Feb. 17, 2012
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The Rice tandem of Quincy Christian and Shelby Bottoms finished first and second, respectively, in the 400-yard individual medley to pace the Owl swim team Friday night on the third day of competition at the 2012 Conference USA Swim Championships being held across town at the U.H. Rec Center Pool.
After three days of the four-day, 27-event C-USA championship meet, SMU leads the team scoring with 550 points. The Owls are second with 507 points, followed by East Carolina (469.5 pts.), meet host the University of Houston (361), Marshall (192) and Tulane (148.5).
Though just a sophomore, Christian is no stranger to winning the C-USA individual championship in the 400-IM. The Granite Bay, Calif., native won the league title in the event as a true freshman last season and she defended her crown with a season-best time of 4:18.67 that provisionally qualified for next month's NCAA Championships.
Fresh off her new school record in the 200-IM she set on Thursday, senior Shelby Bottoms made it a 1-2 finish for the Blue & Gray in the 400-IM with career-best time of 4:40.64. The 400-IM proved to be one of the Owls' strongest scoring events of the meet as Alex O'Brien finished fourth (4:24.64) and Kylee Talwar took fifth (4:25.98).
Rice also came up with some big finishes for points in the 200-freestyle. Freshman Erin Flanigan won her second silver medal of the weekend with season-best 1:48.34, the fourth fastest mark in Rice history. Sophomore Chelsea Fong touched in fourth with a time of 1:49.21 that was a narrow six one-hundredths of a second in front of sixth place. Senior Alison Godbe was eighth among the 28 entries with career-best time of 1:50.79.
Freshman Casey Clark finished third in the 100-butterfly with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 54.15. Sophomore Carter Graves reached the championship finals and scored with a seventh-place 56.38. Karina Wlostowska and Lilly Marrow were 10th and 11th, respectively, with 56.15 and 56.56.
Marrow then came back later in the meet and finished fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a 1:03.09 for one of the top four times in Rice history. Talwar won the consolation finals (1:04.58) while Rachel Moody was 10th 1:04.65).
In the 100-backstroke sophomore Michelle Gean was Rice's top finisher with a fifth-place 55.77. The Blue & Gray posted a sound and solid effort with a second-place in the 200-freestyle relay. The Owl foursome of Clark, Marissa Konicke, Moody and Fong swam a season-best 1:32.15 to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Rice holds second in the team standings, but there's still a full day of events up for grabs on Saturday. Preliminary races begin at 10 am at UH with championship finals set for 6 pm. The meet schedule is as follows:
SAT., FEBRUARY 18
Preliminaries - 10 am
1,650-Yard Freestyle Preliminaries
Diving Preliminaries - 1 pm
Platform (Men & Women)
Finals - 6 pm
1,650-Yard Freestyle Finals
Platform Diving (Women)
Platform Diving (Men)
400-Yard Freestyle Relay