The Rice veteran swim duo of Marie-Claire Schillinger and Kaitlyn Swinney both set individual school records on Friday’s second day of action at the Hansel Invitational held across town at the UH Rec Center Natatorium.
Schillinger won the 100-breaststroke with a finals time of 1:00.43, but her 1:00.06 in the morning prelims broke her own school record she set last year on the way to winning the Conference USA individual championship in the event last spring. Swinney finished second in the 400-individual medley Friday with a 4:15.60, likewise breaking her own Rice record set in winning the C-USA title.
Top-to-bottom, the 400-IM proved to provide a lot of points in the team standings as the Owls finished second (Swinney), fourth (Jaecey Parham, 4:18.11) and sixth (Hannah Sumbera, 4:20.20) in the championship final. In the 200-freestyle Ellery Parish was fourth with a 1:47.98 that is both a NCAA Provisional mark and the fourth-fastest in school history. Alicia Caldwell was fifth (1:48.21) and Lindsay Mathys won the event’s consolation final (1:49.83).
The Owls also posted B-final wins with Kiley Beall in the 100-butterfly (55.22) and Caldwell in the 100-backstoke (54.88). Beall also tied for tenth in the 100-backstroke in a productive day of racing. In the team standings Rice is second with 863 points. Meet host Houston leads the ten-team field with 1160.5 points. Tulane is third with 677.5 points. By the time the Blue & Gray posted a steady 7:19.25 to take second place in its first time to compete in the 800-freestyle relay this season, Rice head coach Seth Huston certainly like what he saw.
“Great day today,” coach Huston said. “There were the two school records and it seemed like everyone had improvements from prelims to finals.
“M.C. set her record in the morning and then came back and won the event tonight here in a really good field,” Huston added. “Kaitlyn’s race was awesome and really fun to watch. We just had some really good swims today. I was really happy with our 400-IMs, getting three in the finals and then improving. I liked our 200-freestyle where we had some really good times for this point in the season. We had a lot of strong finishes and swam really smart, which is what we wanted to see. A night like tonight makes you want to get right back out and get it going again in the morning.”