The Rice Owls started their season with a sweep in five different events at home in the Rice Fall Swimming Invitational on Friday, Oct. 12. Overall, the Owls sent the University of Houston, the University of the Incarnate Word and Air Force Academy back home with only two wins combined as the Owls won 16 of 18 events during the weekend.
Multiple Rice swimmers rose above the rest of the competition in their respective individual events across the two days. Sophomores Ellery Parish and Brittany Bui and senior Marie-Claire Schillinger each won multiple individual first-place medals.
Parish built on her individual victory in the 500-yard freestyle on Friday with two wins on Saturday in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.72) and the 1,650-yard free. To boot, Bui finished first in both the 100-yard butterfly (55.62) and the 200-yard butterfly (2:03.41). Head coach Seth Huston said he was impressed with Bui’s performance, but stated one area in which she can improve.
“[Bui] needs to learn how to take this and transfer it to a championship meet,” Huston said.
In her last ever collegiate swim meet in Rice’s competition pool, Schillinger won both the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.04) and the 200-yard breaststroke (2:18.53). Schillinger was also a member of the foursome that included senior Rabea Tzenetos, Bui, and freshman Marta Cano-Minarro, which finished first in both the 200- and 400-yard medley relays. Schillinger also swam on a relay team that won the 200-freestyle relay with a time of 1:35.77. Huston said that by now, he has become acclimated to Schillinger’s top performances.
“Maybe I’m just used to Marie-Claire swimming well,” Huston said. “She had some really good relay swims.”
Despite recovering from a metatarsal stress fracture, sophomore Lindsay Mathys was a part of three first-place-finishing relay teams as she secured wins in the 200-, 400- and 600-yard freestyle relays. Additionally, she finished second in the 200-butterfly (2:03.97), narrowly beaten out by Bui.
Other notable performances in individual events for Rice included sophomore Hannah Sumbera winning the 400-yard individual medley (4:28.06) and Cano-Minarro’s victory in the 100-freestyle. Within that same event, Cano-Minnaro was trailed closely by freshman Becca Evans, who notched a second-place finish. On Friday, Evans also won the 50-yard freestyle (23.57). On the whole, Huston said he thought the Owls swam well.
“We had a lot of great performances,” Huston said. “I think they’re ready for Sunday off.”
The Owl swimmers will travel to the University of Denver for the Dualapalooza from Oct. 19 to 20, where they will face the University of Denver, Tulane University and Florida International University. Thereafter, the Owls will travel to crosstown rival University of Houston for the Phill Hansel Invitational from Nov. 16 to 18.