The TCU Horned Frogs and West Virginia Mountaineers battled to a split decision on Friday night in Morgantown. The West Virginia men looked dominant against their Big 12 foes with a final score of 192-108, while the women’s meet was much tighter, going the way of TCU by a 155-145 score.
Three new Pool Records went down in the meet. TCU’s NCAA qualifier, senior Cooper Robinson, who topped the men’s 200 backstroke in 1:47.93, took down one of those three records. The other two went to the home team, who saw Andrew Marsh win the 100 back in 48.27 (winning a big battle with Robinson); and Nate Carr win the 200 IM in a record-breaking 1:50.42.
“I think both teams came out and really set the tone on the relays,” said West Virginia coach Vic Riggs. “We had a lot of really good, up-front swims in that first session. Overall, our attitude, our racing and our energy was the best I’ve seen all season.”
Riggs’ thoughts were backed up by the results, with West Virginia winning the first three events on the day overall and the first four women’s events as well.
In the men’s 200 medley relay, Marsh split 22.65 on the opening backstroke leg to build a significant gap over Robinson early on. While TCU would make up ground with a 22.0 fly split from Garrett Hills, the gap was too big as the Mountaineers touched in 1:30.99 to TCU’s 1:31.80.
West Virginia continued that momentum early with some big results, including a 1-2-3 finish in the men’s 200 free, topped by Ross Glegg’s 1:40.00; and then a 1-2-4 finish in the men’s 100 breaststroke, led by Max Spencer in 56.49.
The women’s meet was more of a back-and-forth affair that saw both teams go on big streaks. The West Virginia women built a lead early, and after the 1-meter diving (the informal midway point on the college schedule) had won all but two races in eight. Mikayla Winkler’s 1:50.98 in the 200 free and Devin Newton’s 1:04.69 in the 100 breast were the exceptions.
The Mountaineers would take one more after diving (Jaimee Gillmore in the 100 free in 52.77), but TCU would run off 5-straight swimming event wins, interrupted only by a West Virginia diving victory.
TCU held a 5-point lead going into the 400 free relay, which meant that a win would ensure them the meet, while at least a 2-3 performance would guarantee them a tie.
The Horned Frogs took a no-doubt win in that relay from the start, thanks to a solid 51.85 leadoff from Julia-Grace Sanders that earned them almost a two-second gap early. She was followed by Gibson (52.53), Winkler (52.04), and Mackenzie Schuler (51.89) to finish four seconds ahead of West Virginia’s “A” relay.
Full meet results available here.