Oct. 11, 2013
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Sophomore Mia Schachter won the 100 breaststroke while second-year diver Maren Kjell posted career bests with a 264.80 points to finish third in the three-meter springboard and a mark of 236.33 to finish fifth in the one-meter as the Tulane University women's swimming and diving team opened the 2013-14 season with a 1-1 split on Friday at the UWF Aquatic Center.
The Green Wave defeated host West Florida, 197-101, while falling to Florida State, 232-68. Schachter clocked a 1:05.31 in the 100 breast to post Tulane's lone individual victory of the day and Kjell's score in the three-meter was 41.75 better than her previous high of 223.05 at last year's Conference USA Championship. Her mark in the tri-meet against the Argonauts and Seminoles ranks as the second-best individual and overall mark in Tulane history.
"I was definitely pleased with the way we performed today," first-year Tulane head coach Katie Robinson said. "We came together as a team and were really, really supportive of each other. I saw some great races where they were in some close situations and picked it up in the last 50 to out-touch some of other swimmers. A lot of people were telling me that this was faster than they were at this time last year, so I think we're moving in the right direction."
Tulane got a solid effort from its freshmen swimmers as Joy Jason finished second to Schachter in the 100 breast with a time of 1:06.73 and also finished a team-best 2:24.58 in the 200 breaststroke to finish third overall. Rookie Ellie Sills led the Wave with a second-place showing in the 100 fly with a time of 57.76 while finishing with a team-best 2:06.54 in the 200 fly and a 2:09.97 in the 200 individual medley to finish third in both events. Jonna Frantz, meanwhile, posted a third-place in the 50 freestyle at 24.47.
Sills' time in the 200 fly is the sixth-best individual mark in Tulane history and her showing in the 100 fly ranks 10th. Joy's mark in the 200 breast was the third-best individual time and seventh-best overall time in the Green Wave annals.
In addition, Jason and Sills swam the second and third legs of the 200 medley relay, which finished tied for third in the meet with a 1:48.28 and Frantz anchored the Green Wave's "B" unit, which finished seventh at 1:51.67. Frantz also led off Tulane's top 200 free relay which finished fourth with a mark of 1:39.88.
"I was really pleased with our freshmen today," Robinson said. "They really stepped it up and showed some times today that will put them very good position to drop significant amounts of time by the end of the year."
Sophomore diver Lauren Arnold also added her name among the Green Wave's all-time best performances with a 225.15 in the one-meter springboard and a 247.73 at the three-meter springboard to finish fourth and fifth in the respective elevations. Both of her marks were the second-best of her collegiate career with her one-meter ranking second overall in Tulane history and the three-meter score sitting seventh.
"Maren and Lauren showed a lot of character behind their dives," Robinson said. "I think they both did a very good job. They stepped up and were very responsible in the way they held themselves up today against some quality competition."
Sophomore Roni Meyer led Tulane in the 500 freestyle with a 5:07.95 to finish third overall, and Schachter clocked a team-best 52.67 to finish fourth in the 100 free. Sophomore Elizabeth Cook paced the Green Wave with a 2:07.21 in the 200 back and a 59.66 in the 100 back to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, and Holly Grender led the squad with a 1:59.04 in the 200 free to finish seventh.
The Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Oct. 12, when they host Arkansas-Little Rock at 9:30 a.m. in the Reily Student Recreation Center Natatorium. Admission to all Tulane home swim meets is free.
"This is all part of preparing us for conference - racing hard on one day and turning around and doing it again the next day," Robinson added. "It's all part of toughening up the team a little bit. They're going to have some hard races tomorrow that they're need to prepare themselves for. It's all part of managing yourself from one day to the next and that will be big when we get to the Conference USA Championship."