Jan. 18, 2013
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – TCU’s swimming and diving teams recorded their first Big 12 dual meet wins in program history Friday evening over West Virginia. The men won 160-131, and the women prevailed 160-140. Both teams now boast dual records of 3-1 on the season with the TCU women 1-1 in Big 12 competition and the Horned Frogs men 1-0 in the league.
“Any time your men’s and women’s program is able to win it is good for morale,” TCU head coach Richard Sybesma said. “We knew we had the opportunity to win tonight. West Virginia is a very good team, and these are big wins for our programs.”
The women’s competition turned during the first diving break for TCU. In spite of winning only two of the first seven events the Horned Frogs were only down one point at 66-65.
“We talked to the girls and told them that we were only one point back,” Sybesma noted. “That kind of caught them by surprise, and really got them excited.”
The TCU women took control of the meet from there. Katie Scarsella led a TCU 1-2-3 in the 100 free in 51.85. Sabine Rasch was second (52.05) and Parris Schoppa was third (53.18). The Frogs followed that up with a 1-2-3 sweep in the 200 back as Lizzy Oster touched first in 2:07.65 followed by Aly Davis (2:08.02) and Ashley Alspaugh (2:08.19). TCU’s run climaxed with Michelle Fleming winning the 200 breast in 2:22.67. Suddenly a 66-65 deficit was a 97-72 advantage.
“We won the three races and we were rolling,” Sybesma said. “It was really exciting to be a part of that. The team was behind each other. They took advantage of being in the hunt, and we excited to have the opportunity.”
Davis played a vital role for the Frogs in the win. Along with her second in the 200 back, the freshman won the 100 back (58.67) and finished second in the 400 IM (4:32.97) behind teammate Ali Bleasdell (4:30.77). Rasch also claimed a victory for the TCU women in the 50 free (23.88).
On the men’s side, Cooper Robinson had the performance of the night in the 200 back. The sophomore took down the WVU Natatorium record with a 1:48.19.
“He came up and said that he was going to try and get the pool record,” Sybesma said. “It was an achievable goal because of the way he has been swimming. He was excited to have that opportunity tonight.”
TCU claimed 10 of the 16 event wins on the men’s side with Harrison Bui, Thor Stenfjord and Adam Szilagyi claiming two individual wins each. Bui swept the 100 (58.38) and 200 (2:08.09) breaststroke. Stenfjord was the distance king of the evening, winning the 500 (4:39.08) and 1,000 free (9:32.46) and adding a 4:04.53 in the 400 IM. Szilagyi touched first in the 100 back (49.43) and 100 fly (51.32).
One of the Mountaineers men’s team strengths is the sprint freestyle. TCU’s star sprinter Devin Price made sure WVU could not take much of an advantage. The senior came out on top of the 100 free in 46.11 and finished second in the 50 free in 21.07, a race where the top three were only separated by .07 seconds.
“Devin turned it up in the 100 free,” Sybesma noted. “His performance in the relays was terrific as well.”
The TCU women are back in the pool on Wednesday with a dual meet at SMU at 6 p.m. in Perkins Natatorium in Dallas. The Horned Frogs men and women compete next Friday with a home dual meet against Big 12 rival Texas at the University Recreation Center Natatorium starting at 4:30 p.m. The meet will be Senior Day as both the men and women will recognize the members of the senior class.