AUSTIN, Texas, March 1. IT’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that both the men and the women of the Texas Longhorns will win the Big 12 Conference titles with former rival Texas A&M now in the SEC, but that doesn’t make the wins any less sweet when you consider some of the fast times going up on the board.
The Texas men topped the meet with 1071 points, while TCU (796) and West Virgniia (779) had a close contest for second overall. The Texas women won their team title with 1109.5 points, while Kansas took second with 617 points. Iowa State (541.5), TCU (525) and West Virginia (480) also competed.
Texas’ Jack Conger downed the longstanding meet record of 1:41.36 set by Texas-Ex Aaron Peirsol in the men’s 200-yard back as the super freshman lit up the pool with a 1:40.56. That swim finished just a second off Peirsol’s conference record of 1:39.16 set at the 2003 NCAA Championships, but was more than enough to clear the NCAA A cut. Conger’s training partner Patrick Murphy joined him in qualifying for NCAAs in the event with a 1:41.35 for second. West Virginia’s Bryce Bohman checked in third with a 1:41.52, just missing the A cut of 1:41.41.
Texas’ Tripp Cooper then earned a meet record of his own with a 1:42.64 in the men’s 200-yard fly. That swim brushed by Ricky Berens’ 2010 mark of 1:43.17 and put Neil Caskey’s conference record of 1:42.52 from 2012 on notice. Clay Youngquist (1:43.39) and John Martens (1:44.75) placed second and third for Texas in the event.
Texas rookie Tasija Karosas started the night off right for the Longhorns as she captured the women’s 200-yard backstroke crown in 1:53.49. Iowa State’s Marissa Engel earned second overall in 1:56.93, while Kansas’ Yuleya Kuchkarova picked up third overall in 1:57.14.
In an exciting finish, Ellen Lobb beat teammate Sam Tucker by the slimmest of margins in the women’s 100-yard free, 48.83 to 48.84. Alex Hooper made it a Longhorn 1-2-3 with a third-place time of 49.17. West Virginia’s Tim Squires checked in with a 42.92 to win the men’s 100-yard free, just missing Jimmy Feigen’s meet record of 42.43 from 2009. Texas’ Matt Ellis (43.03) and Charlie Moore (43.38) earned second and third overall.
Texas’ Kelsey Leneave powered her way to victory in the women’s 1650-yard free with a 16:19.62, while Kansas’ Chelsie Miller earned second in 16:22.44. Texas’ Kimmy Phillips rounded out the top three in 16:29.67. Sam Lewis followed for Texas with a 14:55.44 to win the men’s 1650-yard free. TCU’s Thor Stenfjord hit the wall second in 15:28.63, while teammate Michael Franz took third overall in 15:41.66.
Texas went 1-2 in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke as Gretchen Jaques took the title in 2:09.86 with teammate Madisyn Cox finishing second in 2:10.33. TCU’s Gabrijela Korac picked up third overall in 2:12.45. The Longhorn men followed suit with Wil Licon (1:55.40) and Imri Ganiel (1:56.58) also going 1-2 for Texas in the men’s 200-yard breast. West Virginia’s Nate Carr earned third in 1:57.96.
Texas’ Victoria Cassidy smashed the field in the women’s 200-yard fly with a 1:58.38, while West Virginia’s Julie Ogden took second in 2:00.53. TCU’s Hannelore Strash wound up third in 2:01.81.
In diving competition, Texas’s Murphy Bromberg topped the women’s platform field with 386.70 points. Texas’ Emma Ivory-Ganja finished second with 350.60 points, while another Longhorn took third as Kristina Hoffmann posted 262.65 points. Texas’ Mark Anderson won the men’s tower title with 400.75 points. West Virginia’s Liam McLaughlin (275.80) and TCU’s Ricky Bradley (273.10) took second and third.
Texas closed out another victorious run in the Big 12 Conference with the 400-yard free relays. Ellen Lobb, Alex Hooper, Gretchen Jaques and Sam Tucker posted a 3:15.17 for an NCAA A cut to win the women’s 400-yard free relay. Kansas’ Morgan Sharp, Haley Molden, Pia Pavlic and Leah Pfitzer took second in 3:22.06, while TCU’s Julia Sanders, Mackenzie Schuler, Hannah Briant and Lyndsie Gibson took third in 3:22.77.
Texas’ Matt Ellis, Jack Conger, Kip Darmody and John Murray closed the curtains on the meet in Austin with a 2:51.99 to win the men’s 400-yard free relay. West Virginia’s Tim Squires, Bryce Bohman, Julien Vialette and Ross Glegg placed second in 2:55.10, while TCU’s Anthony McMurry, Corey Nix, Garrett Hills and Ryan Wilcox took home third in 2:58.08.