HOUSTON, Texas, October 27. TCU and Rice's women's swimming and diving teams put on a show of talent and depth Friday at the Rice Invitational. When it was all said and done the Horned Frogs depth over came the Owls. TCU took the team title with 1,045 points, edging out Rice's 1,039.
“We were a tough team today,” head coach Richard Sybesma said. “We had to tough it out today, and we did.”
The outdoor meet started at 9 a.m. Saturday morning with the air temperature at 49 degrees. To go with that, the Horned Frogs were 32 points behind Rice going into the second day of action.
“It was an exhausting two days,” Sybesma noted. “It was really cold up until the final session.”
The last event of the morning session saw the tide begin to turn as Sara Brzozowski was victorious in the 1,650 free. The freshman dominated the event, finishing 13 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Her time of 17:01.58 now ranks her fourth in school history for the event. Brzozowski also finished second in the 200 free and 10th in the 100 free.
“Sara Brozowski had a really amazing swim for this early in the year,” Sybesma said. “I was pleased to see her take command and lead for the entire race.”
The strength of the Horned Frogs depth was shown in the final session. All but two of TCU's individual point scorers finished in the top-10 of their event, with one of the exceptions coming in 11th.
“We felt like we had four solid people in each event,” Sybesma said. “We were looking to be top heavy or win with depth.”
After taking a win in the 200 IM on day one, Ali Bleasdell was a key contributor again for the Horned Frogs on day two. Bleasdell earned her second victory of the weekend in the 200 butterfly, finishing nearly two seconds ahead of the field in 2:04.44. She also added a second-place finish in the 400 IM, going 4:34.01.
“She went right out of the gate and took command,” Sybesma stated. “It was a phenomenal race.”
Junior Ali Polhill earned two second-place finishes, taking runner-up in the 100 fly (58.76) and the 100 back (59.81). Michelle Fleming also contributed a second place finish in the 200 breast, touching the wall in 2:23.84.
In the diving well, Katie Lybbert scored crucial points for the Frogs with a convincing win on 3-meter. Lybbert's score of 291.52 earns her qualification for the NCAA Zone Diving Meet in March. Freshman Kristen Connolly was the top TCU competitor on 1-meter, taking second with a score of 252.75.
“We had to have diving come through near the end,” Sybesma noted. “It was a good effort out of the divers.”
“We were fortunate to win today,” Sybesma concluded. “All the teams did a really good job. Our girls put together a good meet both swimming and diving.”
The TCU women will make their Big 12 debut next weekend as part of a double-dual meet at Kansas and also featuring North Dakota. The Horned Frogs men will compete in a dual meet against North Dakota. Competition in Lawrence begins Friday at 6 p.m. and continues into Saturday at 10 a.m.
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