North Texas Daily

Swimming sets new records to wrap up season

Swimming sets new records to wrap up season

March 03
00:15 2015

Alex Lessard / Staff Writer

The Mean Green swimming and diving team’s season ended after a fifth-place finish at the Conference USA Championships in Tennessee from Feb. 18-21.

Head coach Brendon Bray’s squad set numerous personal bests and school records at the meet, including impressive performances from seniors Krista Rossum and Mona Groteguth.

“When you see some people have lifetime best times, it makes you really happy,” Bray said. “All of our seniors this season accomplished lifetime best times in one or more events.”

The conference meet was the last opportunity for the seniors to represent North Texas and finish their careers on a high note. Rossum posted school record times in the 200 and 400-yard individual medleys and received all-conference honors along with Groteguth, junior Bianca Bocsa and freshman Sydney Buckley for a third-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay.

“Just realizing that it was my last meet was really emotional,” Groteguth said. “It took me a while to realize that was it.”

Since taking over the reins last season, Bray said he has seen a lot of progress. The team finished fifth in C-USA last year as well, but only went 2-8 in the regular season. This season, the Mean Green doubled its win total and saw an abundant amount of individual success, including C-USA player of the week honors for Rossum and junior diver Jasmine Abercrombie in February.

“Whenever you come into a program, sometimes it takes a little bit of time to get clicking and feel each other out,” Bray said. “This season, we made a huge step forward in being cohesive and trying to accomplish our goals.”

Abercrombie said seeing Bray maintaining his positivity and continuing to praise the athletes triggered a change in team culture this season.

“We had a much better attitude throughout the program and about how we could do,” Abercrombie said.

The Mean Green will have to say goodbye to a very productive senior class this offseason. However, seven of the nine freshmen on the roster scored points at the conference meet, giving Bray confidence that the team’s young foundation will be able to lead another large freshman class next season.

“We have a real bright future, and [we’re] still working on recruiting this spring to solidify our final class,” Bray said. “We’re going to be really building and taking more steps ahead to move up the rankings in the future.”

Groteguth said the senior class was tight-knit, and it showed throughout their time together. 

“I think we pushed each other in practice a lot,” Groteguth said. “We got a lot closer over the years because of that.”

While the team’s ultimate goal is to put up the best times possible at the end of the season, it also strives for academic excellence. The Mean Green placed in the top 10 nationally with a 3.54 cumulative GPA in the fall semester, according to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.

“I don’t know if there’s many organizations on campus that can boast that kind of GPA,” Bray said.

Additionally, Rossum and Groteguth were named to the C-USA All-Academic Team for the second straight year, posting a 3.92 GPA in biochemistry and a 3.89 GPA in psychology, respectively. They were two of six athletes to be named to the team.

The team makes sure to utilize all opportunities on campus in order to stay on top of classwork throughout the season. A lot of the players on the team are kinesiology majors and have formed study groups with teammates. Groteguth and Abercrombie said being organized and making the most of free time are two keys to succeeding academically throughout the season.

“Everyone is really open to help,” Abercrombie said. “If you’re confused about anything or want to study together, there’s always somebody at Starbucks willing to study with you.”

While hard work and good study habits pay off, Groteguth said she attributes a lot of her success to the university and the tutoring opportunities it provides.

“UNT has a very good academic program,” Groteguth said. “You have so many people from different countries, and it’s great to get to know other people. You always feel like you’re at home.”

Featured Image: Senior Krista Rossum swims laps during practice last month in the Physical Education Building. Photo by Ryan Vance – Senior Staff Photographer

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