Jan. 10, 2014
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Upon a superficial glance, the Tulane University women's swimming and diving team's quad-meet performance on Saturday against Colorado State, Conference USA foe North Texas and host San Diego State was an unsuccessful trip to the West Coast as the Green Wave fell short on the scoresheet against all three opponents. A closer look, however, reveals something entirely different.
With an eye on continuing to improve in preparation for the 2014 C-USA Championship from Feb. 26 through March 1, first-year Tulane head coach Katie Robinson simply viewed her team taking the pool in competition as the final element of a week-long training trip for her squad.
After training hard in daily practices during the week, spending time to build team camaraderie and taking some time away from the California fun and sun to partake in community service activities, the Green Wave combined to post 11 Top Five finishes, including second-place performances by sophomore Mia Schachter in the 100 breast and the quartet of junior Amy Needham, Schachter, freshman Jonna Frantz and senior Cari Caprio in the 400 free relay. Schachter added a third-place finish in the 100 free while sophomore diver Lauren Arnold came in third in the one-meter springboard.
"We swam as expected today," Robinson said. "In many skill-oriented sports, more focused training generally results in better performance. Since diving is a skill-oriented sport, our divers responded well to the increase in training and earned high scores at our meet. Our diving coach, Chris Devine, has done a very good job of teaching and training our divers. I was happy to see it pay off today.
"Swimming, which is largely an endurance-oriented sport, is quite the opposite. With an increase in training comes an increase in exhaustion and lasting levels of fatigue. Our swimmers performed as well as they could, staying focused and positive. Our competition was very tough and it is never easy to swallow a loss. To the public eye it looks gloom with the losses. I, however, feel that our trip was successful. We look to use these losses as fuel to the fire; learning from it and never doubting our speed will come to fruition when the time is right at Conference USA championship. In a sense, we've paid it forward."
Despite rigorous daily practices throughout the trip to San Diego, the Green Wave fell just 36 points shy of defeating San Diego State, 159-123, and 25 short of downing North Texas, 162-137. Colorado State, meanwhile, rolled past Tulane, 223-76.
Schachter touched the wall with 1:05.05 on the clock in her runner-up finish in the 100 breast and posted a season-best time of 52.42 in her third-place showing in the 100 free. Arnold scored 225.80 on one-meter diving while the 400 free relay team clocked an effort of 3:39.26.
The unit of sophomore Elizabeth Cook, Schachter, Needham and Frantz got Tulane off to a good start with a 1:48.82 to finish fourth in the 200 medley relay, and sophomore Roni Meyer led the Wave with a fifth-place finish in the 1000 free with a time of 10:42.25.
Meyer and fellow sophomore Rachel Schneider finished fourth and fifth in the 500 free with respective times of 5:13.26 and 5:14.76, as did freshman Ellie Sills (59.29) and junior Vanessa Loewen (59.86) in the 100 fly. Sills also posted a fifth-place finish in the 200 fly at 2:09.85 and sophomore Maren Kjell, who finished ninth in the one-meter springboard with a score of 177.05, rounded out Tulane's Top Five performers with a fourth-place showing at the three-meter elevation with a 245.25.
Cook and Sills led Tulane's efforts in the 200 back (2:10.09) and 200 IM (2:14.75), respectively, to finish seventh in the events, and Loewen paced the Wave with an eighth-place finish in the 100 back at 1:00.44. Tulane added ninth-place performances by Schneider in the 200 free (1:59.02) and freshman Joy Jason in the 200 breast (2:30.79), while Frantz came in 11th in the 50 free with a time of 25.30.
The Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Jan. 18, when they travel to Denton, Texas, for a rematch with North Texas and close out the regular season in another quad-meet - this time against LSU, Rice and Houston - from Jan. 31 through Feb. 1 at the UH Campus Wellness & Recreation Center.