Rice senior Alicia Caldwell won two individual events and swam the anchor leg on a winning relay to lead the Owls’ swim team on the third day of action at the annual Spartan Invitational Sunday evening in Clearwater, Fla.
Caldwell blazed to a career-best time of 1:47.71 to win the 200-yard freestyle over a starting field of 52 competitors. The mark is the third-fastest in school history and a NCAA Provisional cut, but the senior didn’t stop there. Two events later she then won 100-backstroke with season-best 54.44 that also improved on a previous B cut. Caldwell. The senior from Sydney, Australia, closed out the night joining teammates Hanna Huston, Lindsay Mathys and Ellery Parish on the Owls’ winning 800-freestyle relay (7:21.13).
Rice not only had the fastest relay on the night, but the second fastest as well. The Owl foursome of Kaitlyn Swinney, Jaecey Parham, Kelsey Evans and Sydney Franzen teamed for the second place time of 7:24.62.
From one event to another, it was simply that kind of night for the Blue & Gray.
Senior Marie-Claire Schillinger won the 100-breaststroke with a time of 1:00.48 that was close to her own school record. Nicole Limberg (1:03.48) and Swinney (1:04.48) meanwhile were 1-2 in the consolation final with a pair of season-bests.
Swinney sat out the 400-IM where she owns the school record, but the Owls had the scoring well-covered with Huston (4:23.00), Mathys (4:25.96) and Brittany Bui (4:24.39) finishing second, third and fourth, respectively. Sarah Nowaski (4:27.33) and Claire Therien (4:30.79) likewise went 1-2 in the event’s consolation final.
Veterans Kaitlin Benjamin (55.86) and Parham (56.38) were seventh and eighth scoring for the team in the 100-butterfly. Kiley Beall won the consolidation final (56.14) with a sound and solid meet. The senior was also third overall in the 100-backstroke with a time of 56.53. Senior Julie Litver won the 100-back’s consolation final with a season-best 55.81.
There are six events remaining on the meet schedule for Monday’s final round of action. Rice is the No. 28 ranked team in the country according to CollegeSwimming.com.