Women's swimming in sixth after Day Two at C-USA Championship
HOUSTON - Day two of the 2009 Conference USA Swimming & Diving Championship and Invitational wrapped up on Thursday night at the CRWC Natatorium on the campus of the University of Houston with three-time defending champion SMU claiming three out of five events. The Mustangs won the 200-yard IM, the 50-yard freestyle and the 400-yard medley relay to finish the day with 297.50 points.
Cross-town rivals Houston and Rice are tied for second in the C-USA scoring with 214 points apiece, followed by East Carolina with 181.50 and Marshall with 55.
In the invitational scoring, North Dakota has 139 points to sit in fifth place, while Northern Colorado is in sixth with 87. Cal State Bakersfield has 59 points though event 14.
The Bears' day-two highlights included Chesney Randolph's 16th-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley, Sarah Cook's seventh-place finish on the 3-meter diving board and Northern Colorado's 400 medley relay team (Randolph, Torri Gutt, Alexis Glessner and Dawn Adams) coming in sixth.
The host Cougars began the night by taking the top two spots in the 500-yard freestyle. Senior Sasha Schwendenwein took the gold medal in a school record time of 4:42.58, good for an NCAA ‘B' qualifying time. Schwendenwein had set the school record in the prelims this morning and then went more than seven seconds faster in the final to lower the new mark.
Houston's Kim Eeson was second in the event, touching the wall in 4:47.31 and was followed by SMU's Christy-Leigh Lategan who claimed third in 4:50.11.
In the 200-yard IM, SMU swept the top three places. Senior Jennifer Basel went three seconds faster than her prelim time and finished first in 2:01.11. Teammate Devon Callaghan was just barely behind in second place (2:01.48), while Justine Clark took third place in 2:03.37.
The Mustangs were once again strong in the women's 50-yard free as sophomore Sascha Van den Branden won SMU's second event, touching first in 22.60. The time was good for an NCAA ‘B' qualifying time.
Carissa Gormally of invitational member North Dakota finished second in 22.75, also an NCAA ‘B' time, while SMU's Elzanne Werth and East Carolina's Jenna Stewart tied for the bronze medal, both touching in 22.84.
In the women's 3-meter diving final, 2008 Olympic silver medalist and 2007 C-USA Diver of the Year Anastasia Podzniakova smashed the field to claim the gold medal with 397.20 points, the 10th-highest mark in school history and also a season best. Fellow Cougar Courtney Forcucci finished in second with 330.65 points, while defending conference champion Britney Yancey of SMU finished in third with 329.40 points.
The Mustangs closed out Thursday by winning their third event of the night, the 400-yard medley relay. The team of Therese Svendsen, Devon Callaghan, Elzanne Werth and Perta Klosova touched the wall in 3:41.31, also an NCAA ‘B' qualifying time.
Houston edged out Rice by .26 seconds to grab the silver in 3:41.65, while the Owls were just behind in 3:41.91. The time for the Cougar team of Jessica Shamburger, Beccy Hillis, Sasha Schwendenwein and Kim Eeson set the team's second school record of the night.
Men's teams from league schools East Carolina and SMU along with Hawaii, Cal State Bakersfield and North Dakota are also competing in the C-USA men's invitational. SMU leads that event after day two with 320 points, followed by Hawai'i with 244.50 points. East Carolina sits in third with 10 points, while North Dakota (166) is in fourth and Cal State Bakersfield (125.50) is in fifth.
The meet resumes at 10 a.m., Friday with the preliminaries of the 400-yard IM, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breast and 100-yard back. The men's 3-meter diving preliminaries will begin around 1 p.m,, followed by the women's 1-meter diving prelims. The finals for those events are slated to begin around 6 p.m.