Swimming and diving opens season on road at North Texas
After accomplishing history under head coach Ryan Wochomurka, the swimming and diving team is anxious to get back in the pool and start racing, Wochomurka said.
The Cougars will start their defense of their conference crown Friday when they travel to Dallas to compete against the North Texas Mean Green. As it stands, the Cougars are far from complacent. Wochomurka said that he wants a conference championship to be the goal for his team every year. This year, at the very least, they have the numbers and skill to repeat as champions.
“We’ve got a group of young women that have sold out in the belief that we can do a lot of special things here, and that makes our job really easy,” Wochomurka said.
The Cougars are returning nine of the 10 swimmers and divers that were named to the all-conference team last year, the only loss being Victoria Roubique who transferred to Texas A&M.
Leading them will be their three captains: redshirt senior Micaela Bouter, sophomore Peyton Kondis and junior Eleanna Koutsouveli. Bouter was named the American Athletic Conference Most Oustanding Diver last season. She earned that distinction by winning the 3-meter spring board and placing second in the platform dive.
Over the summer, Bouter also represented South Africa at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Though she did not medal, it was exciting to see Bouter continue the tradition of UH divers competing internationally, Wochomurka said.
Kondis burst onto the scene as a freshman. At conference, she won the 100-yard breastroke title and swam on the 200-yard medley relay team that broke the school record, one minute, 39.17 seconds, in earning a silver medal.
Koutsouveli, herself a conference champion in 2016, did not win an individual event in 2017. But she did medal in three events, setting program records in all three. In addition to swimming in the 200-yard medley relay team, Koutsouveli competed in the 200-yard backstroke and 100-yard backstroke. In the 200-yard, she took silver with one minute, 55.97 seconds, and in the 100-yard she placed third with 53.74 seconds.
Friday should be an easy start to the women’s season. The Mean Green placed only fourth at the Conference USA championships last season. Given the talent the Cougars are returning, this should be a comfortable start on their quest for a second straight conference title.
“We’ve got 35 women on our roster,” Wochomurka said “it’s going to take 35 people to pursue a championship this year and really chase our dream of being a top 25 program.