HOUSTON, Texas, February 28. THE 2008 Conference USA Women's Swimming & Diving Championship and Invitational continued on Thursday evening at the CRWC Natatorium on the campus of the University of Houston with another dominating performance by defending champion SMU. The Mustangs set new meet and pool records in two events, while winning all five events that took place during day two.
The 400-yard medley relay squad of Anja Carman, Devon Callagan, Elzanne Werth and Petra Klosova closed out the evening by taking the event gold in 3:38.86. The time was good for NCAA `B' consideration. Rice (3:47.52) and Houston (3:51.74) took second and third, respectively.
The Mustangs made history in the 3-meter diving event, becoming the first team other than Houston to win gold in a diving event. SMU Sophomore Britney Yancey claimed first place with a mark of 329.50, an NCAA `A' qualifying score. Three-time C-USA Diver of the Week Courtney Forcucci (314.80) of Houston took second also with an NCAA `A' qualifying mark. Mustang freshman Audra Egenolf claimed the bronze with an NCAA `A' mark of 306.05.
In the 50-yard freestyle, SMU had a one-two finish with junior Candace Blackman taking gold in 22.79 and senior Angela San Juan Cisneros just behind in 22.92. Both times were NCAA `B' qualifying times. Rice junior Carly Miller was third with a time of 22.96.
The Mustangs were dominant in the 200-yard individual medley, taking the top six places. Klosova, the 2007 C-USA Swimmer of the Year, set a new meet and pool record, taking the gold in 1:59.48. The time was also an NCAA `A' qualifying mark. Junior Jennifer Basel, was just off her record pace from last season and finished second in 2:00.99, while freshman Maroua Mathlouthi won bronze in 2:01.89. Both times were good for NCAA `B' qualification.
Callaghan (2:03.08), Carman (2:03.37) and sophomore Justine Clark (2:03.66) took places three through six for SMU, respectively. All three of their times were good for NCAA `B' consideration.
SMU took two of the top three places in the 500-yard freestyle final to begin the night, with Jennifer Blackman claiming her second consecutive 500 free title in an NCAA `A' qualifying time of 4:45.27. Rice's Brittany Massengale touched second (4:48.38) for an NCAA `B' qualifying time, while SMU's Katie Roberts grabbed third in 4:52.47, also an NCAA `B' qualifying time.
SMU took control of the C-USA Championship team scoring after the dominant day and now leads with 323 points, followed by Rice with 213 and East Carolina with 178. Houston sits in fourth with 125 points, while Marshall is fifth with 116 points.
First-year women's invitational members Northern Colorado (106) and Cal State Bakersfield (90) sit in sixth and seventh in the invitational team scoring.
Men's teams from league schools East Carolina and SMU along with Hawaii and Cal State Bakersfield are also competing in the C-USA men's invitational. SMU leads that event after day two with 337.50 points, followed by Hawai'i with 270, East Carolina with 218.50 and Cal State Bakersfield with 135.
Special thanks to the Conference USA for contributing to this report.