Dec. 20, 2009
CLEVELAND, Miss. - The veteran Rice trio of Shelby Bottoms, Angela Wo and Pam Zelnick won individual events and also combined their talents on a winning relay as the Owl swim team extended its lead on the second day of competition at the annual Delta State Invitational Sunday night (Dec. 20) in Cleveland, Miss.
The Owls won five of Sunday's seven events to amass a total of 608 points heading into Monday's final day of action. Rice leads the University of Tampa (432.5 pts.), New Orleans (351 pts.), meet host Delta State (294), Incarnate Word (282.5), and Ark.-Little Rock (136) in the six team field.
The Rice foursome of Wo, Zelnick, Erin Mattson and Bottoms started the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay and never looked back. The group posted its best mark of the season with a time of 1:46.23.
After anchoring the winning relay, Bottoms then led a 1-2 Rice finish in the 400-individual medley. Bottoms, a local standout from nearby Lamar High School, swam a season-best time of 4:27.93 to take first place ahead of teammate Kait Chura (4:28.72). Sophomore Alex O'Brien scored for the team with a fourth place finish in the 400-IM (4:34.00) and junior Ashten Ackerman was seventh after a season-best (4:35.82) in the prelims.
The Owls also scored big with three of the top seven spots in the 100-yard breaststroke. Zelnick won the race with a season-best 1:05.61 while O'Brien was fifth (1:08.16) and Ackerman was seventh (1:09.14)
Senior Angela Wo was an individual winner in the 100-butterfly (56.55) while Mattson was fifth (58.26). In the two events Rice didn't finish first, the team's depth continued to pile up the points. Wo and freshman Stephanie Wei placed second and third in the 100-backstroke with times of 58.04 and 59.02, respectively. Chura swam a 1:00.52 for seventh.
It was more of the same in the 200-freestyle. Wei was second with a time of 1:54.42 while Nicole Delaloye posted her best time of the year (1:55.89) to take fourth. Freshman Danielle Spence won the consolation finals with a time of 1:55.93.
Rice closed out the night with a victory in the 800-freestyle relay. The team of Bottoms, Delaloye, Mattson and Wei won with the squad's best time of the season (7:36.74) and one of the top marks in Conference USA this year.
The three-day Invitational concludes with six more events on Monday (Dec. 21). The remaining meet schedule is as follows, with preliminary events in the morning and finals set for 4 pm. Full results from Sunday can be viewed at the above link.
Mon., Dec. 21 Schedule
400 Freestyle Relay