Nov. 5, 2010
Full Meet Results
HOUSTON -- Rice freshmen Chelsea Fong and Michelle Gean both set new facility records in winning their respective events Friday afternoon at the Rice Aquatics Center, but it was the Miami Hurricanes that won the non-conference dual swim meet 152-114.
Miami won 10 of the meet's 14 events, nine of which were also fast enough to set new facility records at the Owls' competition pool. The good news for Rice is that for as fast as the visiting ACC power raced, the Owls were sound and steady in posting a host of new season-best marks up and down the lineup.
Fong broke her own pool record by a full second to win the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.12. Gean then won the very next race with a new pool record for the 200-backstroke (58.20). Junior Shelby Bottoms swam a 2:06.57 to lead a 1-2 Rice finish with Louise Gliga (2:07.98) in the 200-butterfly. After Owl sophomore Kylee Talwar missed a win in the 200-breaststroke by just five one-hundredths-of-a-second, she led a 1-2-3 Rice finish in the 200-individual medley with a season-best 2:07.58.
Rice head swim coach Seth Huston is never happy with a loss in a dual meet, but he also has his eye on the bigger picture. The Owls battled in every event, set new season-bests and pushed a big-time opponent who was making their first appearance at the Aquatics Center.
"We really had some people step-up and have their best meets of the season," said coach Huston, now in his ninth season at the helm of the program. "I thought we raced great. We never gave-in.
Chelsea's 200-free was great," Huston added. "Her 1:51.1 is a really nice time right now. It's November, and we're excited about where she could be in the spring. It's nice to know you have a freestyler like that right now, someone you can turn to on your relays.
"Kylee got out-touched right at the wall, twice in fact in the 100- and 200-breaststroke, then she came back and dominated the I.M.," he said. "She got a win today. She had a great meet. What a turn-around she's had from last year when she was injured for so much of the season. She's on-fire right now and it's really nice to see."
In the second-to-last race of the meet Talwar's season-best in the 200-IM led teammates Quincy Christian (2:08.13) and Kait Chura (2:09.13) for a 1-2-3 Owl sweep. At that point here was only one event left on the meet's schedule, but Huston wasn't done trying to get the best results possible. He juggled the lineup for the finale, 400-freestyle relay, after sprinters Kim Steinhouse and Karina Wlostowska both notched a pair of season-bests earlier in the day in the 50-yard free.
The Owls proceeded to post another new season-best in the event with a 3:30.53 that shattered the Aquatics Center's previous record by a full three seconds. Huston's late move worked, but it seemed to follow the theme of the day as the Hurricanes won the final relay with an even better facility record (3:29.19).
"You have to give credit to Miami," Huston explained, "it would have taken a lot to beat them today. We had a last-minute change for that 400 and Kim and Karina swam awesome in the back half of that relay. I'm proud of the effort they had. We were close. We were close on a lot of races. There is now doubt in my mind we are heading in the right direction, and I think the team got a sense of that too. You're never happy not winning a meet, but the team has a lot to feel good about the steps they took today."
The meet's full results are available at the above link.