The next wave of Rice swimming contributors are ready to rise to the occasion. Coach New opportunities await several underclassmen with new roles opening next season.
Rice swimming will lose a strong core of senior leaders when they return to the pool next season. As valuable as those seniors were in action, part of their legacy will be the impact they made on those to follow. The Owls have a host of up-and-coming swimmers ready to fill their shoes, several of which made splashes of their own this season.
Many freshmen experience an adjustment period when they first arrive on campus. The rigors of the academic load alongside the athletic requirements make it challenging to expect many newcomers to bear too much of the load too quickly. But there are always a few who earn the right for a bigger role through their own efforts.
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One such rising underclassmen was Maddie Howe. The true freshman wasn’t feeling well during the Conference USA Championship. Even though she was under the weather, she snuck into the finals for the 100-Fly.
Howe swam from the eighth and final lane in the championship swim. Not only she Howe medal, she won the event from the outermost lane, a rarity in swimming and a testament to Howe’s grit and perseverance.
Howe is one of several swimmers who could see her role increase in the near future. Becca Evans put together a strong sophomore campaign. Freshmen like Shannon Campbell and Sini Koivu had strong finishes as the C-USA Championship. C-USA Co-Swimmer of the Year Marta Cano-Minarro was stellar.
And that doesn’t account for a crop of junior swimmers who have already ascended into crucial roles.
Head coach Seth Huston is excited to get back in the pool and let his swimmers get to work. “We’ll just talk about opportunity,” he said. “What opportunities are presenting themselves in your new role with one more year under your belt?” With that challenge presented, it will be up to each individual to work and earn their chance to broaden their role.
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