Although SMU pulled off a close 135-105 victory against the Lady Frogs last night in the final meet of the season, head coach Richard Sybesma said he was happy with the way the team performed.
“[This is] probably one of the closer meets we’ve had with SMU,” he said. “They’re ranked No. 13 in the country right now, so I’m really pleased.”
TCU came out on top in five of the 16 match ups with the crosstown rival, securing wins in the 400 yard IM, the 100 yard backstroke time trial and the 1,000 yard freestyle, among others.
The Mustangs dominated the diving events, with SMU’s Sky Corbett-Methot winning first place in both the three meter and one meter dives. The meet against SMU was also the last for the six seniors on the team, who were honored in a ceremony before the start of the match.
Freshman swimmer Mackenzie Schuler said she was touched by the seniors’ words going into the final meet.
“It was great to see them really step up and just give their last words of encouragement,” she said. “As a freshman, that was really inspiring to me.”
Schuler won the 1,000 yard freestyle in 10:30.48, followed by fellow Frog Emily Creighton at 10:36.33. Schuler said it was rewarding to come in first after weeks of hard training.
“Any time you win it’s fun,” she said. “You put all this effort in in practice, and it’s nice to see it pay off.”
TCU’s Ali Bleasdell also garnered a first-place spot, beating out SMU swimmer Denisa Smolenova in the 400 yard IM, by .01 of a second. The freshman did not initially know who had gotten to the end of the pool first, she said.
“When I touched the wall I just looked to see what place I got, and then I realized it was only by a hundredth of a second,” she said. “I’m just glad I got my hand on the wall first.”
This was the first time Bleasdell has had such a narrow margin of victory, she said.
“[The races] usually come close, but that one was really close,” she said.
This is the first time the two teams have faced off since October 2002. The men’s team lost to the Mustangs as well in their final meet last Thursday.
Sybesma said he hoped the meet would help the women get ready for the Mountain West Conference Championships next month, where he predicted the Frogs would be “dangerously” competitive.
“Our girls swam much better than we did a week ago, when we swam at North Texas, so this is a good springboard to the conference meet in three weeks,” he said.
The women fell to North Texas 132-111 Friday, but Sybesma predicted that things were looking up. The Frogs will move on to the championship with an 8-6 record.
“It’s good that we swam well in our pool in the last meet of the year because it gives them confidence going into the conference,” he said.
Schuler said the team planned to taper off training, then pick up the pace as the championships draw near.
“We have a couple weeks left of hard training and then it’s taper time,” she said. “It’ll get easier, and then we’ll get ready for conference and hopefully do really well there.”
What: Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships
When: Feb. 22-25
Where: Oklahoma City, Okla.
For tickets, contact the TCU ticket office at 817-257-7967.