The Vandal swim and dive team had a productive outing in their last event of the fall at the Phil Hansel Invitational in Houston.
“It’s a very deep meet and different than what we will see at WAC,” head coach Mark Sowa said in a news release after the first day of the meet. “We got less rest going into this meet than in years past and I like what we see so far. I think we will get better every session.”
The Invitational featured teams from the west and south. Idaho rode a consistent performance through the invitational’s three days to a total score of 657 and a fourth-place finish, well ahead of conference rival Northern Colorado.
There were plenty of strong individual performances for Sowa to be proud of.
Junior Janelle Lucas led the diving contingent with by defending her conference title on platform. She qualified with a 220.20, and turned in a good performance in the final with a 269.95. No other competitor scored better than 201.
Senior Hailey Kessler took fourth place with a 194.80, and senior Maren Seljevold took seventh place with a score of 182.30.
Senior Emi Smith put together a 168.30 in the final to cap off a strong performance from the divers.
For the swimmers, junior Emily Kliewer led the way. She took 16th in the 200-yard butterfly and managed to score a career record in the prelims with a 2:05.19 in the event. She also recorded a 53.37 in the 100-yard freestyle final that was good for a 24th place finish. Kliewer teamed up with sophomore Aileen Pannecoucke, freshman Emma Schlyter, and sophomore Leah Fisk in the 400-yard freestyle relay for a ninth-place finish.
Sophomore Brianna Lucien contributed another quality finish, with a 17:19.56 time in the 1650-yard freestyle earlier in the day. Schlyter finished just behind her with a 17:20.87 in her first collegiate foray in the mile-long swim.
Idaho will now have two months off to train and recover before taking to the pool again in January. The Vandals will take on Northern Colorado and Oregon State at home on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27, respectively.
Jonah Baker can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @jonahpbaker