Men's Basketball Sports

Looking Back: UH Swimming and Diving’s top 5 performances of 2019-20

The Cougars took home 17 individual titles at the AAC Championship meet, including a sweep of all relay and diving events. | Katrina Martinez/ The Cougar

The Cougars took home 17 individual titles at the AAC Championship meet, including a sweep of all relay and diving events. | Katrina Martinez/ The Cougar

The 2019-20 season was another success-filled year in the pool for the Cougars. Before the season was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic, the swimming and diving team put up an undefeated 7-0 record and also clinched its fourth-straight American Athletic Conference title. 

Head coach Ryan Wochomurka won his fourth-straight coach of the year award, surpassing Houston coaching great Phil Hansel. 

In a season capped off with more silverware for the Cougars, there were many unforgettable moments. Here are The Cougar’s top five showings from the 2019-20 season:

Zarena Brown dominates home opener.

In the first meet of the season, senior Zarena Brown put on a show against Tulane. She clinched first place in both the 100 and 200-meter freestyle, putting up times of 51.81 and 1:50.64 respectively.

It was paramount for the Cougars to get the season off to a strong start, and led by Brown, they did just that. 

Cougars sweep the 1-meter dive in Houston Diving Invitational.

In mid-October, the Cougars put on a show at the Houston Diving Invitational

The sophomore trio of Julie Blodgett, Katie Deininger and Chase Farris dominated the meet by taking all three podium positions in the 1-meter dive. 

The three divers combined to score a massive 782.1 points, further cementing their dominance of the diving board.

The strong performance by the trio helped secure the first-place finish for the Cougars in the event.

Laura Laderoute’s showing against Florida Gulf Coast.

Senior Laura Laderoute dominated the pool against Florida Gulf Coast in early November when she took home first place honors in three different events. 

Her first win of the day came in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:00.13, which was followed by the 200-meter medley that she won with a 2:02.43 time. 

Her final win of the day came in the 100-yard backstroke, and the Cougars defeated the Eagles to remain undefeated in dual meets.

Ionna Sacha leads Cougars to fourth straight Phil Hansel Invitational win. 

In late November, the Cougars were able to capture their fourth straight Phil Hansel Invitational win. 

The Cougars amassed a massive 1,737 points, which left the second-place Owls in the dust as they were 593 points behind Houston. 

Junior Ionna Sacha set a new program record in the 200-yard backstroke with a blazing time of 1:55.16., which also clinched first place in the event, and Sacha went on to finish second in the 100-yard backstroke with a 54.64 time.

Dynamite relay team helps bring home fourth consecutive conference title. 

The success-riddled 2019-20 season culminated in a fourth-straight American Conference Championship win for the Cougars. 

Houston left little room for doubt in clinching the title as it scored 952.5 points to secure the event win, which was second-most points by a women’s team in Championships history, and the Cougars also broke nine program records.

One of which was set by juniors Mykenzie Leehy and Katie Power, alongside seniors Laura Laderoute and Zarena Brown in the 400-meter freestyle (3:17.39).

Sacha broke her own record in the 200 Back (1:54.96).

Senior Peyton Kondis ended her UH career by winning the 200-yard breaststroke (2:09.93).

At the end of the event, the Cougars were once again holding up the hardware as they stood on top of the AAC.

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