Houston will faceoff with nine other teams over the weekend including Air Force, Colorado State, Idaho, New Mexico, North Texas, Northern Colorado, Rice, Tulane, and Vanderbilt. The Cougars have already squared off with North Texas, Rice, Northern Colorado, and Colorado State earlier this season.
Events will begin at 10 a.m. each day, with diving prelims starting at noon and followed by a consolation final. Finals for swimming events will commence at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The three-day event is named after former Houston Swimming and Diving Coach Phill Hansel who coached at Houston from 1957-96 and is known as the, “Father of Cougar Swimming and Diving”. Hansel guided Houston to over 70 dual meet victories and 10 top-20 finishes at the AIAW and NCAA Championships. In his honor, the University of Houston will host the Phill Hansel Invitational every fall.
The Houston Swimming and Diving Team came out with a bang on the opening day of the Phill Hansel Invitational. With seven NCAA Divison 1 B-Cut times, twelve times that fall in the top-10 of program best, and numerous personal records the Cougars closed out day one with 473.50 points to sit in first-place.
“Many, many lifetime records and one school record,” said Head Swimming and Diving Coach Ryan Wochomurka. “I am disappointed we got disqualified on that relay (400-Yard Medley Relay). It is what it is, if the officials say we did it, that’s what we did. It would have been a school record. That was a heck of a relay, and I think our B-Relay would have won the event. I’m excited about where we are and excited to see what we’ve got for tomorrow morning.”
“It was another great session and I am proud of how we came out and performed tonight,” said Head Swimming and Diving Coach Ryan Wochomurka. “Some people that may not have had great performances this morning, shined tonight and are really performing at a high level. Zarena and Ksenia posted the fifth and sixth best times in the country in the 200 Freestyle. That’s a paradigm shifting performance for not only those two individually, but for us as a program. Those are two performances well inside the qualifying time for the NCAA Championships last year and have national implications for a program that is striving for national relevancy. We have a school record on that last relay and we’ll take that. I’m proud of the effort tonight and excited to race again tomorrow morning.”
“This was a phenomenal session and a great way to cap off a phenomenal week,” said Head Swimming and Diving Coach Ryan Wochomurka. “Five school records tonight and nine this week. From the way that we competed and came together as a program and team, it’s exciting to look forward into February and March. I couldn’t be more excited to get back to work, get better, and carry this momentum into January and the championship season.”