Houston Wins Annual Phill Hansel Invitational

Houston to Host Annual Phill Hansel Invitational
Cougars to compete against nine other teams; Saturday serve as Senior Day

The University of Houston Swimming & Diving team will host the annual Phill Hansel Invitational in honor of former head coach Phill Hansel, Nov. 18-20 at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium. The Cougars are set to compete against nine other teams; UC Davis, Colorado State, Idaho, New Mexico, New Mexico State, North Texas, Rice, Tulane, and Vanderbilt.

The three-day meet begins each morning at 10 a.m. with preliminary sessions. Following a break, the teams will head back into the pool for finals, beginning at 6 p.m. and Sunday’s finals start time at 5 p.m.

This weekend’s meet will also serve as Senior Day for the Cougars. The team will honor its six seniors – Cameron Balkom, Micaela Hamrick, Rachel Hobbins, Marissa Lehman, Taylor Olanski and Jasmine Williams – before Saturday’s evening session gets underway.

Cougars Break Two School Records, Lead Invitational After Day 1
Cougars win three events – 200 Free Relay, 200 IM and 1-Meter Dive to open invite

The Cougars got started early nabbing a victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The team of Cait Horner, Laura Laderoute, Ksenia Yuskova, Michaela Hamrick out touched rivals Rice to finish first with a time of 1:32.41.

In the 200-yard IM, freshman Laderoute captured her third individual first-place finish. The West Linn, Ore., native set the school record, previously set by Reka Kovacs on Feb. 23, 2013, during preliminaries with a time of 2:01.46. During finals, Laderoute improved her school record touching the wall at 2:00.58, a NCAA B standard time.

On the springboards, Micaela Bouter placed first overall in the 1-meter dive. The Johannesburg, South Africa native captured first after netting a score of 321.80. Freshman Lauren Burrell followed in second with a score of 283.15.

In the 500-yard freestyle, junior Ksenia Yuskova grabbed a podium finish placing third overall. The Moscow, Russia, native swam a time of 4:49.09 to round out the podium. In prelims, Yuskova netted a time of 4:48.13, a personal best, which moves her to fourth in program bests.

In the final event of the night, the 400-yard medley relay broke a seven-year school record. The team of Eleanna Koutsouveli, Peyton Kondis, Sharo Rodriguez and Zarena Brown topped program best 3:41.65 set on Feb. 24, 2009 after netting a time of 3:41.44. The Cougars finished second overall in the relay event.

Records Continue to Fall as Cougars Lead Phill Hansel
Bouter continues to dominate boards, Yuskova and 800 freestyle relay team win

Houston honored its six seniors during Saturday’s ceremonies as swimmers Cameron Balkom, Michaela Hamrick, Rachel Hobbins, Marissa Lehman, Jasmine Williams and diver Taylor Olanski were recognized for their outstanding careers.

The Cougars garnered a podium finish in the first event of the evening. The relay team of Eleanna Koutsouveli, Peyton Kondis, Sharo Rodriguez and Cait Horner placed second overall after nabbing a time of 1:42.10.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Miami (Fla.) transfer Yuskova captured first beating out teammate Zarena Brown with a time of 1:46.79. Freshman Brown touched the wall at 1:47.47 to secure second place. Both times are NCCA B standards.

On the springboards, Bouter continues to dominate capturing first in the 3-meter dive. The Johannesburg, South Africa native netted her second win after posting a score of 332.10. Freshman Lauren Burrell followed in second with a score of 314.20.

During prelims, freshman Kondis broke the program’s record in the 100-yard breaststroke. The Pittsburg, Penn., native swam a time of 1:01.55 to top junior Ashley Grijalva’s time set on Feb. 19. During finals, Kondis finished third touching the wall at 1:01.64 to round out the podium. Her time is also a NCAA B cut time.

In the 100-yard backstroke, freshman Laura Laderoute placed third overall. The West Linn, Ore. native rounded out the podium with a time of 54.86, a NCAA B cut time.

The Cougars finished the night with a victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The team of Zarena Brown, Yuskova, Sydney Larson and Julie Gibson touched the wall at 7:20.57, beating second place Rice by two seconds.

Cougars Win Team Title at Phill Hansel Invitational
Houston wins invitational honoring former head coach for the first time in program history

“We had a great weekend, and we saw some paradigm shifting performances,” Swimming & Diving Head Coach Ryan Wochomurka said. “To win the meet is a great bonus. Our focus was really on replicating the format and challenge we are going to see at the conference championships, not necessarily the point total, but as long as some is keeping track of that it’s nice to be on top.”

Houston ended the weekend with six event wins – 200-yard IM, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 800-yard freestyle relay, 1- and 3-meter dive. The Cougars also tallied 16 podium finishes. On the boards, Micaela Bouter was the highest scoring Cougar nabbing 92 points for Houston while freshman Laura Laderoute was the top earner in the lanes capturing 104 points.

The Cougars rewrote three program records during the invitational. Freshmen Peyton Kondis and Laderoute and the 400-yard medley relay etched their places in program history. Kondis broke junior Ashley Grijalva’s 100-yard breaststroke record during prelims Saturday morning with a time 1:01.05. While Laderoute set the program’s best time in the 200-yard IM initially in prelims with a time of 2:01.46 and later improved her time during finals touching the wall at 2:00.58.

The 400-yard medley relay team, Eleanna Koutsouveli, Kondis, Sharo Rodriguez and Zarena Brown broke a seven-year record Friday night after nabbing a time of 3:41.44.

Miami (Fla.) transfer Yuskova netted her second individual event win Saturday evening. The Moscow, Russia native, placed first overall in the 100-yard freestyle touching the wall at 50.19, dropping .41 seconds off her prelims time.

On the platform, Bouter grabbed a podium finish to wrap up her impressive weekend. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native finished second overall with a score of 209.95, two points shy of the top spot. Bouter finishes the weekend with wins in both the 1- and 3-meter along with her second place finish in the platform dive.

In the 200-yard backstroke, sophomore Eleanna Koutsouveli rounded out the podium. The Athens, Greece native swam a time of 1:58.02, a NCAA B-cut standard.

Junior Sharo Rodriguez captured a podium finish in the 200-yard butterfly. The Queretaro, Mexico native, touched the wall at 2:01.55, dropping .77 seconds off her prelim time to finish second overall.

In the final event of the evening, the 400-yard freestyle relay team finished the Cougars grabbed another podium finish. The team of Brown, Yuskova, Julie Gibson and Laderoute swam a time of 3:22.71 to finish second.

“I’m very proud we got to send our seniors out with such a great last home meet performance,” Wochomuka said. “I am personally very grateful for their buy in, eagerness, and leadership they have shown our coaching staff for the last two years. This is a very special group.”