TCU swim and dive earns first win against SMU in program history

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    Defeating crosstown rival Southern Methodist University on Wednesday night was a fairytale ending for senior Ryker Saunders.

    For the first time in program history, TCU defeated SMU, 177.5-122.5.

    Last season, TCU came from behind to put the win in reach but SMU won the last event of the meet by 0.86 seconds.

    “This is my fourth year as a Horned Frog and reaching this milestone on the last dual meet against the Mustangs is an amazing experience,” Saunders said.

    TCU swept the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley events.

    Sophomore Adam Szilagyi won all three of his individual events, which included the 200-yard backstroke (1:48.81) and 200-yard individual medley (1:55.54).

    The Hungarian native also won the 100-yard backstroke with a 49.64.

    The team of Szilagyi, Cooper Robinson, Ford Story and Anthony McMurry placed first in the 200-yard medley relay with a 1:32.22 to open the meet.

    SMU swimmer East Holloway led the 1000-yard freestyle. Halfway through the 20-lap event, Holloway dropped back, allowing TCU to take the top two spots in the longest event of the meet.

    Junior Thor Stenfjord placed first with a 9:37.65. Senior Michael Franz followed with a 9:40.03.  

    Stenfjord also won the 500-yard freestyle with a 4:36.88.

    In diving, junior Ricky Bradley placed third in the one-meter board event with a 301.65. Bradley also placed third in the three-meter board event with a 340.13.

    For the first time in head coach Richard Sybesma’s 35-year career at TCU, he has a win against SMU.

    “One of the top four or five wins in TCU history happened tonight in swimming and diving,” Sybesma said.

    Not only was the win special but also the fact that it was at home in the University Recreation Center Natatorium meant a lot to him, he said.

    TCU won its first meet of the season, improving its record to 1-1. SMU dropped its first and only dual meet of the season. The Mustangs will compete in invitational competitions for the rest of the season. 

    “This is such a big milestone for us that TCU swimming and diving is not to be overlooked by any stress of the imagination,” Saunders said. “We made a statement not only to SMU but to the entire swimming community in the United States.”

    The men’s squad will travel to College Station for the three-day Aggie Invitational on Nov. 21. It will be the first invitational of the season for TCU.