HOUSTON, Nov. 22. HIGHLIGHTED by freshman Brittany Massengale's NCAA provisional qualifying win in the mile, the Rice swim team swept all six events on the final day of competition at the Houston Fall Invitational Sunday to claim the meet's team championship.
With wins in each of the six events on Sunday, Rice won a total of 17 of the meet's 18 races over the three days of competition. The Owls tallied 1,366 points to defeat meet host Houston (796 points), the University of New Orleans (208) and Incarnate Word (200).
Massengale followed up back-to-back victories on Saturday by starting off Sunday's action with a convincing win the 1,650-yard freestyle. The newcomer from Alma, Ark., provisionally qualified for the NCAA championships in the event with a time of 16:37.08. The mark set a new pool record at UH's Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium and was just 1.33 seconds off Cori Miller's 10-year old Rice University record (16.35.75 set in 1994).
"The NCAA provisional standard (for the 1,650-free) is 16:53 and Brittany crushed it," Rice head coach Seth Huston explained. "She had a great meet and I think they all did, up and down the lineup. We had someone get a season-best somewhere in every race this weekend."
Junior sprinter Laura Healey posted a season-best 51.43 to lead a 1-2-3 Rice finish in the 100-freestyle. Senior Lauren Hill led a similar 1-2-3 sweep of the top three spots in the 200-breaststroke with a mark of 2:19.09. Senior Jane Keith registered a season-best 2:03.80 to win the 200-backstroke.
Senior Urska Ros held off a challenge from a pair of Cougars to win the 200-butterfly by 13-hundredths of a second. Ros' winning time was 2:08.36 but she swam a season-best 2:03.99 in the morning prelims. She then teamed with Healey, Massengale and sophomore Andrea Hurn to close out the meet by winning the 400-free relay with a time of 3:27.35.
The Rice swim team will next face nationally-ranked Texas A&M on the road in a dual meet on December 4. The meet will begin at 2 pm in College Station.