AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 11. THE 5th-ranked University of Texas women's swimming and diving team picked up its biggest dual meet victory of the season, defeating No. 2 Georgia, 174.5-125.5, on Friday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin. UT improves its record to 6-2 with the victory, while the Bulldogs fell to 3-2.
The Longhorns were led by senior-transfer Lauren Thies (Portland, Ore./Stanford) and juniors Tanica Jamison (Dublin, Calif.) and Erin Phenix (Cincinnati, Ohio), all of whom were double-event winners.
Thies led the way in the individual distance events, winning both the 500 (4:52.58) 1,000-yard (10:02.13) freestyle, while Jamison took charge in the backstroke by winning both the 100 (55.65) and 200 (2:00.47) races. The sprint free events were highlighted by the performance of Phenix, who touched first in the 50 (23.13) and the 100 (50.20) free.
Sophomore Ally Hartzell (Austin, Texas) added to the UT scoring effort in diving, taking top honors on both the one (282.37) and three-meter (296.24) springboards.
"The past two dual meets have been so important to this team and building its confidence," women's co-head coach Mike Walker said. "Our goal today was to win but also show what kind of team we are. Our team realizes that when they count on each other and set the mood for the meet, amazing things can happen. It is important that the team carries the momentum from this victory into tomorrow's meet against Florida and the rest of the season."
Georgia coach jack Bauerle commented after the meet:
"We are disappointed with the outcome, but certainly not the effort. The kids did a great job, but we lost to a team that is a little better than we are. Hopefully there is time to get a little closer to them before the NCAA Championships, but we are proud of our
kids' efforts. We are proud of how they raced and how hard they have been working.
"We never like losing," added Bauerle, "but as the case may be, certainly they were better than we were today."
Senior Ashley Roby had a great meet for Georgia by winning three events and aiding Georgia to a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Roby led a
1-2-3 punch in the 100-yard breaststroke, taking first with a time of 1:02.10. Freshman Lindsay Ertter was second (1:04.10) with Virginia Pate coming in third (1:04.74).
The Lady Bulldogs also swept the top three spots in the 200-yard breaststroke, again with Roby leading the charge with a winning time of 2:14.47, followed by Pate and Ertter, respectively. Roby rounded out the day
by posting a mark of 2:03.00 in the 200-yard individual medley to win the race.
Stefanie Williams and Katie Yevak each won an event, as Williams' time of 1:47.41 was good enough for top honors in the 200-yard freestyle. Yevak picked up her victory in the 200-yard butterfly with a winning time of 1:59.92. She came in second in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley behind Roby.
Rebecca Rose posted season-best times of 10:06.70 in the 1000-yard freestyle and 4:53.54 in the 500-yard freestyle to take second place in each event. Ali Williams and Caroline Burns came in second and third,
respectfully, in the 1000-yard freestyle. Maritza Correia posted a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle as well as the 200-yard freestyle.
"We had great effort from Rebecca Rose, Stef Williams and Ashley Roby. Ashley was terrific today. She did a great job even though she was a little under the weather, which is no easy feat when you are swimming 200s. She is our star of the day," said Bauerle.
The Lady Bulldogs return to action next Saturday, Jan. 19, as they take on Southern Methodist at noon at Gabrielsen Natatorium.
"We turn around and have a big meet against SMU next week, and they are about as strong as Texas," offered Bauerle. "We have our work cut out. We just need to find a way to get a little bit better."
The men will battle the No. 2 Texas Longhorns tomorrow, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m. in Austin.
Both the Texas men's and women's swimming and diving teams return to action on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center. The women's squad will take on No. 8 Florida at noon, followed by the men's team, which faces No. 16 Georgia at 3 p.m. Admission is free.