COLLEE STATION, TX, February 5. THE fourth-ranked University of Texas women's swimming and diving team closed out its 2004-05 dual-meet schedule in impressive fashion by defeating Big 12 rival No. 9 Texas A&M, 174-120, in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown at the Student Recreation Natatorium on Saturday evening, according to reports from both schools.
The UT women close the season with an 8-1 mark in dual meets and Texas now holds a 4-3 advantage in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown Rivalry Series, which encompasses competition in all sports between the Longhorns and Aggies. The next State Farm Lone Star Showdown contest will be on Saturday, Feb. 5, for men's swimming and diving where 1 point will be up for grabs.
Texas took the lead in the first event of the meet, the 200-yard medley relay, and never looked back as the Longhorns posted first-place finishes in six of the first seven events and three different swimmers — sophomore Elizabeth Tinnon (Bowling Green, Ky.), freshman Macie Garrett (Nashville, Tenn.) and senior Sarah Wanezek (Brookfield, Wis.) — each won two individual events.
After the medley relay team, comprised of freshman Hayley McGregory (Houston, Texas) Tinnon, Connie Brown (Andover, Mass.) and Wanezek finished in 1:40.92 to win the first event of the meet, Garrett posted the top time in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:00.50). Garrett would turn in her second title later in the meet by winning the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:54.93.
McGregory kicked off a string of four straight Texas wins, capturing the 100-yard backstroke in 55.08 before Tinnon went under the NCAA automatic cut en route to the 100-yard breaststroke title in 1:01.80. Tinnon's later added the 200-yard breaststroke, where she posted a time of 2:14.48.
Sophomore Katie Robinson (Dillsboro, Ind.) was victorious in the 200-yard butterfly (2:01.28) and Wanezek won her first of two events of the evening in the 50-yard freestyle (23.09). Wanazek’s second win came in a classic battle with Texas A&M’s Senior leader Danielle Townsend, :50.06 to :50.17. Wanazek led from the start, flipping at the half-way mark in :24.16 to Townsend’s :24.34.
Townsend won two 200 yard races for the Aggies, including the 200 free at 1:48.79 and her 200 IM specialty, in which she presently ranks No. 2 nationally on the season, in 2:02.42.
Sophomore Aggie Kara Morelli (Scottsdale, Ariz.) outlasted U.S. Olympic Trials finalist Hayley McGregory and Canadian national team member Elizabeth Wycliffe of Texas to win the 200-yard backstroke in a lifetime-best of 1:59.21. Morelli had been under the two minute-barrier only once before in her life while McGregory and Wycliffe have both turned in sub-1:57 performances this season.
Freshman Mari-Michelle Musselman (San Antonio) turned in the best meet of her young collegiate career by earning a sweep on the diving boards for A&M. Musselman began the night by scraping out a 290.25 to 289.58 decision over Texas senior Monica Maxwell on the three-meter springboard. She finished off her night by cruising to a 275.85 to 251.70 win over Maxwell on the one-meter.
Brown led a trio of Longhorns take the top three spots in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.11, out touching Wanezek (55.27) and Robinson (55.94) who finished second and third, respectively.
The Longhorns finished the meet just as they started, capturing the title in the 400-yard freestyle relay as the team of junior Kristy Siminski (Portage, Ind.), Brown, Robinson and senior Kaela Humphries (Chaska, Minn.) touched the wall in 3:26.19.
Next, The University of Texas women's swimming and diving team will return to College Station, Texas, and the Texas A&M Natatorium for the Big 12 Championships (Feb. 23-26).
The Aggies will close out their 2004-05 dual meet schedule with a pair of dual meets against the Houston and Miami in the Space City at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
A&M Notes: Tight end Joey Thomas of the Texas A&M football team was the winner of the inaugural Big Splash competition held prior to and during the women’s meet on Friday night