COLUMBIA, Missouri, February 25. THE Texas A&M women and Texas men captured team titles at the 2012 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
The Aggie women led from start to the finish in the four-day event to earn their fourth Big 12 title in the last six years. Meanwhile, the Longhorn men took over the lead on day two and cruised to their 16th straight Big 12 crown and 33rd consecutive league title dating back to the Southwest Conference.
On the women's side, Texas finished in second with 873 points, while Missouri tallied its most points at the event with 630 to place third. To round out the team standings Kansas and Iowa State had 423 and 328 points, respectively. The Aggies scored a program-high 1,019 points to win. It was the fourth Big 12 Championship for TAMU (2007, '08, '10, '12).
During the final day of competition, Missouri got out to a quick start by grabbing wins in the first two events of the day. Dominique Bouchard swam an NCAA-qualifying time of 1:53.31 to repeat as Big 12 champion in the 200-yard backstroke. Shara Stafford (47.96) clipped defending Conference winner Karle Bispo (Texas) by a hundreth of a second in the 100-yard freestyle.
Texas A&M was able to keep its team lead in part due to three individual wins. A Big 12 meet record would fall in the longest distance race of the event as Maureen McLaine gutted out a 16:00.70 in the 1650-yard freestyle. For a second straight day, Breeja Larson brought some excitement to the morning preliminary round as she established a new Big 12 meet record (2:06.94) in the 200-yard breaststroke. In the final, she was not quite as fast at 2:06.94, but still earned the Conference championship. Camille Adams would win the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:54.60.
Another Big 12 record was broken as Texas A&M's Janie Potvin took the platform diving title with a score of 375.0.
The Texas women's quartet of Karlee Bispo, Kelsey Amundsen, Alex Hooper and Samantha Tucker got the only win of the night for the UT women as they took the 400-yard freestyle in 3:16.42.
On the men's side, Texas won all seven events on the final day to finish with a score of 1,014.50. Texas A&M was second with 822 points, while Missouri was in third at 750.5.
For Texas it was the third time in four day's that the men had swept the top spot in all of a day's events. In total, Texas won 17 of the 21 events contested.
Freshman Kip Darmody continued Texas' dominance in 200-yard backstroke by turning in a first-place time of 1:43.38. UT has never lost that event at the Big 12 Championships with eight different swimmers winning the 16 titles. Senior Jimmy Feigen enhanced his collegiate resume by posting a fourth straight victory in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 42.61. Feigen becomes the first Big 12 swimmer to win that event for four years.
Michael McBroom ended teammate Jackson Wilcox's quest for a fourth straight 1650-yard freestyle title with a time of 14:53.86. The win marked the seventh consecutive season that a Longhorn has stood at the top of the podium in that event. Nick D'Innocenzo followed up his 400-IM win by defending his title in the 200-yard breaststroke at 1:55.78. In the final individual event of the contest, Neil Caskey (1:45.66) repeated as a Big 12 champion in the 200-yard butterfly. Texas has only dropped that race once in the 16-year history of the Conference championships.
In the men's platform diving event, Drew Livingston won the sixth Big 12 title of his career with a score of 471.90.
The Aggies took home four of five individual women's Championship awards. Both swim coach Steve Baultman and dive coach Jay Lerew picked up the meet's coaching honors. Breeja Larson on the strength of a NCAA-record in the 100-yard breaststroke tallied the 'Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet' award, while Janie Potvin won two of the meet's three diving events to earn top diver recognition. Missouri's Shara Stafford was given the 'Outstanding Newcomer of the Meet,' trophy following wins in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races.
Texas won all of the men's Championship awards as men's head swimming coach Eddie Reese earning his 11th 'Swim Coach of the Meet' award and diving coach Matt Scoggin picked up his eighth 'Dive Coach of the Meet' honor. Nick D'Innocenzo and Drew Livingston repeated as 'Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet' and 'Outstanding Diver of the Meet,' respectively. Kip Darmody garnered recognition as the 'Outstanding Newcomer of the Meet'.
Big 12 swimming and diving athletes will now be heading on to the NCAA Championships, which will be held for the women at the James Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala. on March 15-17. The men's meet will be at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Seattle, Wash. on the following weekend.
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