TCU Swimming Edges SMU In Intrastate Tussle

Photo Courtesy: TCU Athletics

The TCU men picked up an incredible 152-148 victory against intrastate rival SMU by seizing the win in the final event.

TCU Press Release:

The TCU men’s swimming and diving team improved to 3-0 after edging out a late win over SMU 152-148. SMU held a five-point lead heading into the final event of the meet, but a split-second finish in the winner-take-all race gave the Horned Frogs their third win in program history against the Mustangs.

“This was a top-five win in our history,” head coach Richard Sybesma said. “SMU put up a tough fight, and it was a hard-fought battle.”

The Frogs trailed by 16 points late in the meet. Before the final event, freshman Tommy Thach put TCU in a position to win after securing a first-place finish in the 200 IM (1:51.96). Thach then anchored in the winner-take-all 400-yard freestyle relay.

“Tommy being able to win the 200 IM and then come back to anchor the relay was phenomenal.” Sybesma said. “That couldn’t have been a better ending for us.”

Sophomore John Smith led off the 400-yard freestyle relay, followed by junior Garrett Hills and freshmen Leo Sanchez and Thach. The team clocked in at 3:04.35. SMU’s relay team finished closely at 3:04.97.

“We were fortunate to win. We had guys that really wanted to take the victory,” said Sybesma.

The ending of the meet erupted with cheers from the crowd and an enthusiastic team.

“It was loud in here during that last relay,” said Sybesma. “I think this is a great momentum boost for our team going forward.”

Junior Chris Hearl, senior Ford Story, Smith and Hills opened the meet with a first-place time of 1:31.49 in the 200-yard medley relay. Their time marked a season-best for the Frogs.

Sophomore Connor Dobbs followed the relay victory by placing first in the 1000-yard freestyle, clocking in at a career-best 9:31.73. SMU won the next two events before Story finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke at 56.15.

In the 200-yard fly, sophomore Carlos Hunnicutt earned a top time of 1:50.92, with sophomore Matt Spallas placing second at 1:52.61.

John Remetta, a junior from Southlake, Texas, finished the 200-yard breaststroke at 2:05.06, good for first place.

“I was very proud of our team,” said Sybesma. “We’re going to enjoy this victory.”

The men will return to action on Nov. 6 when they travel to Ames, Iowa to compete against Iowa State and South Dakota.

SMU Press Release:

The SMU men’s swimming and diving team won seven individual events, while sweeping both diving disciplines, but narrowly fell to TCU, 152-148, on Wednesday evening at the University Recreation Center.

“It was an extremely exciting meet,” head coach Eddie Sinnott said. “We fell behind early, fought back and took a lead and then it came down to the last relay and we came up a little short. We did some things really well and we did some things poorly, that’s what these early season meets are all about, identifying what we need to work on to get better.”

Bryce Klein led the diving efforts for SMU, posting NCAA Zone qualifying scores in both the 1- and 3-meter. The junior posted a 358.72 in 3-meter, and a 343.65 in the 1-meter in his first collegiate competition since the 2014 American Athletic Conference championship. Senior Parker Meinecke also posted a qualification score and was second in the 1-meter with a 301.80. Classmate Daniel Pitts was the event runner-up in the 3-meter at 317.55.

Head diving coach Jim Stillson praised Klein’s efforts despite taking the 2014-15 season off.

“Bryce did a great job, he looks a little bit rusty, but he stepped up and won both events and got his NCAA Zone score on both boards and that’s my expectation of him.

“A big upside was that Parker Meinecke also stepped up and got his Zone score on 1-meter, and Dan Pitts was just a few points off those scores. Getting those Zone scores early is huge, now they know their season isn’t going to end until at least two weeks after conference so their mentality changes and the pressure’s off. Overall, I really didn’t expect to go 1-2-3 against this team, but I’m really proud of all the guys, they did a tremendous job.”

Sophomore and reigning AAC Swimmer of the Year Christian Scherubl won a team-leading three events for the Mustangs, outpacing the competition in the 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyles. In the 200 distance, Scherubl out-touched TCU’s Tommy Thach by .02 seconds for the win, and he came from behind in the 100 with a 23.70 split to give the Mustangs nine points toward the team total.

Backstroke specialist Bartosz Krzyzaniak swept both distances, posting times over two seconds faster than his closest competition in each, and senior Sam Straughan was also a multi-event winner posting the top times in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly.

Four other Mustangs earned runner-up honors in individual events, including newcomers Lucas Schenke (1,000 freestyle) and Brandon Norman (200 back), as well as Stefan Popov in the 200 breast and Ziga Cerkovnik in the 100 breast.

In relay action, SMU finished second in the 200-yard medley event to start the night as Krzyzaniak, Cerkovnik, Straughan and Scherubl clocked a 1:31.75. Both Krzyzaniak and Straughan posted top splits for the Ponies going 23.49 in the backstroke and 21.57 in the butterfly, respectively.

The evening closed with a closely contested 400-yard freestyle relay in which Krzyzaniak, Schenke, Straughan and Cerkovnik turned in a 3:04.97 performance to finish behind TCU’s A relay, which touched in 3:04.35.

“I feel bad for the guys because you want to win,” Sinnott added, “but if you were here it was as exciting as a meet could be. Unfortunately they came out on top, but we’re going to keep doing the things we’re doing and we’re going to improve on the things we didn’t do well and ultimately it’s all going to work out really well.”

The Mustangs are back in action on Nov. 7 when they travel to LSU to take on the Tigers in Baton Rouge. Events begin at 12 p.m. CT. Check and follow the program on social media for up-to-date information.

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