NCAA Div. I Women: Roark Leads Texas Aggies Over LSU, Rice

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Jan. 18. THE 23rd-ranked Texas A&M women's swimming and diving team extended its current win streak to seven with dual meet victories over LSU and Rice at the Student Rec Center Natatorium on Saturday afternoon.

Though the final score was not indicative, the Aggies and Tigers battled each other all day long. A&M carried a 140-132 lead into the day's final two events but exploded for a 1-2-4-5 finish in the 200-yard individual medley. The Aggies then put all doubt to rest with a 1-2 finish in the day's final event, the 400 freestyle relay. A&M's overall depth contributed greatly to putting away the Owls, 175-90.

Sophomore Ashley Roark was unstoppable on Saturday, earning three individual wins in addition to a relay victory. Roark began the day for A&M by leading off the first-place 200 medley relay team that clocked a time of 1:46.00. In the crucial 200 individual medley, Roark outswam freshman teammate Kara Morelli for first, 2:06.47 to 2:07.65, to send the Aggies on their way to the pair of team wins. The Austin native also swept the backstroke events, turning in a seasonal best of 57.07 in the 100-yard race.

"Obviously I'm very pleased with the wins," A&M head coach Steve Bultman said. "After the IM, the meet was definitely over. It was nice to have it decided by then. Ashley had a big day. Going 1-2 in both relays was very, very important. I was real pleased with how we raced as a team."

Two more sophomores earned the only other individual wins on the day for the Aggies. Katie Fancher beat fellow sophomore Casey Mucha 1:52.18 to 1:52.98 for first place in the 200 freestyle while Danielle Townsend topped senior teammate Karri Tibball in the 100 freestyle, with a seasonal best time of 51.85.

The foursome of Fancher, Tibball, Brittany King and Townsend slammed the door on the meet by capturing first in the 400 free relay in a time of 3:30.99.

Roark teamed with Britney Pesek, Millie Reynolds and Townsend to start the meet off on the right foot for A&M by capturing first in the 200 medley relay. Freshmen Kara Morelli and Paty Villareal both turned in seasonal best times in multiple events on Saturday for the Aggies as well.

The Aggies (7-2, 2-1) will have their streak put to the test in a noon showdown tomorrow against No. 5 Texas.

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