AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 22. THE top-ranked University of Texas men's swimming and diving team dropped its first dual meet of the season Friday evening at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center as Michigan pulled out a 123-120 victory.
In a see-saw battle, the Wolverines were able to overcome a slight deficit by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay, the final event of the night. Heading into the relay, Texas held on to a slim lead thanks to a victory by six-time NCAA champion Brendan Hansen
(Haverford, Pa.) and a third-place showing by Christian Schurr (Austin, Texas) in the 200-yard breaststroke.
When the Longhorns pulled ahead after the 200-yard breaststroke, it marked the fifth lead change of the evening.
Texas was able to claim victories in six events, but every close race went in favor of Michigan except for the 200-yard butterfly, which was won by sophomore All-American Rainer Kendrick (Birmingham, Ala.). Kendrick was able to touch out 2002 Big Ten Conference Swimmer of the Year Dan Ketchum by .07 of a second, 1:47.82 to 1:47.89.
"Michigan swam great and they were able to win a lot of the close races, which obviously made a difference in the meet," Texas head coach Eddie Reese said. "I think our team swam better than they did against USC and Texas A&M earlier this year and overall they did
a good job. You just have to hand it to Michigan, they performed very well."
Michigan countered Texas' opening-event victory in the
400-yard medley relay (3:17.48) by taking the top three spots in the 1,000-yard freestyle. The Maize and Blue added the top four spots in the 500-yard freestyle and were also able to win by the slimmest of
margins in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Ketchum topped senior NCAA champion Chris Kemp (Southlake, Texas), 1:36.77, while senior All-American Garrett Mangieri won the 100-yard freestyle over Ian Crocker (Portland, Maine), 45.07 to 45.10.
"We knew it was going to be a battle to come to Austin and face the No. 1 team in the nation," Michigan head coach Jon Urbanchek said. "Our guys were excited to swim against the three-time National Champions and I think that helped them a lot in the pool today."
After falling behind with Michigan's victories in the
1,000-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle, Texas was able to pull back ahead early on with triumphs in the 50-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Sean Foley (Brookfield, Wis.) and Crocker placed first and second, respectively in the 50-yard freestyle with times of 20.69 and 20.75, while Hansen won his first race of the day with a mark of 1:50..99 in the 200-yard individual medley.
After Foley's and Hansen's victories, Texas freshman Aaron Peirsol (Irvine, Calif.), the world record- holder in the 200-meter backstroke, kept his undefeated college record intact with a win in the 200-yard backstroke. Despite a sprained ankle suffered earlier in the day, Peirsol topped Michigan freshman Chris DeJong, 1:43.98 to 1:44.18.
In diving, Texas took second and third place on both the one- and three-meter springboard. Michigan junior All-American Jason Coben swept both events, while UT sophomore All-American Jonathan Linette (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) was runner-up on both boards. Linette scored marks of 297.07 on the one-meter and 342.97 on the three-meter, while teammate Jamie Davidson was third on both the one-meter (288.67) and
the three-meter (302.70).
"I was very pleased with how our divers performed," Texas head diving coach Matt Scoggin said. "Jason (Coben) of Michigan is a great diver who continues to get better every year. Jonathan (Linette) really gave him a battle and came up just a little short."
Texas swimming and diving team will return to action on Saturday (Nov. 23) as it will host Michigan in an exhibition at noon at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center.