FORT WORTH, TX, January 23. TCU’s swimming and diving team won two hard fought duals Friday afternoon over LSU at the University Recreation Center in front of a crowd of more than 200 people, per Horned Frog sources.
Needing wins in the final event of the day to come away with the victories, the H2O Frogs captured both of the men and women's title in the 200-freestyle relay to take a 124-119 decision on the women's side and a 127-110 win on the men's side. The women's team now sits at 12-1 in dual competition, while the men's team finishes the dual season with a 7-3 record.
"This is a big win for our program to beat a team from the Southeastern Conference," said Head Coach Richard Sybesma. "This is one of the biggest combined (men and women) victories that we have had in swimming and diving at TCU."
With one event remaining in the dual, the Tigers held a slim 115-111 advantage over the Horned Frog women. However, the TCU relay consisting of senior Aimee Moreau, junior Leann Cathcart and sophomores Karen Sandifer and Erica Tate posted their fastest time of the season when they touched the wall in 1:35.48 to give the team their 12th victory.
The TCU men had a 114-106 advantage heading into the final event of the meet and sophomore Yousif Del Valle, junior Brent Norcross, freshman Scott McCracken and junior Diego Palacios secured the TCU sweep when they finished with a time of 1:24.90.
For the women in the third event of the meet, the Frogs got off to a good start when they swept the points in the 1000-freestyle. Sophomore Rikki Covey, a transfer from Penn State University, posted her top time as a Frog to win the event in 10:34.41. Covey trailed early in the race, but she overtook LSU's Clare Schepens midway through and never looked back. Freshman Michelle Pottenger and Keliah Walker finished second and third, respectively, with times 10:37.95 and 10:38.76. Pottenger's time was a season-best performance.
In the seventh event, Cathcart and Tate finished one-two to pace the 50-freestyle. Cathcart touched the wall in a season best 23.70 seconds, while Tate came in with a time of 23.87 seconds. In the next event, the Frogs claimed their second top-three finish of the meet in the 200-individual medley. Sophomore Christi Cannon led the way with a time of 2:08.62, followed by fellow sophomore Keleigh Wentworth (2:08.80) and senior Tiffany Strawn (2:09.99).
With the meet winding down, Wentworth and Covey helped TCU cut their team deficit in the 500-freestyle in the 19th event. The sophomores finished first and second, respectively, to make the team score 104-103 in favor of the Tigers. Wentworth finished with a time of 5:08.46, while Covey glided into the wall in 5:12.03.
Swimming in the 1000-freestyle for the first time this season, senior Craig Chapman picked up the first of his two victories when he finished in the race in 9:34.93, which is the fastest time on the team this season. The reigning C-USA Swimmer of the Meet claimed his second title in the 500-freestyle later in the meet when he clocked a time of 4:40.52 to win by more than three seconds over Myles Jaynes of LSU. The senior just missed a third victory, but he had to settle for a runner-up finish in the 200-back (1:51.38) when he finished two tenths of a second off the win.
In the sixth event, Del Valle and freshmen Kyle Edens and Adam Montgomery swept the team points in the 200-freestyle. Del Valle, a sophomore, led the way as he came in at 1:43.55, while the freshmen battled it out for second and third with times of 1:44.10 and 1:44.19, respectively.
In the 14th event of the day, the Frogs got a strong performance from junior Teylor Arboleda and Edens as they placed first and second in the 200-butterfly. Arboleda clocked the fastest time in the event in 1:53.54, while Edens finished in 1:53.61.
The TCU men finish the year with a 7-3 dual record and now will set their sights on securing the four-peat at the C-USA Championships at the end of February. The women will host Rice on Feb. 5 in their next competition.