ATLANTA –Rice junior Alicia Caldwell and sophomore Marie-Claire Schillinger both won Conference USA individual titles to pace the Owls' swim team on the final day of action at the league championships Saturday in Atlanta, Ga.
Schillinger followed up Friday's win in the 100-yard breaststroke with another individual victory in the 200 on Saturday. A native of Orinda, Calif, Schillinger posted a school record time of 2:10.92. Senior Shelbi Ragsdale closed out a solid week of swimming with a career-best 2:14.79 to place fourth.
Some of Rice's biggest point totals the last few conference meets have been in the 200-backstroke. This year Caldwell claimed the C-USA crown among a sizeable group from the Rice junior class with a season-best time of 1:57.17. Junior Jaecey Parham was second (1:58.37), while Kaitlyn Swinney was fourth (1:58.66) and Julie Litver tenth (2:01.34).
The Owl distance specialists came up big in the mile. True freshman Sarah Nowaski was second (16:30.66), Hanna Huston placed third (16:35.65), Claire Therien fourth (16:40.03) and Rylee Linhardt tenth (17:10.52)
Junior Kiley Beall improved four spots from a year ago to win the C-USA silver medal in the 200-buttefly (2:00.50). Kaitlin Benjamin registered a 2:01.04 in the morning prelims and finished third. Sydney Franzen placed sixth (2:04.46) and Nowaski was tenth (2:04.46).
Junior transfer Lauren Rhodes was fifth in the 100-freestyle (50.34), then joined Caldwell, Anniina Ala-Seppälä, and Parham as the anchor of the Owls' 400-free relay. Rice was fourth with a time of 3:22.44.
The Blue & Gray was second in the final team standings with 749 points. Florida International won the meet with 922.5 points. Marshall was third (724 pts), followed by North Texas, (435.5), followed by Old Dominion (326), and Florida Atlantic (221).