Feb. 22, 2013
The Rice duo of Quincy Christian and Casey Clark both won individual events to pace the Owl swimmers on a big-scoring third day of the annual Conference USA Championships Friday night across town at the University of Houston Rec Center Natatorium.
Clark and Christian fueled a high-octane set of Rice swims to set up what could be a dramatic finale on Saturday. With one day of action left in the four-day meet, event host Houston leads the team standings, but it is by the narrowest of margins. The Cougars have a total of 480.5 points for first place while Rice is in second with 480. Defending meet champion SMU is on the prowl in third with 441.5 points. East Carolina is fourth (399 points), followed by Tulane (266) and Marshall (175).
Christian started it off with her third individual championship in as many years in the 400-yard individual medley. The junior from California, who won the same event in both 2011 and 2012, rallied from behind in the first part of the race Friday to claim the event title with a time of 4:16.45. Freshman Shelbi Ragsdale finished third with a solid 4:18.73 and sophomore Madison Livingston was sixth (4:21.37).
Rice was back for more with the same scoring pattern in the very next event. Clark the won then won the 100-butterfly with a time of 53.20. In the morning prelims the standout from Spring, Tex., broke her own school record with 53.01. Marissa Konicke was third (54.50) while Lilly Marrow was sixth overall (55.34).
The Blue & Gray closed out the final two individual races with six more big scorers. Fresh off her individual title in Thursday's 200-IM, senior Kylee Talwar broke the school record to lead a 3-4-5 finish in the 100-breaststroke (1:01.92). Marrow followed with a 1:02.84 while Rachel Moody was fifth at 1:03.42.
Junior Michelle Gean continued her strong C-USA swims with a third place in the 100-backstroke (55.34, after a 55.24 in the prelims. The freshmen duo of Shannon Foreman scored with a sixth (56.25) while Taylor Armstrong won the consolation finals on the strength of a season-best 55.98.
The Owls closed out the meet with a second place finish in the 400-medley relay. The Rice foursome of Gean, Talwar, Clark and Konicke set a new school record in the event with a time of 3:41.86.
There is only one day remaining in the meet. Friday's events get under way with preliminary swim races beginning at 10 am at UH. Evening finals, including springboard diving, are scheduled for 6 pm.
SAT., FEBRUARY 23 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