The University of Cincinnati swimming teams head to Houston, Texas this week for the 2004-05 women's Conference USA Championship and men's C-USA Invitational, beginning on Feb. 23 at the University of Houston Natatorium.
MEET INFORMATION: The 2004-05 Conference USA Championship/Invitational will be hosted by the University of Houston in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium beginning at 3 p.m. on Feb. 23. Updated results available at www.UHCougars.com.
LAST TIME OUT: The University of Cincinnati swimming teams dropped their final dual meets of the season to the University of Kentucky at the Lancaster Aquatic Center on Feb. 5. The UC men fell by a score of 173-56 while the women dropped a 157-67 decision.
Freshman Elyse Perez captured the 1000 freestyle title in 10:26.01. Ann Degenstein nabbed the 200 freestyle crown (1:54.57) for the Bearcats. Degenstein also placed second in the 200 butterfly, finishing in 2:05.18.
Senior Carlo Piccio led the men, posting a season-best 9:26.29 in the 1000 freestyle, finishing second. Piccio also placed second in the 200 butterfly (1:54.29) and the 200 breaststroke (2:14.71).
Also finishing second for the UC men was David Gustavsson in the 200 IM (1:53.85).
DEGENSTEIN GARNERS C-USA HONORS: Junior Ann Degenstein was named Conference USA Swimmer of the Week on Feb. 1. Degenstein recorded three individual event wins in the Bearcats' dual meet on Jan. 29. She won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 54.48, the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:06.71, which is the eighth fastest time in C-USA this season, and the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:25.54. Degenstein finished the dual meet accounting for 27 of the Bearcats' 98.5 points.
CINCINNATI AT THE C-USA CHAMPIONSHIP: The UC women won the first-ever C-USA Championship in 2002. The Bearcats finished second in 2003 and fourth last year. Ann Degenstein won the 500 freesyle and both the 100 and 200 butterfly at the 2004 C-USA Championships. UC's 400 medley relay team captured the C-USA title, as did Nelly Jorgensen (100 backstroke).
The men finished fourth at last year's C-USA Invitational. David Gustavsson captured the 200 IM title at the meet and led three champion relay teams (400 free, 200 medley, and 400 medley). Ryan Yearwood grabbed both the 50 and 100 freestyle races last season and contributed on the winning relay teams. Carlo Piccio is the two-time defending C-USA 400 IM champ.
UC IN C-USA: UC has placed several swimmers on the Conference USA performance list this season, with nine individuals and three relay teams holding the top times in their respective events. Ann Degenstein is the top women's swimmer in both the 100 and 200 butterfly.
For the men, David Gustavsson tops the 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 100 butterfly, while Carlo Piccio owns the best times in the 1000 freestyle, 1650 freestyle, and the 400 IM. The men's 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams, along with the 200 medley relay team each set the conference standard.
THREE BEARCATS NAMED TO ALL-DECADE TEAM: Two former University of Cincinnati swimmers and one current Bearcat have been named to the Conference USA All-Decade team, announced by the league on Feb. 22. Maria Oberg, Marien de Jong, and Ann Degenstein each earned a spot on the 10-person squad.
Oberg, the Conference USA swimmer of the year and C-USA swimmer of the meet in 2002, was a five-time C-USA Champion. She was also a five-time NCAA All-American. Oberg holds conference records in the 200, 500 & 1650 freestyle. She owns four individual UC records and one relay record. An NCAA qualifier in three freestyle events, finishing fifth in 500 free in 2002, Oberg was named to the Verizon Academic All-District team in 2002.
A 2002 NCAA Qualifier in three events, de Jong won three individual Conference USA titles (50, 100 Free & 100 Fly) that season. She set three conference records and led the Bearcats to the 2002 C-USA team championship. De Jong holds one individual school record and was part of two record-setting relay teams. She earned Conference USA Swimmer of the Week honors twice in her career.
Degenstein is a five-time C-USA individual event champion and will look to add more titles to her already impressive resume this season. She holds C-USA records in the 100 and 200 yard butterfly and ranks 13th nationally in the 100 butterfly and 14th in the 200 butterfly this season. Degenstein earned C-USA Freshman Swimmer of the Meet honors in 2003 while contributing to the C-USA-champion 400 freestyle relay team.
Conference USA is celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2004-05 season. In conjunction, the league is naming a Team of the Decade for each of the conference's 19 sports. Voting on the awards was done by each of the league's current swimming and diving coaches.
COMING UP: NCAA qualifiers will move on to the NCAA Championships. The women's championship meet will be held on March 17-19 in West Lafayette, Ind. and the men's championship meet will be held on March 24-26 in Minneapolis, Minn.