Oct. 26, 2012
HOUSTON - Ali Bleasdell took the win in the 200 IM to lead the TCU women's swimming and diving squad Friday at the Rice Invitational. The Horned Frogs sit second in the team standings with 278 points. The Horned Frogs are in pursuit of host Rice, who lead with 310 points.
"It was in the 50s and windy and our kids did a really good job with it," head coach Richard Sybesma said. "I was pleased with how our relays went out and competed, and Ali Bleasdell had a great day. We had good swims all the way across the board. We feel we will do better tomorrow, because we have better events on the schedule."
The key to Bleasdell's victory in the 200 IM was her first two legs, the butterfly and backstroke. The sophomore's splits of 27.73 in the 50 fly and 32.16 in the 50 back were the best in the field and put the result in little doubt, winning the race in 2:07.01.
"She is a front-half swimmer," Sybesma noted. "If she can hold on to the freestyle she can do some damage. I was pleased with her swim. She didn't have anyone down her neck at the end."
With four competitors scoring in each event, depth was a point of emphasis going into the meet. The strength in depth was shown in the 200 IM and 500 free. Following Bleasdell in the IM were Aly Davis in sixth (2:10.57), Victoria Thicke-Rattray in seventh (2:11.39) and Gabi Korac in ninth (2:12.94).
In the 500 free, Sara Brzozowski led the way with a second place finish (4:59.26) followed closely by Mikayla Winkler (5:01.88). Mackenzie Schuler took seventh (5:08.23) and Carley Stevens wrapped up the scoring team in ninth (5:08.85).
"That was how we felt we would be," Sybesma said. Our 500 free was a weakness last year and I think we turned it around with Sara and Mikayla. Mackenzie and Carley stepped up as well. We are real pleased with the IM's because our depth is so good. That is what we expect of them."
Sabine Rasch added a second place finish in the 50 free, touching the wall in 23.81. Parris Schoppa added a fifth place finish for the Horned Frogs in the sprint event, touching in 24.50. Katie Scarsella took eighth in 24.73.
TCU was runner-up in both relays on the day. The quartet of Rasch, Scarsella, Winkler and Brzozowski finished the 800 free relay in 7:39.77. The team of Davis, Korac, Bleasdell and Rasch finished second in the 400 medley relay in 3:55.07.
Action continues tomorrow with events beginning at 9 a.m.