HOUSTON, Texas, October 11. THE University of Houston swimming and diving team won two dual meets this weekend to open the 2008-09 season.
Houston opened the weekend with a 132-88 win over Southwestern and capped it off with a 174-126 win over North Texas on Saturday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
The Cougars were led by divers Anastasia Pozdniakova and Lacey Truelove. Pozdniakova finished with an NCAA "A" qualifying mark in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events and Truelove notched a "B" qualifying mark in the 1-meter event.
Junior Jessica Shamburger also recorded the schools 10th fastest time in the 100-yard backstroke with her winning time of 57.57 on Saturday.
In the first event of the afternoon against the Mean Green, Houston finished first and fourth in the 200-yard medley relay. The Cougar "A" team of Jessica Shamburger, Beccy Hillis, Andrea Kells and Paige Bissett finished first with a time of 1:48.68. The "B" team of Rachel Johnson, Natalie Newcomb, Doreen Polotzek and Brittany Copeland finished fourth with a time of 1:55.46.
Co-captain Andrea Pa'lmai won her first event of the afternoon with a time of 10:22.03 in the 1,000-yard freestyle. She was followed by Olga Bordatcheva (11:01.17), Rachel Holcomb (11:49.32) and Markee Johnson (12:18.40) who finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
Pa'lmai also went on the win the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:06.35 and the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:34.76. Bissett and Rachel Johnson finished sixth (2:15.50) and seventh (2:22.43) respectively in the 200-yard backstroke. Natalie Newcomb was fifth for the Cougars in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:47.07.
In the third event of the afternoon, North Texas edged Kim Eeson for first place in the 200-yard freestyle. Eeson finished second with a time of 1:53.12. Newcomb added a fourth place finish (2:00.60), while Amber Pace was seventh (2:09.01).
After earning a first place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, Shamburger won her second event of the day finishing first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.57. Her winning time is also the 10th fastest time in Cougar record books. Bissett added a fourth place finish (1:00.73), while Amber Brodeur (1:06.08) was seventh and Rachel Johnson was eighth (1:06.52).
The Cougars followed up the win in the 200-yard medley with win in the 100-yard breaststroke. Hillis won her second event of the day with a time of 1:05.76. Polotzek notched a third place finish (1:09.99), Kells was fifth (1:12.59) and Borbala Juhasz was sixth (1:19.87). Polotzek's finish set a new career best for the Essen, Germany native.
Hillis won her third event of the day with a 2:20.87 finish in the 200-yard breaststroke. Bordatcheva, Newcomb and Juhasz also finished third (2:29.24), fourth (2:29.57) and seventh (2:57.27) for the Cougars in the event.
Co-captain Sasha Schwendenwein won the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:05.43 and Danica Lubbers was fifth with a time of 2:19.02. Schwendenwein won her second event of the afternoon with a time of 51.92 in the 100-yard freestyle. Copeland, Pace and Stone rounded out the Cougar participants. The trio finish sixth (56.65), seventh (57.63) and eighth (59.55), respectively.
Schwendenwein would also win the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:04.30 and Eeson was second with a time of 5:07.49. Rachel Johnson was seventh (5:48.69) and Markee Johnson was eighth (5:54.58).
Eeson notched her second second-place finish of the afternoon with a 25.07 time in the 50-yard freestyle. Teammates Copeland (25.52), Shamburger (25.70) and Anne Stone (26.70) finished fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively.
Four Cougars swam in the 100-yard butterfly for Houston. Leading the way was Kells with a second place finish of 58:84 and Polotzek finished third (1:00.00). Bissett and Lubbers rounded out the group finishing fifth (1:00.93) and eighth (1:03.23), respectively.
Houston ended the afternoon with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Eeson, Shamburger, Copeland and Schwendenwein combined to finish 3:3.14 in the event. Houston's "B" relay team of Polotzek, Pace, Pa'lmai and Bordatcheva finished fifth with a time of 3:43.56.
In the diving events, in her first collegiate meet since 2006 after taking a redshirt season to prepare for the 2008 Beijng Olympics, junior Anastasia Pozdniakova won the 1-meter diving competition with 307.43 points. She was followed in second by Lacey Truelove with 260.70 points and Courtney Forcucci in third with 253.35 points. Jessalyn Almond finished fourth with 232.42 points.
With their points total in the 1-meter event, Pozdniakova recorded an NCAA "A" finish, while Truelove notched an NCAA "B" finish.
In the 3-meter event, Pozdniakova again took first with 281.70 points and another NCAA "A" finish. Truelove (265.58 pts.), Almond (261.90 pts.) and Forcucci (254.85 pts.) rounded out the top four.
On Friday night, Houston traveled to Georgetown, Texas for a dual meet against Southwestern. UH won the meet with a score of 132-88.
In the 400-yard medley relay, the Cougars "A" relay finished first with a time of 4:13.03. The "A" relay team consisted of Bissett, Schwenedwein, Lubbers and Copeland. The "B" team of Rachel Johnson, Juhasz, Pa'lmai and Pace finished third with a time of 4:28:18.
In the 1,000-yard freestyle Newcomb finished first with a time of 10:56.02 and Bordatcheva took first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:00.50
Bissett captured first in the 50 yard backstroke with a time of 28:86, while Kells was first in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 33.51
Eeson continue the trend of Cougar swimmers finishing first in the 200-yard butterfly, coming in with a time of 2:14.31.
Schwendenwein captured her first individual win of the meet in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25:45 and Pa'lmai finished first with a time of 56:66 in the 100-yard freestyle to take first as well. Schwendenwein captured her third win of the day with a 2:11.45 finish in the 200-yard backstroke and Pa'lmai was once again first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:29.23.
Bordatcheva captured her second win in the mixed 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:15.86 and Kells notched her second win of the day in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 27.33.
Houston closed out the meet with two more wins, including a Schwendenwein win in the 200-yard IM (2:10.90) and a top finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Bordatcheva, Shamburger, Copeland and Bissett combined to finish with a time of 3:49.88.
Special thanks to Houston for contributing this report.