NCAA Div. I Women: Lady Longhorns To Tackle The Wildcats

AUSTIN, Texas. Jan. 23. THE University of Texas women's swimming and diving team faces another tough challenge as they battle No. 3 Arizona on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 26-27 at the Jamail Swim Center. The meet will be held in three sessions beginning on Friday at 6 p.m., and then concluding on Saturday with events held at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The No. 3 Arizona Wildcats topped No. 4 Stanford, 135.5-107.5, on Saturday, Jan. 20, to improve to 5-1 this season. In their triumph over Stanford, Olympians Amanda Beard and Beth Botsford led the Wildcats as Beard posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:11.02 in her victory in the 200-yard breaststroke and Botsford claimed first-place honors in the 200 back (2:01.79). In the diving events, senior Adrian David placed first on the three-meter board (300.68) and second on the one-meter springboard (279.13).

Under co-head coach Jill Sterkel, the Longhorns hold a 4-3 mark against the Wildcats. Most recently, Texas and Arizona placed third and fourth, respectively, at the Texas Invitational earlier this season (Dec. 1-3). Last season, the Wildcats recorded their second-consecutive win against UT, defeating the Longhorns, 246-106, on Jan. 28-29, 2000, in Tucson, Ariz.

The Longhorns went 1-1 this past weekend by defeating Florida State, 182-115 and falling to then-No. 10 Florida, 152-148, on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 12-13. Senior Colleen Lanné (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic) remains undefeated in the 50 and 100 freestyle, after touching first against both the Gators and Seminoles. Competing in her first meet for the Longhorns, newcomer Helen Denman (Dalkeith, Australia/University of Western Australia) claimed first-place honors in the 200 breaststroke against Florida State and Florida, while junior Bethany Lindberg (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) dominated the backstroke events, winning the 100 and 200 backstroke (2:01.39) against the Gators.

Texas dropped to No. 10 in the latest edition of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Top
25 Poll (CSCAA), after falling to Florida (Jan. 13) this past weekend. The next edition of the CSCAA Poll will be released on Feb. 1.

Senior and 15-time All-American Colleen Lanné has
won the 50 and 100 freestyle events at every scoring meet so far this season. Lanné also holds the best time in the nation in both the 50 (22.37) and 100 freestyle (48.50) according to's Top 25 listing.

With three weeks until the Big 12 Conference
Championships, Texas is already displaying its dominance this season, posting the best times in 17 of 20 swimming events in the Big 12 Conference Top 10 Times Chart. Junior Bethany Lindberg is ranked first in both the 100 (55.39) and 200 backstroke (1:59.01), while sophomore Tanica Jamison (Dublin, Calif./Dublin) holds the best times in the 100 butterfly (54.76) and 200 IM (2:01.66). In diving, sophomore Kristen Marquis (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) boasts the top performances in the one-meter (273.45) and three-meter springboard (518.20) competition.

Sophomore Emily Ballenger (Anderson, S.C./T.L. Hanna) has recorded impressive performances for the Longhorns in the distance events so far this season. In fact, against Florida State, she posted a first-place finish and a season-best time of 10:05.50 in the 1000 freestyle. She also holds the team's best time in the 1650 free with a time of 16:57.57.

After spending the first part of the dual meet season on the road, Texas will remain at home until the NCAA
Championships held on March 15-17 in Long Island, N.Y. The Longhorns will compete in their last dual meet of the season on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 2-3 against No. 4 Stanford and No. 11 SMU, before hosting the Big 12 Championships on Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 14-17.

Senior Colleen Lanné has posted NCAA qualifying times in the 50 (22.37), 100 (48.50) and 200 freestyle(1:46.32), while also helping the team of junior Kelley Robins (Houston, Texas/Awty International), junior Lauren Martin (Houston, Texas/The Bolles School) and sophomore Erin Phenix (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline Academy) record a qualifying time of 3:18.30 in the 400 freestyle relay.

When winning both relays during a dual meet, the Longhorns are 3-1 this season. In the conference, Texas also holds the best times in all four relay events (200 free – 1:31.77; 400 free – 3:18.30; 800 free – 7:16.84; 200 medley – 1:42.89 and 400 medley – 2:43.86).

Relying heavily on its underclassmen in 1999-00,
Texas earned its second-consecutive Big 12 Conference title and earned a ninth-place finish at the 2000 NCAA Championships, which marked the 16th top-10 finish for the Longhorns in 17 years at the NCAA Championships. A total of ten UT performers also earned All-America honors in 11 events, with five relay teams also qualifying for the finals at the NCAA meet.

Co-head coach Jill Sterkel is in her ninth season
at The University of Texas. In her eight seasons, she has directed the Longhorns to seven top-10 finishes at the NCAA National Championships, six conference titles and two runner-up conference finishes. That mark also includes three top-three finishes at the NCAA Championships (1993, 1994, 1995) as well as winning back-to-back Big 12 Conference Championships in 1999 and 2000. In addition, Sterkel's Longhorns also claimed four consecutive Southwest Conference crowns from 1993-1996.

Co-head coach Mike Walker joins the 2000-01 coaching staff after spending the last six years at the University of California. Walker helped Cal make significant strides at the NCAA Championships, where he led the Bears to four consecutive top 10 NCAA
finishes: ninth (1997), eighth (1998), fifth (1999) and fourth (2000) – the best finish ever for the program. In fact, at the 2000 NCAA Championships, Cal captured the 200-meter medley relay title by setting a world best time of 1:49.23 to top the previous mark of
1:49.47 set by Sweden in 1999.

In 2000-01, Matt Scoggin begins his seventh year at Texas as the head diving coach, where he has clearly established one of the nation's top women's diving programs. A former U.S. Olympic diver and a 2000 USA Olympic men's assistant diving coach, Scoggin has been recognized nationally for his outstanding efforts,
including being tabbed as both the NCAA Division I and Big 12 Conference Women's Diving Coach of the Year in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Most recently, he was selected Women's Diving Coach of the Meet at the 2000 Big 12 Championships, as his Longhorns swept the diving events at the conference meet for the fourth consecutive season.

Sophomore Erin Phenix and freshman Jacinta Van Lint (Albury, Australia/Xavier) enjoyed their summer vacation at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Phenix captured a gold medal as a member of the USA 400-meter freestyle relay team. Phenix swam in the preliminaries, posting a personal best of 56.02 in
the second leg of the 400 freestyle relay after claiming an Olympic berth by placing sixth in the finals of the 100 freestyle (56.10) at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in August. Van Lint, meanwhile was a member of the 2000 Australian Olympic Team, where she captured a silver medal as a member of the 800 freestyle relay team.

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