Nov. 23, 2013
HOUSTON - The Tulane University women's swimming and diving team closed out the Phill Hansel Invitational in record fashion as freshman Ellie Sills set a school mark in the 200 fly on Saturday at the University of Houston's Campus Wellness and Recreation Center.
Sills' time of 2:02.87 was nearly eight-tenths of a second faster than the previous record of 2:03.61 set by Emily Needham at the 2011 Conference USA Championship. It was the third school record set by the Green Wave over the weekend as the quartet of Elizabeth Cook, Joy Jason, Amy Needham and Mia Schachter established a school mark in the 400 medley relay on Thursday.
Schacther fell seven one-hundredths of a second shy of adding another school record as she finished second in the 100 freestyle with a lifetime-best 50.08. All told, the Tulane team posted 31 marks that achieved school record-book status and 34 lifetime-best performances during the three-day Hansel Invite.
"Today was an incredible finish to a very good meet for us," first-year Tulane head coach Katie Robinson said. "In the finals, these young women could not be stopped. They kept their composure and the momentum rolling through each of the races. Ellie had a tough meet until th3 200 fly, and turned it around for herself showing confidence and gumption that is not really a common find in a freshman. I couldn't be more proud of our women for their toughness, focus and courage they showed throughout the meet. We've taken a big step forward and we've got a bright future ahead of us."
The Green Wave scored 179 points for the day to wrap up the meet with 539.5 overall and finish fifth among the seven participating teams. Rice won the team title with 994 points, followed by Idaho with 653, Houston with 640.5 and New Mexico State with 587. North Texas and California State Fresno rounded out the team scores with respective totals of 399 and 86.
Including's Schachter's runner-up finish in the 100 free, Tulane had 11 Top 10 finishes on Saturday and got things going early as sophomores Rachel Schneider and Roni Meyer finished sixth and seventh, respectively in the 1650 free. Both had career-best showings in the event as Schneider clocked a 17:11.12 - the No. 4 individual and No. 8 overall time in Tulane history - while Meyer finished with a 17:15.62 - the No. 5 individual and No. 9 overall mark in the Green Wave annals.
It was a similar story in the 200 back as junior Vanessa Loewen finished sixth with a career-best 2:02.64 while Cook was seventh with a 2:02.68. Loewen's mark was the third-best individual time and sixth-fastest overall showing in school history while Cook's was the second-fastest of her career and the No. 7 overall time in the record book.
Jason led the Green Wave effort with a 2:22.05 in the 200 breast - the second-fastest time of her career and a mark which ranks tied for fifth in Tulane history - to finish eighth overall. Sills' mark in the 200 fly was the fifth-fastest on the day and Needham was next for Tulane with a career-best 2:04.37. Needham's showing was the No. 4 individual time and No. 11 overall mark in Green Wave history.
In diving action, sophomores Lauren Arnold and Maren Kjell finished fifth and ninth in the platform with respective scores of 185.10 and 151.75. Arnold's score is the fifth-best by a Green Wave diver while Kjell's mark ranks ninth.
Tulane closed out the Phill Hansel Invitational with the seventh-fastest performance by a Green Wave 400 free relay team as Holly Grender, Needham, Jason and Schachter joined forces to clock a 3:27.51 and finish sixth among the participating teams.
The Hansel Invite was the final event of the fall semester for the Green Wave, who return to action on Jan. 10 when they travel to the West Coast to take on San Diego State.