Feb. 19, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas – With a strong finish, Marshall swimming and diving concluded the Conference USA Championships Saturday with a fifth place finish.
Kaley Gregory got the day started for the Thundering Herd in the 1650-yard Freestyle. The freshman used a career high time of 17:11.88 to finish up eleventh. Heather Moore and teammate Tiffany Aeling both placed in the top 16 with finishes of 17:17.97 and 17:24.01 respectively. All three times fall within in the top 10 fastest times all-time at Marshall.
Head Coach Russell Hunt was very pleased with his team’s performance in the 1650 free with three top 16 finishes, "Coach Katie Moore has done a fantastic job with our distance group this season, and had our swimmers as prepared as anyone in the conference."
Platform diving was the next event for the Thundering Herd. Lauren Rone finished sixth with a new career high score of 155.35.
With the third fastest time in Marshall swimming history, Vera Niemeyer put the finishing touches on a strong weekend with a top-16 finish in the 200-yard Backstroke with a time of 2:04.22.
One of the Herd’s stars of the season, Kacey Preun would be up next in her best event, the 200-yard Breaststroke. The freshman concluded her season with a tenth place finish with a new career high time of 2:14.90. Her time was another one that fell in the top 10 fastest performances at MU. This time she booted herself from the third spot. Sarah Schimenti gave Marshall another top-16 finish in the 200 fly with a time of 2:28.15.
With the Herd’s best performance of the weekend, Sarah Kay put up a fifth place finish with a time of 2:03.03. While not her career best time, it is another top-20 all-time performance that would fall over the weekend.
Wrapping up the championships for Marshall was the relay grouping of Niemeyer, Alex Dschaak, Lauren Hurd, and Tiffany Aeling in the400-yard Freestyle Relay. The group put up a fourth place finish for the green and white’s best relay finish of the weekend.
"This group rallied around each other this week, and it is a testament to the trust they have been able to develop in each other,’ said Hunt after the event’s conclusion. “I think the sign of a great team is when you see individuals willing to sacrifice for the group, and there were countless examples of that through the course of the meet, and season."
Marshall finished up 284 for their fifth place finish. SMU was the winner of the meet with a total of 806 points.
The C-USA Championships signal the end of the season for Marshall. However Herd swimmers will head off to the Columbus Grand Prix set for March 9-11, as they will be going after Olympic trials, and national cuts.
Lauren Rone will also be competing in the NCAA Zone Diving Championships in March.