Jan. 27, 2012
Erin Flanigan finished second in the 1,000-yard freestyle and the Rice foursome of Michelle Gean, Lilly Marrow, Casey Clark and Chelsea Fong took second in the 200-yard medley relay to pace the Owl swimmers on the first day of the U.H. Quad Meet Friday night across town at the University of Houston Rec Center Natatorium.
The two-day scoring format is that each of four teams competes in three dual meets simultaneously. At the halfway point Rice leads Conference USA foe Tulane 92-84. The Owls trail both nationally-ranked LSU (123-57) and meet host Houston 115-68.
The 200-medley relay and the 1,000 were the first two events of the night, and the Owls' best. Rice has gone faster this year in the 200-medley than its 1:46.42 on Friday, but the three-sophomore/one freshman crew held of the challenge from six other entries.
In the 1,000 Flanigan touched-in second place with a time of 10:20.32. Rice junior Danielle Spence was fourth in the event with a 10:31.34 while senior Nicole Delaloye posted a season-best 10:32.42 for fifth. Flanigan came back later and notched Rice's best finish in the 200-free with a 1:56.43 for ninth place.
Chelsea Fong was not entered in Friday's 200-freestyle, but she had a steady third in the 100-butterfly (56.67). Senior sprinter Shelby Bottoms had not raced in the 200-breaststroke in her Rice career, but her 2:20.95 for fourth place was the Owls' second-fastest time of the season.
The Rice freshmen tandem of Rachel Moody and Marissa Konicke recorded the team's top spots in the 50-free with a fourth (24/39) and sixth, (24.44) respectively. Michelle Gean swam a 58.20 for fifth place in the 100-backstroke. Junior Kylee Talwar was sixth in the 200-individual medley (2:09.99). The Owls' relay team of Clark, Konicke, Alison Godbe and Moody closed out the action with a fourth place in the 400-freestyle (3:35.32).
Rice head coach Seth Huston, now in his tenth year at the helm of the program, stressed the need for better results heading into Saturday.
"The team got off to an OK start, but we could have helped ourselves more than we did as the meet went on," Huston explained. "We had some really good training heading into this meet, but we didn't show that was the case tonight. We have another full day tomorrow. We need to step up and be ready to race better than we did today."
The Quad Meet concludes Saturday at U.H. Start time for nine scheduled swim events is set for 11 am. Friday's results are available at the above links.