Dec. 19, 2011
SAN ANTONIO - The Rice duo of freshman Erin Flanigan and junior Danielle Spence finished first and second, respectively, in the 1,650-yard freestyle to pace the Owl swimmers on the final day of action at the University of Incarnate Word Christmas Invitational Monday evening in San Antonio, Tex.
After winning the 500-freestyle on Saturday's opening round of the three-day meet, Flanigan was back on the top of the medal stand with a victory in the mile on Monday. The rookie standout from Austin led a 1-2 finish for the Owls and was the only finisher to break the 17-minute mark at 16:55.91. Spence placed second with a season-best time of 17:04.32 while senior Alison Godbe was ninth overall in the mile with a season-best 17:35.22.
Rice was also strong in taking four of the top nine spots in the 100-freestyle. Sophomore Chelsea Fong finished third overall with a career-best 50.87. Freshman Casey Clark was fifth (52.23 prelims), while Karina Wlostowska (52.83 prelims) and Godbe (52.70) were eighth and ninth, respectively.
Freshman Madison Livingston scored big for the Blue & Gray with a career-best 2:20.86 to take third in the 200-breaststroke. In the 200-butterfly the trio of Flanigan (fifth), Clark (seventh) and Shelby Bottoms (eighth) all the made the championship finals of the 200-butterfly. Michelle Gean and Stephanie Wei were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 200-backstroke. The Owl foursome of Marissa Konicke, Godbe, Fong and Clark closed out the meet by winning in the 400-freestyle relay with a season-best 3:24.92.
The Rice swimmers will next be in action after New Year's. The Owls compete in a double-dual meet in California against San Diego State and Washington State on Jan. 6. Rice then participates in the San Diego Relay Carnival on Jan. 7.