March 25, 2014
Cora McKenzie won the 100-freestyle and swam on a winning Rice relay on the final day of competition at the National Swimming Invitational Tuesday night in Rockwall, Texas.
Rice won the inaugural three-day national invitational meet, which took on the unofficial nickname of the Swimming NIT. The Owls won a total of six events for a meet-best 582 points. Conference USA rival Western Kentucky was second with 532 points, followed by Grand Canyon University in third (520).
MecKenzie led a 1-2-3 Owl finish in the 100-free with a career-best 49.55, the third-best mark in Rice history. The senior tandem of Karina Wlostowska (50.28) and Kim Steinhouse (51.58) finished second and third in the race, respectively.
The same three sprinters were joined by Rachel Moody for a win in the 4x100 relay. The foursome posted a 3:21.60 that is the fourth-fastest at Rice.
Moody also finished second in the 200-breaststroke with a 2:17.74. Shelbi Ragsdale was third in the event with a 2:19.88.
Sophomore Taylor Armstrong placed fourth in the in the 200-backstroke after a 1:59.59 in the morning prelims. Rice head coach Seth Huston liked what he saw of the Owls in the national postseason swimming event.
"Cora swam great, winning 100 in career best 49.55 and led a 1-2-3 sweep," coach Huston said. "It was a great inaugural meet that will only get bigger and better. I was very proud of how well our team came back after (winning) Conference USA and competed at a high level."