AUSTIN, Tex, October 3, THE University of Texas women's swimming and diving team opened its season on Friday afternoon at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center with the Orange vs. White scrimmage.
The relay team of senior Jenna Bridges (Tallahassee, Fla.), juniors Michelle Molina (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) and Sarah Wanezek (Brookfield, Wis.) and sophomore Kristy Siminski (Portage, Ind.) combined for a time of 1:35.68 in the 200-yard freestyle relay as the White team placed first and second in the final event of the day en route to a 156-142 victory.
"Even though our teams are split in half, they are still able to get the feel and pace of what a dual meet is like," Texas co-head coach Jill Sterkel said. "It brings a lot of excitement and energy and it really provides an opportunity for the freshmen to understand that college swimming is truly a team sport."
Underclassmen had a huge impact on the meet as they won the first four individual races and seven of 11 overall. Sophomore Elizabeth Wycliffe (Kingston, Ontario), the 2003 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year, led the way with victories in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke after posting times of 56.10 and 2:01.08, respectively, for the White squad.
After the Orange team of freshmen Connie Brown (Andover, Mass.), Leah Avilla (Livermore, Calif.), Allison McLeod (Austin, Texas) and senior Lacey Elliott (El Paso, Texas) opened the meet with a victory for the Orange team in the 400-yard medley relay (1:45.56), freshman Stephanie Anderson (Scottsdale, Calif.) began the individual events with a triumph in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Competing for the White squad, Anderson posted a time of 10:02.27.
Sophomore Kristy Siminski (Portage, Ind.) followed for the White team with the top time in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:51.30 and Wycliffe then added her first victory of the day in the 100-yard backstroke.
Freshman Elizabeth Tinnon (Bowling Green, Ky.) continued the string of underclassmen victories and handed the Orange team its first individual win by posting a time of 1:03.05 in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Texas' upperclassmen got into the mix when two of its tri-captains posted wins for the White team as juniors Elizabeth Hoffman (Houston, Texas) and Wanezek added wins in the 200-yard butterfly and the 50-yard freestyle, respectively, with times of 2:05.78 and 23.53. Wanezek later added another win when she placed first in the 100-yard butterfly with a mark of 55.84.
The Orange team managed to keep the race competitive in spite of Wanezek and Wycliffe's two individual victories apiece. Elliott's victory in the 100-yard freestyle (51.62) and Avilla's top time in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:18.12) sandwiched Wycliffe's win in the 200-yard backstroke. Junior Kaela Humphries (Chaska, Minn.) was also the top performer in the 200-yard individual medley as her time of 2:04.80 helped the Orange team close to within a point of the White squad heading into the last relay.
The divers also managed to keep the meet close as senior Ally Hartzell (Cedar Park, Texas) and junior Katura Horton-Perinchief (Etobicoke, Ontario) split the two victories between the Orange and White teams. Hartzell topped the five-person field on the one-meter for the Orange team with a mark of 185.20, while Perinchief's score of 272.00 on the three-meter provided the White team with a diving victory.