the University of Houston Swimming & Diving team win the program’s first team title at the Phill Hansel Invitational Sunday evening at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

After three days of competition, the Cougars won the Phill Hansel Invitational with 1,392.5 points followed by Rice (1,214) and UC-Davis (841) to round out the podium.

“We had a great weekend, and we saw some paradigm shifting performances,” Swimming & Diving Head Coach Ryan Wochomurka said. “To win the meet is a great bonus. Our focus was really on replicating the format and challenge we are going to see at the conference championships, not necessarily the point total, but as long as some is keeping track of that it’s nice to be on top.”

Houston ended the weekend with six event wins – 200-yard IM, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 800-yard freestyle relay, 1- and 3-meter dive. The Cougars also tallied 16 podium finishes. On the boards, Micaela Bouter was the highest scoring Cougar nabbing 92 points for Houston while freshman Laura Laderoute was the top earner in the lanes capturing 104 points.

The Cougars rewrote three program records during the invitational. Freshmen Peyton Kondis and Laderoute and the 400-yard medley relay etched their places in program history. Kondis broke junior Ashley Grijalva’s 100-yard breaststroke record during prelims Saturday morning with a time 1:01.05. While Laderoute set the program’s best time in the 200-yard IM initially in prelims with a time of 2:01.46 and later improved her time during finals touching the wall at 2:00.58.

The 400-yard medley relay team, Eleanna Koutsouveli, Kondis, Sharo Rodriguez and Zarena Brown broke a seven-year record Friday night after nabbing a time of 3:41.44.

Miami (Fla.) transfer Yuskova netted her second individual event win Saturday evening. The Moscow, Russia native, placed first overall in the 100-yard freestyle touching the wall at 50.19, dropping .41 seconds off her prelims time.

On the platform, Bouter grabbed a podium finish to wrap up her impressive weekend. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native finished second overall with a score of 209.95, two points shy of the top spot. Bouter finishes the weekend with wins in both the 1- and 3-meter along with her second place finish in the platform dive.

In the 200-yard backstroke, sophomore Eleanna Koutsouveli rounded out the podium. The Athens, Greece native swam a time of 1:58.02, a NCAA B-cut standard.

Junior Sharo Rodriguez captured a podium finish in the 200-yard butterfly. The Queretaro, Mexico native, touched the wall at 2:01.55, dropping .77 seconds off her prelim time to finish second overall.

In the final event of the evening, the 400-yard freestyle relay team finished the Cougars grabbed another podium finish. The team of Brown, Yuskova, Julie Gibson and Laderoute swam a time of 3:22.71 to finish second.

“I’m very proud we got to send our seniors out with such a great last home meet performance,” Wochomuka said. “I am personally very grateful for their buy in, eagerness, and leadership they have shown our coaching staff for the last two years. This is a very special group.”

This weekend’s meet is named in honor of former University of Houston Swimming & Diving Head Coach Phill Hansel. Hansel, considered the Father of Cougar Swimming & Diving, led the Cougars from 1975 to 1996, racking up 70 dual-meet victories, a school record that still stands. He helped UH finish in the Top-20 ten times at the AIAW and NCAA Championships.

Hansel, a 1949 graduate of Purdue, was named the Southwest Conference Coach of the Year three times during his tenure, and mentored 31 swimmers to All-America honors, including Diane Johannigman, the first NCAA swimming national champion in UH history.

Hansel also had an impressive resume at the international level, serving as the manager of the 1992 U.S. Olympics teams and working with the Singapore teams at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.

The Cougars will send a select group of swimmers to the AT&T Winter Nationals, Dec. 1-3 in Atlanta, Ga.

Houston will host the American Athletic Conference Championships for the second consecutive year as the best swimmers and divers in the league visit the CRWC from Feb. 15-18, 2017. Following the conference meet, the Cougars will look to close the season at the NCAA Championships, to be held March 15-18, 2017 in Indianapolis, Ind.

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/HoustonCougarSwimmingDiving) and Twitter pages (@UHCougarSwim), which provide regular updates on the team and live results during home meets.

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