Houston’s Owens wins 100 Butterfly at Christmas Invitational

HOUSTON  – Senior Maya Owens led the University of Houston Swimming team in the second day of the University of the Incarnate Word Christmas Invitational Saturday night. Owens won the 100-yard butterfly as the Cougars finished the day with eight top-five finishes at the Palo Alto Aquatic Center.

Owens entered finals as the No. 2 seed after swimming a time of 57.74 in preliminaries. The Converse, Texas native, dropped .92 of a second off during finals, grabbing the individual champion title with a time of 55.73.

“It was a better day for us too to bottom,” said head coach Ryan Wochomurka. “That was a great win for Maya. She is returning to form.”

The Cougars opened the night with a podium finish in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Taylor Derevyanik, Cameron Balkom, Owens and Caitlin Horner placed third with a time of 1:46.58.

Freshman Hannah Herbst grabbed a podium finish in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:31.55. Fellow freshman Delia Weber followed right behind in fourth with a time of 4:41.55.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Caitlin Horner set a personal best in prelims with a time of 1:53.81. She followed up her performance in finals with a new personal best, 1:53.57, her time nabbed her fourth place overall.

Junior Balkom grabbed a second place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke after nabbing a time of 1:03.90. Sophomore Rachel Hobbins finished fourth with a time of 1:07.63.

In the 100-yard backstroke, Taylor Derevyanik was the highest placed Cougar in the event. The senior placed seventh overall with a time of 59.38.

In the final event of the night, the 800-yard free relay, the team of Weber, Horner, Herbst and Glenn placed overall fourth overall with a time of 7:44.07.

The Cougars end the second day in third place with 688 points. Rice leads the pack with 1194.5 points, followed by the Incarnate Word in second with 1092 points.

“We continue to battle as a team under adverse conditions,” Wochomurka said. “This is a great learning opportunity as we head to training camp and then into championship season.”



  1. Rice – 1194.5
  2. Incarnate Word – 1092
  3. Houston – 688
  4. North Texas – 507.5




200 Medley Relay

  1. Houston A – 1:46.58

(Derevyanik, Balkom, Owens, Horner)


400 IM

  1. Hannah Herbst – 4:31.55
  2. Delia Weber – 4:41.66


100 Fly

  1. Maya Owens – 55.73


200 Free

  1. Cait Horner – 1:53.57*


100 Breast

  1. Cameron Balkom – 1:03.90
  2. Rachel Hobbins – 1:07.63


800 Free Relay

  1. Houston A – 7:44.07

(Weber, Horner, Herbst, Glenn)


* – Personal Best



The Cougars will take to the water for the final day of the UIW Christmas Invitational Sunday morning. Prelims will begin at 10 a.m. and finals will begin at 5 p.m.


Houston will host the American Athletic Conference Championships for the first time as the best swimmers and divers in the league visit the CRWC from Feb. 17-20, 2016. Following the conference meet, the Cougars will look to close the season at the NCAA Championships, to be held March 17-19, 2016 in Atlanta.

Swimming news courtesy of Houston Swimming & Diving.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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