When opportunity knocked for Rice swimmers at the U.H. First Chance Meet Saturday afternoon across town at the Cougar Rec Center, a host of Owls like true freshman Lindsay Mathys answered with some new season-best times.
For Rice the unscored meet was a chance, in fact a “First Chance” as the title of the event explained, for swimmers to improve on some marks before things get ramped-up for the upcoming conference championships. The Owl swimmers compete at the fast-approaching C-USA Championships on Feb. 21 in Atlanta, so this final tune-up was a training opportunity that could pay dividends later.
Mathys notched a pair of new season-best marks with a 23.75 split on the 50-freestyle competing as the lead leg of the sprint relay. The Rice rookie from Downers Grove, Ill., also posted a new season best in the 100-freestyle (51.06) that is now the fourth-best on the squad.
Freshman Brittany Bui swam a season-best 55.38 in the 100-butterfly that is now the second-fastest for an Owl this year. Senior Lauren Rhodes tallied a 55.86 in the 100-fly that is now the team’s fourth-best time.
The Blue & Gray had a wave of new season-best marks in the 200-free. The trio of Kaitlyn Swinney (1:50.12), Sydney Franzen (1:50.24) and Kelsey Evans (1:50.42) all stepped up with the respective best times of the year. Kiley Beall likewise had a 2:04.03 in the 200-fly and Kaitlin Benjamin swam a 5:06.45 in the 500-free.