Dec. 16, 2012
SAN ANTONIO – Four event wins, three NCAA 'B' cuts and a pool record highlighted the efforts of the TCU swimming and diving squads Sunday at the UIW Christmas Invitational. The TCU men’s team is leading the team standings with 1,520 points. The Horned Frogs women’s team is second with 1,231 points, only 53.5 behind North Texas.
"I am pleased with how our team performed," TCU head coach Richard Sybesma said. "We have really showed a great amount of team depth over the past few days and that has helped us in the team standings."
TCU again showed its strength in the men’s 100 back Sunday. Szilagyi was the star of the show, dominating the field with a 47.49, a whole second below the NCAA 'B' cut and only .05 seconds off Lazslo Gyurko’s school record. Szilagyi also set the pool record for the event at The Aquatic Center at Palo Alto College, which was previously 47.59. Szilagyi also finished second in the 100 fly in 49.12.
"Setting a pool record here is an impressive honor," Sybesma noted. "There have been some very good meets here over the years. With his double swim tonight and competing in two relays, he is putting in the effort. He is pretty tired, but what a great 100 back."
Not to be out done, Cooper Robinson had a fantastic swim in the 100 back, finishing second in 48.13 with an NCAA 'B' cut time of his own of 48.18. Josh Mangus (50.23) and Devin Price (50.42) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Sebastian Arispe also picked up a victory, touching the wall first in the men’s 200 free competition in 1:38.85. Arispe led a TCU group of five in the ‘A’ final that also included Mangus (third, 1:40.94), Ross Van Allen (fourth, 1:41.77), Thor Stenfjord (sixth, 1:42.54) and Ryker Saunders (eighth, 1:43.06).
"It was a really great swim," Sybesma noted. "It is good to see Sebastian go after his race and not be far off from the school record pace."
The men’s 800 free relay team of Szilagyi, Ross Van Allen, Arispe and Mangus posted an NCAA 'B' cut in the 800 free relay, finishing second in 6:40.36.
Michael Franz finished second in the 400 IM for the Frogs in 3:58.42, leading four TCU competitors that made the ‘A’ final. TCU also had four competitors in the ‘A’ final of the 100 fly.
Ali Bleasdell posted a victory for the TCU women in the 400 IM. The sophomore touched the wall in a career-best time of 4:21.12, catapulting herself into the TCU all-time top-five for the event.
"That was a tough swim from Ali tonight," Sybesma noted. "We had a lot of tough double swims tonight, and it was events like the 400 IM where our team depth showed."
Ali Polhill recorded a strong day with a challenging double on the slate. The junior finished third in the 100 fly and 100 back, moving into TCU’s all-time top-three for both events. She now ranks second in the 100 back (56.10 in prelims) and third in the 100 fly (55.37 in finals).
"She is really becoming an integral part to the relays to go with the 100 fly and the 100 back," Sybesma observed. "These are great mid-season swims she posted tonight."
Gabi Korac took second in the 100 breast competition in 1:03.46. Katie Scarsella finished third in the 200 free with a 1:50.00. Other women earning top-five finishes were Sara Brzozowski (fourth, 4:24.81) and Emily Rose Creighton (fifth, 4:27.92) in the 400 IM and Ashley Alspaugh in the 100 back (fifth, 56.62).
In the diving well, the Horned Frogs men posted their second win of the weekend, this one coming from Curtis Muller on 1-meter. The sophomore was part of a tight three-man competition for first with his teammate Ricky Bradley and Garrett Nevels of Missouri State. Muller came out on top with 272.50, edging out Nevels’ 271.70 and Bradley with 268.35.
The women’s divers competed on 3-meter and were led by Katie Lybbert’s second place effort with a score of 257.30. Lauren Mikulecky (fourth, 235.40) and Kristen Connolly (fifth, 234.85) also got into the top-five.
Competition wraps up tomorrow with prelims at 10 a.m., 1650 free heats at noon and finals at 4 p.m. Events on tap include the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 1650 free, platform diving and the 400 free relay.