Nov. 28, 2012
HOUSTON - Semester finals are fast-approaching, but the Rice swim team has a big test before the year-end exams when No. 1 ranked Texas A&M visits the Aquatics Center competition pool for a 1 pm meet on Saturday (Dec. 1). The 1 pm start time is a change from some earlier listings.
The non-conference dual meet features a lengthy list of 14 swim events, including 12 individual races and two relays. The 14-event format, the most a team can schedule in an NCAA dual meet, is by design according to Rice head coach Seth Huston. Because Rice Athletics does not schedule intercollegiate events during the University's semester exams/study period (Dec. 2-12), the swimmers are tackling the big 14-event meet before the lengthy break from competition.
"It is a tough time for all Rice students," said coach Huston, now in his eleventh season at the helm of the swim program. "Finals is a difficult time to train as a team. "Erin Flanigan, Michelle Gean and Karina Wlostowska have trained very well recently."
Semester finals are some tough tests to face. In sports it doesn't get any tougher than facing the No. 1 team in the country. In swimming the No. 1 team in the country is Texas A&M (according to CollegeSwimming.com). With two U.S. Olympians and the American record holder in the breaststroke events (Breeja Larson) the Aggies have coasted past the competition. Coach Huston stated if you want to be the best then you have to be willing to face the best.
"Rice aspires to compete at the highest level each season and here it is, an opportunity to go against the No. 1 team in the nation," Coach Huston said. "We have expectations to go to NCAA Championships and compete against Texas A&M and all the rest. This meet allows us to measure that goal in-season."
The dual meet is the Owls' last home swim event of the 2012-2013 season. Rice seniors Lauren Lewis, Danielle Spence, Kylee Talwar and Stephanie Wei will be honored for their careers that included winning the Conference USA Championship in 2011.
Texas A&M is the first big test on the athletics side, and the academic finals are right after that. When exams are over the swim team returns to the pool to compete in Incarnate Word University's annual meet, the Holiday Invitational in San Antonio. That meet is a multi-team, multi-day, challenge with one big difference according to coach Huston - "We do look forward to having school behind us when we go to San Antonio."
Rice vs. Texas A&M Dual Meet
Dec. 1, 2012, at Rice Aquatics Center; Start time now 1 pm
Schedule of Events
1. 200 Medley Relay
2. 1,000 Freestyle
3. 200 Freestyle
4. 100 Backstroke
5. 100 Breaststroke
6. 200 Butterfly
7. 50 Freestyle
8. 100 Freestyle
9. 200 Backstroke
10. 200 Breaststroke
11. 500 Freestyle
12. 100 Butterfly
13. 400 Individual Medley
14. 400 Freestyle Relay
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