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Friday, January 15, 2021

Sports

UH swimming and diving defeats SMU in first meet of 2021


The UH swimming and diving team has only five weeks to compete before the American Athletic Conference plans to hold its meet to determine a league champion. The Cougars have four straight AAC titles. | Courtesy of UH athletics

The UH swimming and diving team has only five weeks to compete before the American Athletic Conference plans to hold its meet to determine a league champion. The Cougars have four straight AAC titles. | Courtesy of UH athletics

The Houston swimming and diving program returned to action in Dallas on Friday afternoon and was victorious over SMU 162.5-137.5.

For the first time since November, UH returned to competion and picked up right where it left off after a shaky start.

“I am proud of our effort today,” UH head coach Ryan Wochomurka said in a release sent out by the program. “It wasn’t pretty, but road wins are always tough to come by and are always special.”

Early trouble

The UH swimming and diving team encountered adversity when it faced a disqualification in the first event of the meet, which was the 200-yard medley. They managed to salvage four points from the event.

The Cougars bounced back in the 1,000-yard freestyle behind freshman Laura Garcia Marin’s first place finish of 10:23.32.

UH had three athletes finish in the top five.

“I’m very proud of the toughness we showed in (bouncing back from the first event),” Wochomurka said. “We’ve asked a lot of this group this year, and to show up with the attitude and effort we had today on the road against a conference opponent was a big win.”

Gaining control

The Cougars dominated the fourth event of the day, sweeping through the 100-yard backstroke as the program had athletes control the top three. Senior Kathryn Power led UH in the event with a first place time of 55.93.

Senior Mykenzie Leehy led UH in the 100-yard freestyle with a first place time of 50.97 in the event.

In the 200-yard backstroke, the Cougars had three athletes finish in the top three of the event again for another sweep. Senior Ionna Sacha led that event with a first place time of 2:03.63.

UH won the day’s final event, the 400-yard freestyle, with a time of 3:26.62.

As for the divers, junior Katie Deininger led the way with 303.08 points.

“I’m grateful to be racing and have a sense of normalcy,” Wochomurka said. “We have a tough week ahead with Tulane and Texas A&M, and then we need to settle in to fine-tune our racing over the next five weeks for The American Championships here in Dallas.”

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