Houston vs North Texas
- Friday & Saturday, November 20th-21st, 2020
- Campus Recreation & Wellness Center, Houston, TX
- Short Course Yards (SCY)
**Meet was unscored**
Houston faced off against in-state opponent North Texas in an unscored dual meet this weekend. The meet took place over 2 days, with 20 events in all. Houston won all 20 of the events, and would have won the meet handily had it been scored.
Houston senior Mykenzie Leehy was a force for the Cougars, sweeping the sprint free events. Leehy kicked off her individual races with a 23.06 in the 50 free. The time comes in a little off her personal best of 22.42. She went on to take the 200 free by a huge margin, touching in 1:45.33, which is less than half a second off her best time of 1:44.90. Leehy’s time currently stands as the #5 time in the NCAA this year (as of the time this was posted). She also went on to swim a 49.19 to win the 100 free.
The Cougars put up some fast relay times this weekend as well. In the 400 medley relay, Ionna Sacha led Houston off in 54.21, with Audrey McKinnon splitting 1:02.21 on breast, Katie Higgins 53.73 on fly, and Leehy 48.75 on free, for a 3:38.90. In the 200 medley relay, Ionna Sacha was swapped out for backstroke with Katie Power, who led the squad off in 25.78. McKinnon split 29.31, Higgins posted a 23.89 fly split, and Leehy anchored in 22.69 for a 1:41.67.
In the 200 free relay, Katie Power led Hosuton off in 23.13, Leehy was next in 22.50, Rachel Hicks went 3rd in 23.25, and freshman Courtney Harris anchored in 23.66. The Cougars were 1:32.54 in that relay. In the final event of the meet, Leehy led the 400 free relay off in 49.29, and was followed by Katie Power (49.57), freshman Cassie Stegner (51.68), and Courtney Harris (52.42) for a 3:22.96.
Ionna Sacha, another Houston senior, had a big meet for the Cougars as well, taking 3 events. Sacha kicked off her meet with a decisive victory in the 200 IM, touching in 1:59.79. Sacha got off to a speedy start, splitting 26.30 on fly and 28.82 on back, for a 55.12 on the first 100. She then split 34.86 on breaststroke, and brought it home in 29.81 for a 1:59.71. Sacha also swept the backstroke events, clocking a 54.61 in the 100 back to touch the wall first by 2 seconds. She went on to win the 200 back with a 1:55.11, while teammate Kaley Hoffman was 2nd with a 1:59.49.
In addition to helping the Cougar medley relays, sophomore Audrey McKinnon swept the breaststroke events. McKinnon came out on top in a tight race with North Texas’ Brooke Beddingfield in the 100 breast. McKinnon got out to a very slight lead in the race, splitting 30.28 to Beddingfield’s 30.35 on the first 50. McKinnon also narrowly out-split Beddingfield on the back half of the race, 33.30 to 33.38, resulting in a 1:03.58 for McKinnon, and 1:03.73 for Beddingfield. North Texas’ Jenny Holwell was right there as well, taking the race out in 30.33, and coming home in 33.71 for a 1:04.04. The race was much less close in the 200 breast, with McKinnon establishing an early lead and finishing in 2:14.72, with Beddingfield at 2:17.68.
Houston senior Katie Higgins posted a 53.68 in the 100 fly, winning the race by over a second. Freshman Abby Jackson was 2nd in the 100 fly, clocking a 54.82. The roles were reversed in the 200 fly, with Jackson swimming a 1:59.83, while Higgins was 2nd with a 2:00.58.
Houston freshman Laura Garcia Marin handled the longer events for the Cougars, taking the 400 IM, 500 free and 1650 free. In the 400 IM, Garcia was the only swimmer in the field to break 4:20, touching in 4:17.85. She swam a consistent race, splitting 57.91 on fly, 1:05.01 on back, 1:15.40 on breast, and 59.53 on free. She went on to win a tight race in the 1650 with teammate Sam Medlin, finishing in 16:53.63 to Medlin’s 16:54.52. Medlin had built up a significant lead at the 1000 mark, flipping in 10:10.57 to Garcia’s 10:15.23. Garcia brought it home faster than Medlin, and put the final nail in the coffin with a 27.98 on the final 50, compared with a 29.67 for Medlin. Garcia took the 500 free with a 4:49.80.
Katie Deininger won both diving events with a score of 281.32 in 1 meter, and 322.95 in 3 meter.
PRESS RELEASE – HOUSTON:
HOUSTON – The University of Houston Swimming & Diving program outlasted North Texas in two days of meet action at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.
The Cougars won all 20 events, sweeping the diving events and relays
“We are extremely encouraged by what we saw this weekend with all things considered over the last eight months,” said Head Coach Ryan Wochomurka. “We’ve asked a lot of our student-athletes. To do things in a way that we’ve never done, in circumstances that we’ve never had to face. We’ve responded and I think that’s beginning to show in our performances this weekend. I think we are in a good position at only six or seven weeks into the season. I am excited to build upon this as we head into the second semester and championship season. I am thankful for the entirety of our coaching staff, strength and conditioning staff, the pool staff and senior leadership team that has put the pieces together to allow us to race this weekend. I am excited for what is next.”
Houston opened the final day of action by taking four of the top five spots in the 1650 Freestyle. Freshman Laura Garcia Marin won the event with a time of 16:53.63, followed by Samantha Medlin (16:54.52), Shayla Erickson (17:06.60) and Elizabeth Richardson (17.08.88).
