Oct. 24, 2012
The Rice Owls swim team hosts three teams in this Friday and Saturday in the second annual Rice-Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Medical Center Fall Invitational.
Joining the Owls at the fantastic Rice Aquatics Center Competition Pool are Houston, TCU and Incarnate Word in a two-day, 18 swim-event meet that gets under way at 4 pm on Friday (Oct. 26). There are then two more full sessions of the multi-team meet scheduled for Saturday (Oct. 27), which begin at 9 am and 2 pm.
This weekend's invitational provides a new challenge for the Owl swimmers than the one the team faced in the season-opening dual meet almost three weeks ago. Rice head coach Seth Huston said that although the team swam unusually fast in that meet against the Kansas Jayhawks, the season has already evolved since then. Even for a fast swim team like Rice it can be a task to stay in sports' fast lane, so to speak.
"We had a great meet against Kansas, but honestly it has been difficult to maintain the momentum we reached," coach Huston said. "It has been two-plus weeks since the K.U. meet. School has gotten tougher and our training has gotten tougher. In fact we consider this meet to be physically and mentally challenging to our team. We want to see how the team responds."
Coach Huston is like that professor who already has a specific response he's looking for well before assigning that challenging task to the pupils.
"We definitely need to compete this weekend," coach Huston said. "Four different teams racing in each event will really increase the competitiveness in every event throughout the entire meet. I think all of the teams will be coming into this meet in the same training mode as we are. TCU and Incarnate Word will be diving so that will definitely help their scoring. Both Houston and TCU have strong freshmen classes, and TCU has an NCAA qualifier in the sprint freestyle events."
"Because our recent training has become increasingly more difficult injuries tend to flair-up at this time of the year," he explained. "The good news is we will only have one swimmer out this weekend. I have been very impressed with how Erin Flanigan and Stephanie Wei have been training. They have really had some great practices in the last week or two. Most of the team will be competing in their primary events. There should be some great races throughout the weekend."
The Rice-Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Medical Center Fall Invitational swim schedule is as follows (all distances are short-course yards):
Session I - Friday (Oct. 26), 4 pm start
400 medley relay
800 free relay Session II - Saturday (Oct. 27) 9 am start
200 medley relay
200 free relay
1650 free Session III - 2 pm start
400 free relay