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Shelby Bottoms Breaks 17-Year Old School Record Thursday At C-USA Swim Meet

RICEOWLS.COM <b>Shelby Bottoms</b><br>Jones College
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Shelby Bottoms
Jones College
RICEOWLS.COM

Feb. 16, 2012

Results

HOUSTON - Rice senior Shelby Bottoms broke a 17-year old school record in the 200-individual medley on the second day of action at the 2012 Conference USA Swimming & Diving Championships held across town at the U.H. Rec Center Pool, and she was joined by freshman Erin Flanigan and sophomore Chelsea Fong as three Owls took home silver medals in their respective events Thursday night.

With a big day of qualifying in morning prelims and a solid day of scoring up and down the Rice lineup, the Owl swimmers posted the most points Thursday night of any team in the meet. Rice's 191 points in the session gave the Blue & Gray a total of 259 points through Day 2 of the four-day meet. SMU leads the team scoring with 269 points. The Owls are second (259 pts.), followed by East Carolina (230), meet host the University of Houston (193), Marshall (108) and Tulane (77).

Bottoms swam a 2:00.48 in the morning prelims of the 200-IM to shatter the oldest Rice women's swimming record in the books, a time of 2:01.55 that was set in 1995 by Ginny Farmer (an Owl who would later go on to compete in the Olympics). Bottoms then won the C-USA silver medal in the event with a second place finish in the evening finals. The Houston native from nearby Lamar High School almost broke her own school record with a 2:00.64 in the evening session for second place behind SMU senior Therese Svendsen (1:58.08).

Bottoms blazed to a new Rice record in the 200-IM but the Owls weren't finished in the team scoring. Michelle Gean placed fourth with a 2:02.49 after a 2:01.84 in the morning prelims. Quincy Christian was fifth with a career-best 2:03.83, Kylee Talwar was sixth with a 2:04.02 (and a 2:01.65 in prelims) and Madison Livingston was tenth (2:05.26).

 

 

The Blue & Gray also delivered a big scoring punch in the 500-yard freestyle. Erin Flanigan finished second overall among a field of 30 entrants with a 4:49.19, the fourth-fastest time in Rice history and best by an Owl in four years. Junior Danielle Spence placed third with a season-best 4:52.07, Alex O'Brien was sixth (4:56.61) and Alison Godbe seventh (4:59.44).

Rice had only one finalist in the 50-freestyle sprint, but Chelsea Fong came up with a big second place finish among a field of 31 entries. The Cupertino, Calif., native qualified sixth in the prelims with a 23.56 but came back with a career-best 23.21 for second place in the finals. The freshmen tandem of Marissa Konicke and Rachel Moody scored in the consolation finals with new Rice bests. Konicke won the consolation race (23.44) while Moody was 11th (23.62).

Owls Michelle Gean, Lilly Marrow, Casey Clark and Fong closed out the night's action with a second place in the 400-medley relay. The foursome's time of 3:43.11 touched-in with the second-fastest time in Rice history in the event and provisionally qualified for next month's NCAA Championships.

Rice head coach Seth Huston liked the way the team stacked-up the points Thursday. The back-to-back C-USA Coach of the Year knows his team will have to keep applying the pressure in the team scoring, and will have to do so without diving points. Rice does not have any divers on the roster.

"The key is for the team to set itself up for finals at night, and we did that with a pretty good morning," Coach Huston said. "We had the top seeds of the 200-IM and 500-free after prelims. We worked to get a lot of spots in the finals and all we had to do then was come back and race. I think we did pretty well with that.

"How about Shelby Bottoms?" coach Huston quizzed with equal parts respect and congratulations. "That record has been there a lot of years and she almost broke it her freshman year. Then, she just missed it last year and still had a chance to get it, but her goggles came off in that race. Today it was, `just go get it and get it out of the way,' and she pretty-much did just that. She's stayed focused her whole career and today she got that 200-IM. She did a great job swimming a really good race."

"When we have a good morning I'm confident we can come back with more of the same (in evening finals)," Huston added. "We're only ten points out of first place and we're in the thick of things.

The meet continues at UH through Saturday with morning and evening sessions each day. The remaining meet schedule is as follows. Results are available at the above links.

FRI., FEBRUARY 17
Preliminaries - 10 am
400-Yard Individual Medley
100-Yard Butterfly
200-Yard Freestyle
100-Yard Breaststroke
100-Yard Backstroke
Diving Preliminaries - 1 pm
3-Meter (Men)
1-Meter (Women)

Finals - 6 pm
200-Yard Freestyle Relay
1-Meter Diving (Women)
400-Yard Individual Medley
100-Yard Butterfly
3-Meter Diving (Men)
200-Yard Freestyle
100-Yard Breaststroke
100-Yard Backstroke

SAT., FEBRUARY 18
Preliminaries - 10 am
200-Yard Backstroke
100-Yard Freestyle
200-Yard Breaststroke
200-Yard Butterfly
1,650-Yard Freestyle Preliminaries & Finals
Diving Preliminaries - 1 pm
Platform (Men & Women)

Finals - 6 pm
Platform Diving (Women)
200-Yard Backstroke
100-Yard Freestyle
200-Yard Breaststroke
200-Yard Butterfly
Platform Diving (Men)
400-Yard Freestyle Relay

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
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