The H20 Frogs became the first team ever in Conference USA to sweep the swimming and diving championships, as the women won the C-USA Invitational for the first time and the men won their third consecutive title.
“We are real excited,” head swim coach Richard Sybesma said. “It’s a real feather in our cap.”
Why don’t you tell us how you really feel, coach?
“I’ll tell ya, we’re thrilled, Horned Frog thrilled,” Sybesma said.
In previous seasons, the women had finished third in the conference meet, and the men had won back to back titles.
“C-USA was one of the most exciting meets I’ve ever been to,” said junior Aimee Moreau. “I was just focusing on winning points for the team and that made me less nervous and helped me swim faster.”
Along with winning the conference meets, Sybesma was named Conference Coach of the Year.
“It’s an honor, but I have to accredit it to the team’s success and to the assistant coaches,” Sybesma said.
Junior Craig Chapman, who is currently ranked No. 25 in the country, was named Swimmer of the Meet at the C-USA Invitational. He had a hand in five winning races, including three individual.
“It was really exciting winning Swimmer of the Meet,” he said. “The past two years I was pretty close with two individual wins.
“This year I got it with three individual wins. I was really glad to win it for my team. They supported me all the way.”
Despite his great successes, Chapman said he does not know if he will receive an invite to the NCAA Championships this year.
Chapman said the NCAA takes 24 swimmers to the meet but that he is unsure if he’ll be among those chosen.
Sybesma has no doubt whether Chapman belongs.
“He has had an incredible season,” he said. “He is a special kid and is well deserving.”
Freshman Keleigh Wentworth said the team has stepped up to the challenges this season and that the team’s 12-1 record has been a surprise.
“I knew we would be really successful and have a winning season, but I didn’t know we would win them so easily.”
Freshman Aran Bean, who won first place at conference in 100-yd and 200-yd breaststroke races, said the team’s unity is responsible for this year’s success.
“The coaches make a point of planning lots of group activities and these build unity and cohesion,” Bean said.
Freshman Karen Sadifer agreed and said the coaches have given the team lots of opportunities to grow.
“We are all there for each other,” Sadifer said. “We are really close.”