The 200 Backstroke was highlighted by a Division I B-Cut performance from Ioanna Sacha who won the event with a time of 1:55.11, Kaley Hoffman placed second at 1:59.49, followed by Garcia Marin at 2:02.18.
Audrey McKinnon added her name to the record books with the seventh-fastest time in program history in the 200 Breaststroke. She clocked a time of 2:14.72, trailed by Sophie Anderson (2:18.79) in third-place and Hanna Esopenko in fourth-place at 2:21.76.
Another freshman made an impact when Abby Jackson swam the eighth-fastest time in UH history in the 200 Butterfly to take first-place at 1:59.83. She was followed by Katie Higgins in second-place at 2:00.58 and Chrysten Pacheco in third-place at 2:01.67.
In the final swimming event of the meet Leehy, Power, Stegner and Harris combined for a time of 3:22.96 in the 400 Freestyle Relay to help UH sweep the relay events.
On the boards, freshman Hedda Grelz lead the charge with a top finish in the Platform. Grelz finished with 211.95 points, followed by Katie Deininger with 197.92 points, Jolie Blodgett (187.50) and Emilia Waters (174.60).
Houston will return to action Dec. 11-12 against Rice.
PRESS RELEASE – NORTH TEXAS:
HOUSTON – The North Texas swimming and diving team wrapped up their first official meet of the 2020-2021 season with a strong showing on Saturday in Houston. While no score was kept between the Mean Green and host Houston Cougars, North Texas swimmers and divers posted strong times and scores during Saturday morning’s action.
To start of action on Saturday, junior Jordan Gorham set a new personal best in the mile swim with a time of 17:13.59. Freshman Diana Kolb followed Gorham’s performance with a 2:03.24 time in the 200 back, the Lufkin native’s time marked the second-fastest by a Mean Green swimmer since the 2019-2020 season.
Senior Leigh Faires McGee continued to have a great opening weekend with a third place finish in the 100 free with a time of 51.15, she was followed by sophomore London Farris who posted the second-fastest time of her career with a mark of 51.48. Junior Brooke Beddingfield posted the second personal best of the opening weekend in the 200 breast with a time of 2:17.68 while freshman Tram Nguyen continued her impressive opening weekend with a 2:03.66 in the 200 fly.
Senior Meghan Miller led the way for the Mean Green in the platform diving event with a score of 175.12 and the Mean Green would close out the weekend with a second-place finish in the 400 free relay. The team of McGee, Farris, Cierra Scully and Allison Scott would clock a 3:28.24 to close out competition.
The second of two sessions on Friday began with Gorham taking second-place in the 400 IM with a time of 4:31.00. She was followed closely by Kolb and Tram Nguyen who finished fourth and fifth respectively with times of 4:31.07 and 4:33.55. Nguyen continued here great night with a second-place finish in the 100 fly with a time of 55.95, a faster time than any Mean Green swimmer recorded in the 2019-2020 season. Sophomore Cierra Scully (56.77) and senior Micayla Morgan (57.51) both notched personal best times in the event.
Senior Leigh Faires McGee led the way for the Mean Green in the 200 free with a time of 1:49.42 which was good enough for a second-place finish, sophomore London Farris finished third with a time of 1:52.04. North Texas had another pair of top-three finishes in the 100 breast when junior Brooke Beddingfield and sophomore Jenny Holwell notched personal best times of 1:03.73 and 1:04.04 respectively to finish second and third. Senior Ula Michalczyk was close behind the two with a fourth-place finish in a time of 1:05.43.
Freshmen continued their incredible day with a pair of top-five finishes in the 100 back, Kolb (56.34) led the way with a second-place finish while Madeleine Nguyen (58.71) placed fourth. Sophomore Allison Scott was close behind in fifth with a time of 58.91. Senior Meghan Miller led the way for the Mean Green in the one-meter diving event with a score of 258.75, while junior Altaira Wallquist (214.72) and sophomores Makaia Goemans (211.42) and Olivia Dollar (189.52) finished fourth-sixth.
The evening’s session finished with a second-fifth place finish for the Mean Green in the 200-medley relay. North Texas’ B relay, consisting of Nguyen, Beddingfield, Morgan and McGee led the way with a time of 1:45.48. The Mean Green’s A relay consisting of Kolb, Holwell, Nguyen and Farris placed second with a time of 1:45.82.
Friday’s morning session featured the 200-free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 400-medley relay and three-meter diving. Four North Texas teams competed in the 200 free relay to open the morning, the Mean Green were able to claim third through sixth place in the opening event. The A relay which consisted of McGee, Farris, Scully and June Harris led the Mean Green with a time of 1:36.16
McGee then led the Mean Green in the 500 free and 50 free, notching a fifth-place individual finish in both events with a time of 4:58.81 in the 500 and a time of 23.90 in the 50. Nguyen clocked the lowest time for the Mean Green in the 200 IM, the Canadian placed in seventh with a time of 2:07.45. She was followed closely by Kolb who placed eighth with a time of 2:08.43.
The Mean Green divers were led by Wallquist with a score of 232.95, which put her in fifth place. North Texas closed out the morning with a team-best third place finish in the 400-medley relay. The A relay consisting of Kolb, sophomore Jenny Holwell, Nguyen and McGee clocked a 3:48.36 to close out the morning.
Action will continue from Houston beginning at 5 p.m. CT. Stay tuned to MeanGreenSports.com and @MeanGreenSwim on Twitter and Instagram for continued updates.