TCU’s swimming and diving teams rewrote the TCU record books on the first day of action at the 2011 Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships inside the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatics Center. The men’s team is currently in fourth place overall, while BYU leads the pack. The women’s team is holding at fifth place, while San Diego State is currently in first on the women’s side.
“I was happy with the way we competed on the first day,” TCU coach Richard Sybesma said. “It’s always nice to get off to a good start and we were able to do that this evening.”
In the 200-medley relay, the men’s and women’s squads broke previous TCU benchmark times as the men’s team raced to a second-place finish. The second-place finish matched TCU’s highest-ever finish in the event at the MWC Championships after the Horned Frogs finished second a year ago.
The women’s 800-freestyle relay team also set a TCU record on their way to a third-place finish. Junior Ashley Bolin’s leadoff 200-yard leg broke her own previous TCU record in the 200-freestyle.
For the 200-medley relay, junior Laszlo Gyurko put the Frogs in front with a leadoff-backstroke leg of 21.81, his fastest split of the season. As conference-leader and eventual-champion UNLV pulled ahead during the breaststroke and butterfly legs, sophomore Devin Price held on to second place for TCU during the freestyle leg.
Price touched the wall in a split of 20.13 for TCU’s collective 200-medley relay time of 1:28.26, which is less than the NCAA “B” cut of 1:29.94 for the event. The time shattered the previous TCU mark of 1:29.19.
In addition to being a TCU record, the Frogs’ time is the second fastest in the history of the Mountain West Conference, a record that will stand for the foreseeable future as the league is not sponsoring men’s swimming after this season.
Bolin’s leadoff leg in the women’s 800-freestyle relay set the tone for the Frogs, as she swam to a TCU record of 1:48.19. The Oshkosh, Wis., native broke her own school record of 1:48.61 set in 2009.
After Katie Scarsella’s split of 1:49.84, TCU senior and school record holder in three individual events Maria Paula Alvarez touched the wall in her own split of 1:48.80.
Sophomore Kristi Dena brought the Frogs home with a closing split of 1:52.84 for a collective time of 7:19.67.
Their mark registers as an NCAA “B” cut, which is 7:23.17, for the event and is better than the previous TCU record of 7:20.69, a mark clocked in 2009.
The women’s 200-medley team also set a TCU record with a 1:43.27 en route to a seventh-place finish in the event. The squad won its heat, but was bettered by the faster heat to follow.
Jennifer Oster led off for the Frogs in the backstroke, notching a split of 26.35. In the three following legs, TCU really put its foot on the gas to push forward for the school record.
Freshman Michelle Fleming notched a 29.16 in the breaststroke, sophomore Sabine Rasch touched in 24.49 for the butterfly leg before sophomore Parris Schoppa brought TCU to the wall for the last time with a 22.83 in the freestyle.
Their time just missed the NCAA “B” cut of 1:42.70, but broke the previous TCU record of 1:43.60. That mark was set in 2009.
On the 1-meter springboard, TCU senior Kyle Callens grabbed a second-place finish with a total score of 345.20. The Deer Park, Texas, native picked up his fourth All-MWC performance on the 1-meter board and matched his second-place finish at the height from his freshman season.
After finishing fourth in qualifying with a score of 336.45, Callens moved past two divers and finished just behind defending champion and MWC record holder Brandon Watson of BYU. Watson scored a 348.40 in the finals.
For the women’s 3-meter springboard, TCU newcomer Katie Lybbert notched a third-place finish and 16 team points with a score of 287.90 in the finals. That mark is fifth all-time at TCU.
After qualifying seventh with a score of 277.30, Lybbert made a significant jump in the standings in the finals and became the first Horned Frog woman to place in the top-three at the conference meet on the 3-meter board since Jennifer Ferguson in 2009.
In the men’s 800-freestyle relay, TCU’s Andy Garcia-Montes, Friedrich Grott, Rourke Barrett and Ben Iannacone placed sixth with a 6:42.64.
2011 Mountain West Conference Swimming & Diving Championships &- Day One
Team Scores Through 3 Events
1. BYU &- 121
2. Wyoming &- 105
3. Utah &- 91
4. TCU &- 80
5. UNLV &- 74
6. Air Force &- 64
1. San Diego State &- 99
2. New Mexico &- 97
3. BYU &- 78
4. UNLV &- 74
5. TCU &- 72
6. Utah &- 68
7. Colorado State &- 58
8. Wyoming &- 57
9. Air Force &- 42