SAN ANTONIO – Sophomore Kaitlyn Swinney led a 1-2-3 Rice finish in the 500-freestyle and swam the lead leg on the Owls’ 400-medley relay to pace the swimmers on the first day of action at the annual UIW Invitational Friday in San Antonio.
After five events to start the three-day meet, Rice is second of four participating teams with 464.5 points. Conference USA rival North Texas leads with 507.5 points. Meet host Incarnate Word is third with 295 points and the University of Houston is fourth (265 pts.)
As she has been all semester, Swinney was again sound and solid. The Fort Bend, Texas, native notched a new career-best of 4:52.60 to lead a 1-2-3 Rice finish in the 500-freestyle with junior Anniina Ala-Seppälä (4:54.40) and true freshman Hanna Huston (4:54.95).
Swinney then returned to join Marie-Claire Schillinger, Kiley Beall and Jaecey Parham as the Owls won the 400-medley relay. The Rice foursome’s time of 3:46.89 may not have been the squad’s best mark of the year, but it was a convincing three-full seconds ahead of second place.
In addition to swimming the butterfly leg of the relay, Kiley Beall finished second in the 200-individual medley with a 2:06.71. Huston was third in the event (2:07.44) while Carly Pratt was fourth (2:08.58).
Senior Cora McKenzie was Rice’s top finisher in the 50-yard freestyle (24.29). On the night McKenzie had a faster 50-free (24.06) as the lead leg of the 4×50 sprint relay. The Rice foursome in that event placed second with a time of 1:35.49.
Day two of the meet is set for Saturday at the Palo Alto College Natatorium. Event prelims begin at 10 am with consolation and championship finals set for 5 pm. The meet concludes on Sunday evening.
Swimming news courtesy of Rice Swimming & Diving.