After last week’s victory in the Backyard Brawl against Pitt, West Virginia University hopped over to Fort Worth, TX this weekend to square off against Big 12 adversary Texas Christian Univeristy in their Senior Day dual meet. While the TCU Horned Frogs seemed to have control in the midst of their senior day, the Mountaineers rallied for several victories towards the middle of the meet and the men defeated their foe on the road, 154-144. Texas Christian’s women emerged on top for their Senior Day, 157-143.
The women from TCU got off to a strong start in the 200 medley relay with Madison Ibrahim, Devin Newton, Micaela Roemer, and Bryn Lohrberg piecing together a 1:44.95, easily putting down the Mountaineers’ finish of 1:46.42.
WVU’s Emma Skelley blasted a 10:08.16 in the 1000 free to finish just three seconds off her seed. She closed up the day’s distance events with her 500 free winning time of 5:00.60, and finishing just second to Skelley was TCU swimmer Mikayla Winkler, who touched in at 5:06.81. Winkler also collected the 200 free in 1:52.14 for the Horned Frogs’ first individual title of the day.
Newton and Ashley Dyke went in for the 100 breast and emerged first and second with their aligning times of 1:04.23 and 1:04.92. Dyke got the best of her TCU teammate when it came to the 200 breast by snatching first in 2:20.69, leaving Newton in third (2:23.46) with WVU’s Emma Harris between them at 2:21.65. Newton would also lock up the 200 IM in 2:06.18.
Facing a deficit from TCU’s initial lead, Jaimee Gillmore’s marks of 23.59 in the 50 free and 52.49 in the 100 free gave renewed energy to the Mountaineers’ cause. Teammate diver, Julia Calcutta, owned the 1 meter board competition with a score of 274.19, but dropped to third on the 3 meter when Maddie Woods’ score of 276.82 hit the 3 meter.
With the last event on the line for TCU’s Senior Day, the foursome of Winkler, Lohrberg, Roemer, and Alexandra Robertson threw down a 3:31.92 in the 400 free relay to validate their victory against the WVU Mountaineers.
Senior Day for the men’s side started out smoothly enough for the Horned Frogs as Christopher Hearl, John Story, John Smith, and Garrett Hills coasted a 1:31.07 in the 200 medley relay for the first of three straight event wins.
Connor Dobbs kept the train rolling for TCU with his leading split of 9:37.57 in the 1000 free and his time in the 500 free (4:39.75) was the first of three Horned Frog finishes in that race. WVU sent in Andrew Marsh to reap major points in their fight on the road. His trio of swims in the 100 back (49.31), 100 fly (48.98), and 100 free (45.15) signaled the start of TCU’s decline.
With the Mountaineer men gaining some ground, Carlos Hunnicutt’s 200 fly (1:49.97) and Hills’ 50 free (20.50) were good buffers from their visitors but a select pair of swims from Nate Carr and Max Spencer deepened the score. Carr put up W’s in the 200 back (1:50.33) and 200 IM (1:49.55) as former NJCAA athlete Spencer remained absolute in his senior campaign by sweeping the 100 breast (55.10) and 200 breast (1:59.32).
Diving entering into the mix only complicated matters for TCU as they only entered one diver into a Mountaineer field of four deep. Alex Obendorf captured both the 1 meter (330.97) and 3 meter (364.88) titles with fellow diver Mike Proietto sliding into second at 321.74 and 338.18.
The 400 free relay between the two Big 12 opponents was decided by just two hundredths of a second. Marsh and Ross Glegg led off for WVU with a pair of monster 44’s for an initial advantage while TCU’s anchor Hills tried to chase down Merwane El Merini for the last grab at points. The Mountaineers bested the Horned Frogs 3:02.45 to 3:02.47.