AUSTIN, Texas, February 28. TEXAS senior Lily Moldenhauer had a busy prelim session today at the Big 12 swimming and diving championships, qualifying first in the 100 butterfly and posting a school and meet record not long after in the 100 backstroke.
After posting a 52.80 in the 100 fly prelims, Moldenhauer took down Kathleen Hersey 51.78 in the 100 backstroke that had stood as the conference and school records since 2009 with a 51.55. With Sarah Denninghoff sitting out this season with an injury, Moldenhauer has stepped up in a big way for the Longhorns. In yesterday’s 400 medley relay, she led off with a 52.00, which at that time was a lifetime best.
The swim is also an automatic NCAA qualifying time for Moldenhauer, the first “A” cut on the women’s side of the meet so far this week.
Clay Youngquist, an NCAA finalist in the 200 free last season, will take top seed in that event with a 1:34.98. He’s already been 1:33.72 this season, so expect a much faster time for him in finals.
Tripp Cooper and Jack Conger will do battle in the men’s 100 fly final. Cooper qualified first with a 46.32 ahead of Conger’s 46.50. Also of note is Texas’ Clark Smith, who qualified third with a 47.29. Smith posted what was then the second-fastest 100 fly in high school competition last May with a 46.50, and he’s likely to challenge that time tonight.
Conger was entered in the 100 back, but posted a “declared false start.” He will likely pass up the 100 fly-100 back opportunity as well at NCAAs to make the 200 back his third individual event.