Swimming & Diving

UH well set up for day two

The Cougars got off to a solid start in the first day of the Conference USA Swimming and Diving Championships. | Daily Cougar file photo

The Conference USA Championships began with a light day of racing, as the Cougars competed in only the 200-yard medley, where they placed third, and 800-yard freestyle relay, finishing fourth.

UH concluded the day tied for third with 62 points, behind Rice at 68 points and SMU at 80.

Head coach Mark Taylor said the team performed as he had hoped.

“It’s just what I expected,” Taylor said. “We swam great.”

In the 200-yard medley relay, the Cougars raced with a team consisting of Jessica Shamburger (backstroke), Beccy Hillis (breaststroke), Andrea Kells (butterfly) and Moira Fraser (freestyle). UH was in second place — behind SMU — for several laps, but eventually fell back and was surpassed by Rice to finish in third with a time of 1:42.68.

“In our 200-yard medley relay we were third, so we got medaled,” Taylor said. “We were only four tenths of a second away from our school record.”

The Cougars also started off strong in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Swimming with Kim Eeson, Christine Salinas, Kimmy Ballo and Reka Kovacs, the Cougars were in second for several laps. But they faltered near the end and placed fourth. The Cougars finished with a 7:30.93 finals time.

“Kim almost equaled the best time she’s ever done,” Taylor said. “Christine did good, Kimmy did good, and Reka did an outstanding job at the end of the relay; 7:30 is nine seconds faster than our best in that event. That’s just where we thought we’d be in our first day out.”

The two relays set UH up for Thursday’s events, which include the 500-yard freestyle,  50-yard freestyle and the Three-meter diving.

Taylor said the team’s confidence will be high heading into Thursday’s events at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

“Our girls are pumped up because they saw how fast everybody was,” Taylor said. “They know they’re going to swim great tomorrow.”

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