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Monday, October 2, 2023


Phill Hansel Invitational another chance to dominate opponents

Sophomore Laura Laderoute’s performances in the relays have helped set the tone for the last four meets. She will again be expected to perform strong as the Cougars host the Phill Hansel Invitational. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

The undefeated swimming and diving team will host its first invitational beginning Thursday. Whereas previous meets had been one-on-one affairs, the Cougars will now host nine teams.

This is the 10th year the Cougars have hosted the Phill Hansel Invitational, named in honor of the longtime swim coach who mentored the Cougars from 1957 to 1998 and was the three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year. In memory of Hansel, who died in 2010, the Cougars host this invitational every fall.

This meet will feature three teams the Cougars have already faced this year: North Texas, Colorado State and Northern Colorado. The Cougars beat each team in dominating fashion.

New faces the Cougars will see are Air Force, Idaho, New Mexico, Rice, Tulane and Vanderbilt.

The Cougars so far have dominated their opponents, sometimes winning meets by almost 100 points. But given those were two-school meets, it will be interesting to see if the team can continue its strong performance against a larger field.

In every meet this season, the Cougars have won at least 10 events. Multiple Cougars have often left the meets with dual wins, be it the 3-meter dive, the 50-yard butterfly, the 100-yard backstroke or any of the relays.

The Cougars will certainly open the meet with a win in one of the relays. Dating back to their win in the 200-yard medley relay against SMU, the Cougars have opened every meet with a relay victory.

The team of sophomores Laura Laderoute, Peyton Kondis and Zarena Brown and freshman Rebecca Cox have successfully set the tone for the Cougars, which has carried them through meets against SMU, North Texas, Colorado State and Northern Colorado.

The Phill Hansel Invitational started Thursday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium at 10 a.m. and will continue through Saturday.

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