Rice seniors Kaitlyn Swinney and Alicia Caldwell both posted of pair of second place individual finishes to pace the Owl swimmers on the opening night of action at the annual Quad Meet Friday across town at the University of Houston Rec Center Natatorium.
With four teams each competing in three simultaneous meets over a tough two-day schedule, Rice leads Tulane (101-79) but trails nationally-ranked LSU (136-47) and event host Houston (122-61) after day one. The final eight events of the meet are scheduled for Saturday starting at 10 a.m.
Caldwell finished second among a starting field of 23 entries in the 200-yard freestyle with time of 1:49.75. The Sydney, Australia, native was also fourth in the 100-backstroke with time of 56.00. Swinney was second among a field of 27 swimmers in the 200-individual medley (2:04.79). Senior Jaecey Parham was fifth in the same event with a time of 2:06.71.
Rice's other top individuals from day one were distance swimmers Hanna Huston (10:09.00) and Ellery Parish (10:16.46) with a third and fourth, respectively, in the 1,000-freestyle. Senior Lauren Rhodes was fifth overall in the 50-freestyle (23.87).
"I was really pleased with Alicia, she stepped-up and swam her race in a really good field," said Rice head coach Seth Huston. "She also had a nice 100-backstroke tonight, as did Rabea Tzenetos (56.55) and Kaitlyn (56.89) in the same event. Kaitlyn then came back and had a really nice 200-IM.
"I really liked Hanna's and Ellery's 1,000's tonight," coach Huston added. " They really swam smart and had great back-halves. Those were nice performances. I'll tell you what, I liked Jaecey's 100-butterfly (57.40 for ninth). It may not have been our fastest tonight, but it was a good swim at this point of the season.
"All the teams here at the meet tonight all have slightly different agendas based on their upcoming conference championships," coach Huston said. "Our conference championships in C-USA are the latest of any of the schools here so we are honestly at a little different spot in our preparations for that than the other teams at this meet. We'll still come out and get back at it tomorrow, and try and do better than we did today."