AUSTIN, Texas, November 29. WITH USA Swimming putting on the USA Short Course National Championships in Atlanta, the University of Texas began its own top flight short course meet in Austin.
With rumors that the Texas Trio are on a mini-taper, and some other big guns from across the country also competing, the Texas Invite certainly deserves SwimmingWorldMagazine.com Meet of the Week attention.
Women's 100 butterfly
While Natalie Coughlin's American record of 50.01 set in Austin in 2002 may not be in danger, Dana Kirk still lit up the morning qualifying round with a time of 52.31. Meanwhile, Stanford's Elaine Breeden and Arizona's Ana Agy both went sub 53 as Breeden touched second in 52.70 and Agy clocked a 52.91.
Caitlin Andrew, representing the Arizona State Sun Devils, took fourth in 53.32, while Stanford's Kate Dwelley placed fifth in 53.66. Dana's sister Tara tied with Tucson Ford's Whitney Myers with sixth-place times of 53.71, while Arizona's Hailey DeGolia placed eighth in 53.82.
Men's 100 butterfly
With American record holder Ian Crocker easing in with a fifth-place time off 47.01, well off is standard of 44.72 set in 2004, several other swimmers will be looking for an upset victory over Crocker.
Arizona's Albert Subirats blasted a 46.21 to lead prelims, while Texas' Ricky Berens touched in 46.78 for second. Tennessee's Octavio Alesi finished third in 46.83, while Tucson Ford's Masayu Kishida placed fourth in 46.91.
Other championship finalists will be Stanford's Jason Dunford (47.28) and Austin Staab (47.42) as well as Longhorn Aaron Peirsol (47.44).
Women's 500 freestyle
Kate Ziegler's American record of 4:33.35 will probably survive tonight's finals as Texas' Susana Escobar led qualifying with a time of 4:44.88. Stanford's Whitney Spence placed second in 4:47.77, while Longhorn Kirsty Coventry took third in 4:48.04.
Arizona's Leone Vorster (4:48.36), Susana Helms (4:49.12) and Joni Keith (4:50.10) demonstrated middle-distance depth for the Wildcats with fourth through sixth, while Wisconsin's Jenni Illescas (4:50.12) and Gabby Maddalena (4:51.57) rounded out the top eight.
Men's 500 freestyle
With Peter Vanderkaay going after his own American record of 4:08.60 over in Atlanta, it should be interesting if the Texas Invite swimmers can keep pace. Arizona's Jean Basson topped prelims with a time of 4:17.29, while Stanford's Daniel Beal clocked a second-place 4:20.55.
Other top swims came from Texas' Michael Kleuh (4:20.58), Stanford's Andy Grant (4:22.80) and Arizona State's C.J. Nuess (4:22.81) with third through fifth.
Sixth through eighth were occupied by Texas' Sean Patton (4:22.91), Stanford's David Mosko (4:25.29) and Texas' Brian Collins (4:25.51).
Women's 200 IM
Stanford's Julia Smit and Arizona's Carley Beaudreau both went sub 2:00 in the shorter medley with Smit pacing the field in 1:58.44. Beaudreau checked in with a second-place time of 1:59.62.
Smit's teammate, Elaine Breeden, placed third in 2:00.14, while Tucson Ford's Whitney Myers took fourth in 2:00.24.
Arizona's Caitlin Iversen (2:00.33), Longhorn's Kirsty Coventry (2:00.91), Stanford's Liz Smith (2:00.93) and Stanford's Caroline Bruce (2:00.97) rounded out the top eight.
Men's 200 IM
Arizona's Darian Townsend led an Arizona assault on the championship final with a time of 1:46.68 for first place. Meanwhile, Tucson Ford's Simon Burnett (1:47.11), Arizona's Bart Steninger (1:47.54), Jack Brown (1:47.78) and Bryan O'Connor (1:47.89) took second, fourth, firth and seventh, respectively. That's some major medley depth coming out of Tucson.
Other A final qualifiers were Longhorn's Aaron Peirsol with a third-place 1:47.17, Texas' Ricky Berens with a sixth-place 1:47.79 and Tennessee's Andrew Bree with an eighth-place 1:47.91.
Notably, Longhorn Brendan Hansen just missed finals with a ninth-place 1:48.01.
Women's 50 freestyle
The women's splash-and-dash produced some top times as Arizona's Lara Jackson (22.49) and Texas' Hee-Jin Chang (22.62) finished 1-2 in the morning.
Arizona dominated most of the rest of the top eight as Anna Turner (22.63), Courtney Cashion (22.68), Taylor Baughman (22.77) and Lindsey Kelly (22.78) finished third, fourth, sixth and tied for seventh, respectively.
Stanford's Brooke Bishop took fifth in 22.73, while Arizona State's Jen Beckberger tied for seventh in 22.78.
Men's 50 freestyle
South Africa's Roland Schoeman will be looking for the illusive 18 tonight after ripping through prelims with a 19.26. Meanwhile, Sun Devil Nick Brunelli took second in 19.43 and Arizona's Albert Subirats placed third in 19.72.
Nearly the entire A final will be comprised of 19-second times as Tennessee's Jonas Persson (19.88), Stanford's Jason Dunford (19.92), Longhorn's Neil Walker (19.92) and Tucson Ford's Adam Ritter (19.98) each went sub-20. Arizona's Jordan Smith was the only non-19 in the top eight with a time of 20.03.
Notably, Ian Crocker just missed out on finals with a 20.04 for ninth place.