LAS CRUCES, N.M. – For the third-consecutive year, the New Mexico State women’s swimming and diving team will travel to Houston, Texas, to compete in the Phil Hansel Invitational hosted by the University of Houston, which will run from Thursday, Nov. 21, through Saturday, Nov. 23.
The six-team field will be swimming at the indoor pool inside the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium located on the Cougar’s campus. Joining NM State at the invite will be host Houston, Rice, North Texas, Tulane and fellow Western Athletic Conference member, Idaho, which was recently named the top team in the WAC by collegeswimming.com. Also in Houston will be Fresno State who will only be competing in the diving events.
“We've had an amazing month of working hard,” Aggie head coach Rick Pratt said. “I feel that for those competing this week we're going to see some fast swims and they [the team] are looking forward to that. This year's invite is a little smaller than last, but I feel it will be a great environment and venue for some fast racing, and of course great diving.”
This will be the first tournament-style meet for NM State this season. The Aggies head to Houston with a 1-1 record in dual meets and are coming off a home win versus conference foe Northern Colorado on Nov. 2.
The squad has used the last couple of weeks to, not only prepare for the invite, but prepare for the final weeks of the academic semester. Pratt believes heading to Houston will help the team both in the pool and in the classroom.
“After this week there is only one week of classes left, which is hard to believe,” Pratt said. “Our team studies hard and dealing with the pressures of academic success can be a stressful process. We're lucky to have athletes who really know how to balance both studies and sport. Leaving campus this week will be a great opportunity to have some fun swimming fast, and they need that.”
Last year’s Phil Hansel Invite saw NM State finish in 10th place out of 14 teams. In 2011, the Aggies finished third out of 10 teams.
For a recap of NM State team and individual results after each day’s events log on to NMStateSports.com.