Coming into this season, the Rice Owls had qualified one relay, ever, for the NCAA Division I Championships: a 200 free relay that in 2001 placed 8th.
With a season that has been littered with new program records and a roster lined with senior stars, however, the program seemed destined to do something special, and they did just that during a time trial swim on day 2 of the 2015 Conference USA Championships.
The Owls swam a 1:37.04 in the 200 medley, which was 1.07 seconds faster than they swam in the regular session on Wednesday evening in Knoxville, Tennessee. That’s an NCAA Qualification standard for the Owls: the second in program history.
The qualifiers included freshman Alicia Caldwell (24.97), senior Rachel Moody (26.96), senior Casey Clark (22.98), and senior Marissa Konicke (22.13).
The qualification will be contingent upon also earning an individual invite. Clark is already on target, having been a 52.70 in the 100 fly this season (which has been invited each of the last two years), and after that split seems on target to improve that standing later in this meet.
Also of note during Thursday’s prelims at the Conference USA Championships are the Marshall Thundering Herd, who have broken 6 school records in 6 events so far at the meet.