Feb. 25, 2009
FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU men's and women's swimming and diving teams will begin competition at the 2009 Mountain West Conference Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla., Wednesday. Last season, the men’s squad earned a fifth place finish, while the women ended the weekend in sixth.
The women's team (8-3-1, 4-3-1) had a successful regular season, setting a new school record in the 1000-free three times and compiling the most conference wins since 2005-06. TCU finished the regular season on a three-meet winning streak and haven’t lost since Jan. 6.
Sophomore Maria Paula Alvarez and freshman Ashley Bolin paced the Frogs with 17 individual event wins for the year. Alvarez, a Cali, Colombia product, broke her TCU school record in the 1000-free three times, knocking nearly eight seconds off the mark from 10:16.22 to 10:08.80. Bolin, a native of Oshkosh, Wis., claimed her 17 wins in six different events, while clocking in the program’s second-fastest time in the 200-free (1:51.15.
Junior diver Jennifer Ferguson set career highs in the one-meter (302.17) and in the three-meter (309.97). Ferguson snagged back-to-back MWC weekly honors in January for her performances against San Diego State, Centenary and New Mexico.
The women last saw action on Feb. 4, toppling North Texas in Denton, 158-130. Bolin led the charge with three event wins as the Frogs commanded 10 of the 16 events on the day, including the 200-medley relay.
After struggling during the fall semester, the men's squad (4-5, 1-4) rebounded after the holiday break to enjoy a 3-1 record during the spring schedule.
Junior Josh Bagby paced TCU with 13 event wins coming from the sprint events. The Houston, Texas native snapped the Frogs’ 100-free record in December, slamming into the wall at 44.64 during the ConocoPhilips Short Course National Championships in Atlanta. Backstroker Jeff Gettel followed closely with 10 wins, taking an event against every MWC opponent.
R.J. Hesselberg enjoyed a successful senior campaign, registering 10 wins and knocking off TCU’s three-meter springboard record with a score of 380.10. The 2008 MWC Male Diver of the Year holds four of the top-five three-meter dives in TCU history, while also sitting fourth from the one-meter dive with his 327.00 performance from this year. Hesselberg snared three MWC weekly honors this season, including back-to-back accolades in January, finishing his career with 26 wins and 14 weekly awards.
The men were last in action on Feb. 7, where they defeated Incarnate Word in San Antonio, 158-132. Sophomore diver Kyle Callens highlighted the day by setting a new TCU record, scoring 341.62 from the one-meter springboard. Bagby was the only other Frog to win an event, earning victories in the 50- and 100-free, as TCU’s depth was a factor against the Cardinals’, placing two of the top-three times in 12 of the 16 events.
The Frogs have won five individual championships since joining the MWC in 2005-06. Last season, Hesselberg dominated the three-meter dive by setting a new TCU mark at 259.80, while the men’s 400-free relay of Jonathon Berrettini, Bagby, Jeff Hendricks and Scott McCracken earned gold with a TCU record and NCAA “B” cut clocking of 2:58.16.
In 2006, Berrettini claimed the 100-back (48.90), while senior diver Kelly Seely won the three-meter event (331.30). In 2007, Guillermo Ramirez swam to a first-place finish in the 200-back (1:47.37) and Cheryl Townsend claimed the 400-IM title with a time of 4:24.60.