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.”