Houston Women Lead Their Own Invite at end of Day 1

HOUSTON, Texas, January 12. WITH some strong performances, the University of Houston swimming and diving team rolled to big leads during the first day of a two-day quad-meet against North Texas, New Mexico State and Florida International on Friday at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center Natatorium.

The Cougars won six individual swimming events and both relay events while sweeping the Top Three places in the 3-meter diving competition to build big leads against their three opponents. After the first day, UH enjoyed a 127-55 lead over North Texas, a 132-48 advantage over Florida International and a 126-55 lead over New Mexico State.

The two-day meet wraps up at 11:30 a.m., Saturday at the CRWC Natatorium with the 400-yard medley relay, 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard backstroke, 1-meter diving, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and the 800-yard freestyle relay.

All regular-season Cougar Swimming and Diving meets are free and open to the public, which is invited to attend.

Senior captain Szintia Szanto won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.13 and captured first place in the 200-yard individual medley with a clocking of 2:06.91. The Budapest, Hungary, native also finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Freshman Jessica Shamburger took top honors in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.34, the fourth-fastest time in school history and the fastest clocking by any Cougar swimmer in that event in the CRWC Natatorium. The Spring native also finished third in the 50-yard freestyle.

Sophomore Andrea Pa'lmai won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:19.37 and finished third in both the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley.

The Cougars swept the Top Two places in the 200-yard freestyle. Sophomore Sasha Schwendenwein claimed first place with a clocking of 1:54.12 with teammate and junior Nicole Vaiana a close second at 1:55.46. Schwendenwein also joined Szanto as the only multiple event winners after finishing first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.74.

The Cougars started the meet on a high note with the team of Shamburger, Szanto, sophomore Doreen Polotzek and Schwendenwein winning the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:48.70.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Shamburger, Vaiana, Schwendenwein and Szanto closed out the night with a clocking of 3:33.08 for another first-place finish.

On the diving side, the Cougars swept the Top Three places with sophomore Anastasia Pozdniakova scoring 382.00 points, setting a UH record in the CRWC Natatorium. Junior Ginni van Katwijk finished second with 294.85 points, while senior captain Rachel Gitelson was third with 289.40 points.

This was the first of consecutive weekends that the Cougars will host dual meets. On Jan. 19, the Cougars play host to Texas A&M at 4 p.m. and wrap up their 2007 regular-season home schedule against Miami (Fla.) at 11 a.m., Jan. 20.