Nov. 29, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - The TCU swimming and diving team got off to a strong start against a challenging field at the USA Swimming Winter National Championships Thursday at the Texas Swimming Center. The Horned Frogs saw two relay teams earn podium finishes and Sabine Rasch record four NCAA `B' cuts in the 50 free.
"I thought we did a nice job at a national-level meet," TCU head coach Richard Sybesma said. "The relays did a great job today."
Rasch had a demanding schedule to begin the championships, swimming lead-off for the 200 free relay in the morning and the evening sessions, swimming the 50 free in both sessions and anchoring the 200 medley relay in a time trial in the middle of the day. The senior started off the day by helping the TCU 200 free relay team of Rasch, Katie Scarsella, Mikayla Winkler and Parris Schoppa qualify for the `A' final of the event in 1:33.53. Rasch led off the relay in 22.93, her first NCAA `B' cut of the day.
"Anytime you get into an `A' final and get to walk in and race with the best is great," Sybesma noted. "With Arizona, Texas and USC here we are up against the best."
Rasch qualified 13th in the 50 free to close out the prelims session in her best individual time of the day, 22.69. In between sessions Rasch joined Ashley Alspaugh, Gabi Korac and Ali Bleasdell in a 200 medley relay time trial. The quartet finished in 1:43.63 to become the fourth-fastest quartet in TCU history.
Rasch returned in the evening to lead off the 200 free relay squad in 22.83 as they posted a better 1:33.37 to become the third-fastest relay team in TCU history. She closed out the night by finishing 16th in 22.89 in the 50 free.
"It is phenomenal how she put all those races together," Sybesma noted. "Sabine is a high-caliber athlete and today was a great day for her."
The TCU men's 400 medley relay team of Adam Szilagyi, Harrison Bui, Luiz Azarias and Devin Price finished seventh in the finals-only event, completing the race in 3:19.47. Szilagyi led off the relay in 48.75, becoming the fourth-fastest 100 backstroker in TCU history. The Hungarian also added a 48.76 in a 100 butterfly time trial to move into third in TCU history for the event.
"This is great for the entire relay," Sybesma said. "We did a good job adjusting to the conditions of the meet and it showed in the water. To see TCU on the podium at a big, USA Swimming event is a special feeling."
Sebastian Arispe qualified for the `C' final of the 500 free in 4:28.70 before completing finals tied for 19th place with an improved 4:28.18.
"Sebastian had a solid swim in the 500 in the finals," Sybesma said.
Also starring in the 500 free, but for the women, was Sara Brzozowski. The freshman blitzed a time trial swim, finishing in 4:51.26, becoming the second-fastest in the event in TCU history.
"Sara's 500 was two seconds better than she ever was," Sybesma said. "Just like Sebastian, they were both tough and finished the race tough. Bright future."
The men's 200 free relay also recorded a good time in the `B' final of the competition. After qualifying 12th in 1:23.59, the quartet of Szilagyi, Corey Nix, Cooper Robinson and Price moved up to 10th in 1:22.58.
"The key to that race was that all four guys were under 21 seconds," Sybesma noted. "For them to split that is really good."
TCU is back in action tomorrow at 9 a.m. for prelims, with finals at 5 p.m. The 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 800 free relay are all on the docket.