Houston vs Tulane (Women’s Dual)
- Monday, January 11th, 2020
- Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, Houston, TX
- Short Course Yards (SCY)
- Houston – 203
- Tulane – 97
The Houston Cougars handled Tulane at home in a 203-97 decision on Monday. The Cougars recorded wins in 13 of the 16 events.
Houston senior Mykenzie Leehy, who has had an excellent season thus far, posted another triple-win meet, taking the 50, 100, and 200 free. In the 50 free, Leehy swam a 23.87, getting her hand on the wall well over half a second ahead of anyone else. Leehy swam a 51.39 to win the 100 free, posting the fastest split in the field on both 50s. Leehy swam a very consistent race to win the 200 free, taking the swim out in 26.45, then splitting 28.59, 28.52, and 28.35 respectively, for a final time of 1:51.91. She capped her meet with a field-leading 23.48 on the winning Houston 200 free relay.
Ioanna Sacha was another triple-winning Cougar. Sacha first took the 100 back, roaring to victory by a second a half. She finished in 55.21 after posted the fastest split in the field on the first 50 by over a second. Sacha went on to swim a 2:01.00 in the 200 back, winning by over a second again. She capped her meet with a 2:04.74 to claim victory in the 200 IM. Sacha used an excellent front half to establish a huge early lead, splitting 27.64 on fly and 29.73 on back, for a 57.37 on the first 100.
Cougar freshman Mia Ortega Bonilla swept the fly events, taking the 100 fly with a 56.78. She won the 200 fly by over a second, touching in 2:03.92. Houston freshman Hedda Grelz swept the diving events. Grelz first won the 1m with a score of 275.77, then was victorious in the 3m with a score of 303.82.
Tulane breaststroker Kate McDonland had a big day, sweeping the breast events. McDonald first swam a 1:05.13 in the 100 breast, getting her hands on the wall first after establishing a significant lead on the first 50. She went on to post a 2:19.84 in the 200 breast, touching as the only swimmer in the field to break 2:20. McDonald swam a consistent race, splitting 35.97, 36.04, and 35.79 on the final 3 50s. McDonald also split a field-leading 1:02.96 on the breast leg of the 400 medley relay.
Tulane also picked up a win with Lilly Byrne in the 1000 free. Byrne won the race by roughly half a length of the pool, touching in 10:17.13, 8 seconds ahead of the field. Byrne got out to a quick start, flipping in 5:05.22 at the 500 mark. Byrne then had a tight race with Houston’s Laura Garcia Marin in the 500 free, which resulted in a 4:58.17-4:58.29 finish in favor of Marin. It was Byrne who established the early lead, flipping at the 200 in 1:57.47, while Marin was 1:58.56. Going into the final 100, Byrne still held a significant lead, flipping at 3:58.43 to Marin’s 3:59.34. Marin made up the entire gap on the final 50, however, driving home in 28.34 to Byrne’s 29.39.
PRESS RELEASE – HOUSTON:
HOUSTON – The University of Houston Swimming & Diving team returned to action after a two-day lay-off, defeating Tulane in an 203-97 decision on Monday afternoon at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.
“I’m proud of the way we raced today,” said Head Coach Ryan Wochomurka. “It is hard to race on Friday and compete again on a Monday. That hardly ever happens. Having gotten back to campus on Jan. 4 and raced twice, it is hard to get back into a rhythm. I’m proud of our kids for racing the way that they did and getting a win. We saw a lot of areas that we need to improve and focus in on. Areas that we can see some big gains in over the next five weeks. That is really our focus. How can we clean that up for when we get a chance to see Tulane again at the American Athletic Conference Championships and be a little sharper?”
The Cougars opened the day with a victory, as Ioanna Sacha, Audrey McKinnon, Abby Jackson and Katie Power combined for a first-place finish in the 400 Medley Relay. The squad clocked a time of 3:47.94.
Mykenzie Leehy had a stellar day, sweeping the Freestyle sprints after taking first-place in the 50 Free (23.87), 100 Free (51.39) and 200 Free (1:51.91).
Ioanna Sacha took home first-place in two events, winning the 100 Backstroke at 55.21, and the 200 Backstroke at 2:01.00.
The Cougar freshman stepped up, earning victories in four events. Mai Ortega Bonilla won the 200 Butterfly, clocking in at 2:03.92. In the 500 Freestyle, Laura Garcia Marin led the way and took the top spot with a time of 4:58.17.
On the boards it was a Cougar sweep as freshman Hedda Grelz won both the 1-meter and the 3-meter. Grelz led the Cougars in the 1-meter scoring 275.77 points. She was followed by Katie Deininger in second-place (268.50). In the 3-meter, Grelz led the way again with a total score of 303.82, as Deininger placed second with an overall score of 290.40.
Houston will head to College Station on Saturday to face the 12th-ranked Aggies.
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PRESS RELEASE – TULANE:
HOUSTON — The Tulane swimming & diving team (1-3) recorded 17 top-three finishes at Houston in an American Athletic Conference matchup on Monday before ultimately falling to the Cougars (203-97).
“We had a great attitude today,” head coach Leah Stancil said. “We saw some season time improvements from Autumn [Keats-O’Connor] and Liv [Davison], which is always good to see. I was pleased with our efforts and how our technical skills are improving. We need to continue toward working on the little things.”
Senior Kate McDonald continued to shine in Monday’s meet, winning the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.13) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:19.84) events for her eighth- and ninth- respective individual wins this season.
Also recording a first-place finish was sophomore Lilly Byrne, who won the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:17.13. Byrne also finished second in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:58.29.
Freshman Danielle Titus put points on the board for the Green Wave as well, finishing second in both the 100-yard backstroke (56.71) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:02.36).
Another newcomer, freshman Winter Craig, finished second in the 200-yard butterfly with a new career-best time of 2:05.06 in the race.
Earning second- and third-place respective finishes in the 50-yard freestyle was freshman Riley Hendrix and senior Courtney Barker. Hendrix recorded a time of 24.58 in the race while Barker finished right behind her at 24.73. Hendrix also earned bronze status in the 100-yard freestyle, notching a personal-best time of 52.55.
In the diving events, freshman Paige McKenzie scored points for the Olive and Blue with a third-place, career-best finish in the one-meter (265.87). Freshman Caroline Alonzo also took a top-three spot, finishing third in the three-meter event with a personal-best 255.22 mark.
“It was great to see all our divers perform well coming off the winter break,” diving coach John Sirmon said. “Every diver claimed a personal best in one event and Paige McKenzie got our first Zone cut of the season on one meter. We still have work to do before SMU but I think we’re progressing well and positioned for a strong rest of the season.”
Recording third-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard backstroke was freshman Gianna Spremullo, who finished with respective times of 1:54.59 and 2:04.81.
Sophomore Hailey Roberti also earned a third-place finish in the weekday meet, recording a time of 58.18 in the 100-yard butterfly.
Titus, McDonald, Roberti and Hendrix finished second in the 400-yard medley relay (3:50.55), while Byrne, Titus, Barker and Hendrix (1:37.42) also earned silver status in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:37.42).
Freshman Autumn Keats-O’Connor earned personal-best times in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.88), the 200-yard breaststroke (2:25.67) and the 200-yard IM (2:12.11) events.
Tulane will head to SMU for the team’s next meet. The AAC competition is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.
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