Nov. 21, 2013
HOUSTON - The quartet of Elizabeth Cook, Joy Jason, Amy Needham and Mia Schachter set a school record in the 400 medley relay and Schachter added a second-place finish in the 50 free as the Tulane University women's swimming and diving team enjoyed a solid opening day of the Phill Hansel Invitational on Thursday at the University of Houston's Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
The 400 medley relay team surpassed the former mark of 3:45.25 previously established by Cook, Schachter, Kayla Alf-Huynh and Kristine Gu at last year's Conference USA Championship. Schachter, meanwhile, clocked a lifetime-best 23.19 en route to her runner-up showing in the 50 free - the third best individual time and eight-fastest overall mark in Tulane history.
Through six events, the Green Wave sit fourth among the seven participating teams with 151 points. Tulane holds a three-point advantage over fifth-placed New Mexico State and are 47 behind third-placed Houston. Rice leads the team standings with 339 points and holds a 139-point advantage on Idaho. North Texas and Cal State Fresno round out the standings with 130 and 31 points, respectively.
"I could not be more pleased and excited about the team tonight," first-year Tulane head coach Katie Robinson said. "We came off a strong morning preliminary session with a total of eight swims that were lifetime bests. Tonight, these women showed their true colors by fighting tough to achieve seven more lifetime bests in finals. The swim of the night came at the end of the session when we broke the school record in the 400 medley relay."
The Green Wave opened the competition with a solid performance in the 200 free relay as Amy Needham, Jonna Frantz, Cari Caprio and Schachter combined to post a season-best 1:34.72 to finish seventh overall. The time was the sixth-best in Tulane history.
Rachel Schneider and Roni Meyers added their names to the Tulane record books in the 500 free with respective times of 4:58.20 and 4:59.27. Both were lifetime-best performances with Schneider's mark standing as the No. 4 individual time and No. 8 overall time in Green Wave history while Meyer's mark was seventh individually and 15th overall in the school's annals.
Freshmen Ellie Sills and Joy Jason followed suit in the 200 IM as Sills tallied the No. 5 individual and No. 10 overall time in school history with a 2:07.31 while Jason logged the No. 6 individual and No. 14 overall mark at 2:07.76. In addition to Schachter's performance in the 50 free, Frantz added a top-10 finish in the event with a lifetime-best 23.19 - the No. 6 individual showing ever by a Tulane swimmer.
In diving action, both Lauren Arnold and Maren Kjell posted scores in the three-meter springboard that got them in the Tulane record book as well as Arnold's 253.70 is sixth all-time while Kjell's 239.60 sits 14th.
"We've worked hard for this and it all came together tonight," Robinson said. "I don't know that I've ever had so much fun at a meet. I couldn't be more proud. Now, the next test for us is to rest up tonight so that we are sharp tomorrow. The best teams know how to do that and I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings for the Tulane Green Wave."
The Phill Hansel Invitational continues on Friday when the seven participating teams will square off in the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 800 free relay and one-meter springboard. From there, the event will conclude on Saturday with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400free relay and platform diving.
Following the weekend, the Green Wave will enjoy some time away from outside competition before returning to action on Jan. 10 when they travel to the West Coast to take on San Diego State.