COLLEGE STATION, Texas, November 21. THE 13th-ranked Texas A&M women’s swimming & diving team seized first place honors in convincing fashion at the Texas A&M Invitational on Sunday. The No. 13 Aggies topped in-state rival Southern Methodist by a score of 1,123 to 891.5 to win the invitational crown for the second straight season. No. 15 Michigan nearly caught the Mustangs, finishing the meet with 871 points. South Carolina was a distant fourth with 444 points.
Freshman Codie Hansen (Arlington, Texas) had another great day for the Aggies by posting NCAA consideration times in both the 100 and 1,650-yard freestyles. Hansen began the afternoon session by clocking a lifetime-best mark of 16:42.02 in the mile to finish fourth. Later in the session, Hansen finished third in the 100-yard freestyle out of Lane One in a season-best time of 50.48. She also closed out the meet by anchoring the 400-yard freestyle relay to within a second-and-a-half of the NCAA automatic qualifying standard. The group of Triin Aljand (Tallinn, Estonia), Christine Marshall (Newport News, Va.), Ewelina Zwierzykowski (Corpus Christi, Texas) and Hansen finished second behind SMU in a time of 3:20.35, the third-fastest in A&M history.
Arguably the best event of the day for the Aggies was the 200-yard backstroke. Freshman Kristen Heiss (Casper, Wyo.) completed an incredible meet by shaving nearly three seconds off of her lifetime-best time in the event. Heiss just missed the NCAA automatic qualifying standard by finishing in a time of 1:58.61.
Fellow freshman backstroker Julia Wilkinson (Stratford, Ontario) completed her first weekend of swimming for the Aggies by going under the two-minute mark in the 200 back herself. Wilkinson finished third behind Heiss in a time of 1:59.03 then later led off the Aggie ‘C’ 400 free relay by hitting the wall in an NCAA consideration time of 50.45 which now makes her the fastest 100 freestyler on the A&M team.
Junior Meghan Nebera (Brentwood, Tenn.) turned in one of the better performances of her Aggie career on Sunday by claiming third-place in the 200-yard butterfly. Nebera finished in a time of 2:02.86, her best in two seasons.
Sophomore Brittany Lentz (Humble, Texas) was the only Aggie to qualify for the finals in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing sixth in a season-best time of 2:20.22. Fellow soph Chelsea Helgason (Olympia, Wash.) won the consolation final in 2:19.73, nearly two seconds faster than her previous lifetime-best mark.