Conference USA Championships: Day Two

HOUSTON, Texas, February 25. DAY two of the 2010 Conference USA Swimming & Diving Championship and Invitational wrapped up Thursday night at the CRWC Natatorium on the University of Houston campus with SMU atop the leader board.

The Mustangs won the 200-yard individual medley and the 400-yard medley relay to finish the day with 270 points. Cross-town rivals Rice (206) and Houston (205) sit in second and third place separated by a single point. East Carolina (189-fourth), Tulane (116-fifth) and Marshall (76-sixth) complete the conference-school standings.

In the invitational scoring, North Dakota has 123 points, followed by Cal State Bakersfield (116) and Northern Colorado (80). Rice began the night by winning the 500-yard freestyle when Karen Gerken touched the wall in 4:52.97, followed by Houston's Kim Eeson (4:53.78). Both times were good enough for an NCAA `B' qualifying time. Rounding out the top five are East Carolina's Rachel Blue (4:43.09), Rice's Alex O'Brien (4:54.60) and Tulane's Allie Evans (4:59).

In the 200-yard IM, SMU claimed the top-two spots. Devon Callaghan came in first with a time of 2:00.36, while Therese Svendsen touched in 2:01.96. Callaghan's time earned her an NCAA `B' qualifying time.

Carissa Gormally of North Dakota won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.95, just nipping SMU's Sascha Van den Branden (22.97). Polishing off the top five are Tulane's Kayla Alf-Huynh (23.17), East Carolina's Jenna Stewart (23.18) and Rachel McCall (23.23) of Cal State Bakersfield.

Defending conference champion and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Anastasia Podzniakova of Houston won the 3-meter dive for the third time in her collegiate career with a score of 394.30. Fellow Cougar Lacey Truelove came in second place with a six-dive total of 327.15.

The Mustangs finished day three with a dominating performance in the 400-yard medley relay. The team of Svendsen, Callaghan, Denisa Smolenova and Van den Branden touched in 3:38.40 and earned an NCAA `B' qualifying time. Houston came in second with a mark of 3:45.54.

Men's teams from league schools East Carolina and SMU along with Hawaii, Cal State Bakersfield and North Dakota are also competing in the C-USA Men's Invitational. SMU leads the event after day two with 313 points, followed by Hawaii with 259 points. Cal State Bakersfield sits in third with 191 points, while North Dakota (123) is in fourth and East Carolina (112) sits in fifth. The meet resumes at 10 a.m., Friday with the preliminaries of the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke. The men's 3-meter diving preliminaries will begin around 1 p.m. The finals for those events are slated to begin around 6 p.m.

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