AUSTIN, Texas, September 26. JACK Conger’s first time racing with a Texas swim cap came today as the Longhorn men’s team stepped up for their annual intrasquad meet. Conger, the co-Swimming World Male High School Swimmer of the Year, raced four times and notched two wins.
In the meet’s first event, the 100 backstroke, Conger put up a 47.27 to gain the status of fastest collegiate swimmer in the early phase of the season, not far from his lifetime best of 45.32. California’s Ryan Murphy, who is sharing the Swimming World Male High School Swimmer of the Year with Conger, had posted a 47.43 last Friday in his college racing debut. Second place today went to junior Kip Darmody, who posted a 48.05 just ahead of sophomore Aaron Gustafson.
Conger was back in his specialty, the 200 backstroke, and he routed the field with a swift 1:42.50. Conger will be looking to beat his 1:38.75 from last December’s Tom Dolan meet when the season ends in March, and according to the USA Swimming database, today’s time is the fifth-fastest Conger has ever swum. Second place today went to sophomore Ian Lemaistre with a 1:47.91 and Darmody took third with a 1:48.94.
Caleb Weir got under 20 seconds in the 50 free with a 19.85 to beat Conger’s 20.18 and sophomore John Murray’s 20.19. Conger popped a 43.18 in the 400 free relay to conclude the meet, helping the Orange team place second. Conger’s split was the only one under 44 seconds in the relay, though Clay Youngquist split 44.08.
Texas will be looking to regroup from the loss of a major senior class last year that included 2010 NCAA champion Austin Surhoff (200 IM), 2012 NCAA champ Dax Hill (200 free) and 2011 NCAA champion Michael McBroom (1650 free). Conger’s presence is helping to do that, as well as fellow freshman Clark Smith. Smith’s 48.10 in the 100 fly was second to sophomore Matt Ellis’ 47.96 today.
Junior Clay Youngquist, a legitimate contender for the NCAA title in the 200 freestyle after placing sixth last season, won the 200 free today with a 1:36.06 and the 100 free with a 44.26.
Complete results available by clicking the link below.