Big 12 Honors Texas' Walker, Gritzmacher, Ilyina -- February 6, 1998
From UT - DALLAS, TEXAS - The Big 12 Conference announced its swimmers and divers for the month on Wednesday, and three University of Texas student-athletes were among the honorees. Selections were made by a vote of the league's head swimming and diving coaches.
Longhorn senior Neil Walker (Verona, Wis.) of the University of Texas was chosen as the male swimmer of the month, while Texas freshman Grant Gritzmacher (Essex, Conn.) and senior Vera Ilyina (Moscow, Russia) were selected as the top divers of the month.
Walker won a gold medal in the 400m freestyle relay and a silver medal in the 400m medley relay at the World Championships in Perth, Australia, from Jan. 12-18. Besides capturing the gold, the U.S. 400m freestyle relay team set a meet record in the event. Walker then returned home to lead the No. 3 Longhorns to a 133-95 victory over No. 2 Auburn on Jan. 31, handing the defending NCAA Champions their first dual-meet loss since 1994. Walker won both the 50yd freestyle (19.64) and the 100yd freestyle (43.36) with NCAA automatic marks, and also swam the backstroke leg on Texas' first-place 400yd medley relay (3:12.99), which met the NCAA automatic standard.