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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Cougars shatter record times

After a record-breaking weekend for the swimming and diving team, the Cougars return to Houston ready to take on New Mexico State and crosstown rival Rice.

Head coach Mark Taylor said he always relishes the notion of competing against the Owls.

"Anytime Rice is served at our pool, we’ll try to boil them and cook them," Taylor said.

In a Halloween meet in East Lansing, Mich., the Cougars fell short to Michigan State 126-117. However, the Cougars didn’t leave McCaffree Pool empty-handed as senior co-captain Sasha Schwendenwein and freshman Beccy Hillis swam their way into the record books.

Schwendenwein won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute 48:23 seconds for a first-place finish and the second-fastest time in Cougar history. The time also set the McCaffree Pool record, beating the previous mark of 1:50:79. In the 200-yard butterfly, Schwendenwein’s winning time of 1:58.70 was the fifth-fastest time in UH history and the best at McCaffree.

"My mouth is still wide open with shock," Schwendenwein said. "I just remember hearing my coaches and team screaming for me until the time sunk in."

In the 200-yard breaststroke, Hillis finished with a time of 2:18.35, sixth-fastest in Cougar history and matching the pool record.

The Cougars traveled to Rochester, Mich. the next day and defeated Oakland University 133-110. Junior Beijing Games Olympian Anastasia Pozdniakova scored a 375.67 in the 1-meter and a 396.07 in the 3-meter diving events to break Aquatic Center records, and Schwendenwein and Hillis weren’t finished from the previous day’s record breaking.

Schwendenwein took home a first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.13, which is fourth-best among the all-time Cougar rankings. Hillis came in second in the 100-yard breaststroke with the eighth-best time in school history, finishing in 1:05.43.

The team will try to continue its win streak when it hosts Rice and New Mexico State at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium. Students are admitted to the event with a valid CougarOne card.

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