Oct. 10, 2010
DENTON, Texas - Sophomore Erin Cunningham posted an individual victory in the 200 breast and the Green Wave's 200 free relay team also posted a win, but it was not enough as the Tulane University swimming and diving team dropped both ends of a double-dual meet at the Pohl Recreation Center.
The Green Wave fell to host North Texas, 140-102, while Arkansas outswam Tulane by a score of 163-68. It was the first dual-meet of the 2010-11 season for the Wave, who are in just their second season of its current era as the program was suspended in Fall 2005.
"Overall, the team swam well today," Tulane head swimming and diving coach Lena Guarriello said. "We had a rough start this morning getting out-touched by eight one-hundredth of a second in the 200 medley relay (against North Texas) and then struggling through the first couple of freestyle events. But things started to turn around for us after a nice performance in the 50 free.
"Beginning with the 50, we won every swimming event against North Texas for the remainder of the meet which is a huge improvement over our performance at this meet a year ago. I'm really impressed with the way the team finished the meet today."
Cunningham posted the team's lone individual win with a 2:28.50 in the 200 breast while the quartet of Kayla Alf-Huynh, Kylie Kastes, Rachel Ranson and Lauren Pfohl combined to clock a 1:38.01 in the 200 free relay. True freshmen led the Green Wave in five events on Saturday, including a solid collegiate debut by rookie diver Sadie Eicher.
Eicher scored a 217.6- in the one-meter springboard to finish sixth and a 165.60 in the three-meter to finish ninth. In addition, Rachel Ranson touched the wall at 52.20 in the 100 free and at 24.27 in the 50 free to finish second overall in both events. Mekala Pavlin rounds out the list of Tulane rookies to lead the team, finishing ninth overall in the 1,000 free at 10:45.26.
"Rachel Ranson had a great meet," Guarriello said. "She races well in every event she swam. Grace Tarka had three very strong swims. And, Erin Cunningham was a real surprise in the 200 back and 200 breast. Allie Evans came back from a rough 1,000 free to win the 500 against North Texas, and Emily Needham was very strong in the 200 fly.
"We've been working on Lauren Pfohl's backstroke and she raced the 200 well today. Our 200 free relay was probably the fastest we've ever been in season. It was great to see the girls get comfortable with racing today"
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, Oct. 15, when they travel across town to the Lakefront to take on intra-city rival UNO at 7 p.m. From there, Tulane will play back-to-back home meets at the Reily Student Recreation Center Natatorium, hosting LSU on Oct. 29 and Florida International on Nov. 13.