North Texas Daily

Swimming and diving place fourth at C-USA Championships

Swimming and diving place fourth at C-USA Championships

Swimming and diving place fourth at C-USA Championships
February 26
10:56 2018

It was a very competitive weekend for Mean Green in the pool with record setting numbers in several competitions at the Conference USA Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. In the end, North Texas finished fourth in the conference with 442 points trailing third place Marshall who totaled 513 on the weekend.

North Texas set a program best in the 200 medley relay in day one of competition. The team was anchored by junior Brittany Thurstin who had the fastest anchor time but was not enough for the win. The team missed getting a medal in this event to Marshall University  that barely reached the wall before Mean Green by seconds.

“It was a total team effort from Jowita to Brittany’s finish.” Assistant coach Rachel Friel told “All four girls were really excited to break that record together and they deserved it. The whole team was behind them cheering them on every leg of the way.”

The team almost placed again in the 800 freestyle relay, but came up short resulting in a fourth place finish. The team had a strong leg by freshmen Leigh McGee swimming for the second fastest in school history, with a time 200 time of 1:48:44.

Day one fished up with Florida International University, Rice University, and Marshall University placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in both relay events.

Day two resulted in six personal-best and ten season-best times by North Texas swimmers.

Thurstin continued to impress, achieving a personal best of 23.06 in the 50 freestyle, placing fourth.

McGee took sixth in the “A” final for the 500 freestyle achieving a personal best of 4:53.35. This time puts her at the ninth-fastest performer in school history.

In the “C” final for the 200 individual medley seniors Claudia Kitching and Sydney Buckley finished third and fifth, respectively, both with career best times in 2:06.37 and 2:06.99.

In diving, junior Averie Ruiz qualified for her first “A” final in the three-meter dive. She took eighth with a sore of 231.70.

On day three, North Texas achieved 17 season-best times and seven personal-best across six events. Mean Green qualified six swimmers for 100 fly final who each posted a season-best or personal-best time. Thurstin (55.16) and Sydney Buckely (55.54) took fifth and seventh in the “A” final.

The Mean Green took the podium with a third place spot in the 400 medley relay “A” final. The team, consisting of Jowita Sienczyk, Claudia Kitching, Thuristin and Isabelle Morris finished with a time of 3:42.19, fourth-fastest in the event in school history.

North Texas had four swimmers in the finals of the 200 free who each achieved a season-best or personal-best.

Averie Ruiz returns to another championship final for the one-meter dive finishing sixth with a score of 239.50.

“She had a few nerves midway through her list but handled it well by performing an amazing last dive that pulled her into sixth,” diving coach Mark Murdock told “She’s done a great job so far this week.”

In the 100 breast stroke Claudia Kitching took sixth with a season-best time of 1:02.00, which is the eight-fastest performance in school history.

Mean Green sophomore Lindsey Blanchard posted two personal-best times in the 400 individual medley (4:32.33) and 100 backstroke (57.77).

On the final day of competition at the McAuley Aquatic Center, North Texas finished fourth overall just missing third to Marshall by 71 points.

Despite missing the cut on overall placing, Mean Green had a third-place finish in the 400 free relay. Team of McGee, Emmabeth Jensen, Sara Whelan, and Isabelle Morris finished with a time of 3:21.75, the second fastest in school history.

In diving, Megahan Miller achieved a personal-best in the platform dive finals with a score of 197.75 taking sixth.

“She did a great job this week staying consistent and focused through multiple lists,” Murdock told “Considering we don’t have a platform to practice on, she has made quite the improvement and still has a lot of potential.”

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Stefan Washington

Stefan Washington

UNT Advertising Major| NT Daily sports writer

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