From UT – AUSTIN, TX – The No. 13 ranked University of Texas women’s swimming and diving team finished second to No. 7 ranked Nebraska, 868-818, Saturday night at the Big 12 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Jamail Texas Swim Center.
Final team standings were: 1) Nebraska (868), 2) Texas (818), 3) Texas A&M (570), 4) Kansas (456), 5) Missouri (363), 6) Iowa State (224).
Longhorn senior Tammie Spatz (Saginaw, Mich.) set a Big 12 record with an NCAA automatic standard and career-best time of 49.15. It was Spatz’ second 1998 Big 12 Conference individual championship, as she won the 50-yard freestyle on Thursday night. Spatz, who finished with four Big 12 titles (two individual, two relay) and one second-place finish (200-yard freestyle), was named the co-Outstanding Swimmer along with Nebraska freshman Shandra Johnson. Texas head coach Jill Sterkel, in her sixth year, earned her first-ever Conference Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year Award.
“This is definitely an honor,” said Sterkel. “It’s an honor for your peers to award you like this. This team did a great job. We had a fantastic meet, and our swimmers and divers should be really happy.”
Longhorn sophomore Laura Wilkinson (Spring, Texas) successfully defended her Big 12 Championship in platform diving, winning with a total of 630.21 points. Senior Vera Ilyina (Moscow, Russia), who previously claimed the one-meter and three-meter springboard events, was named Outstanding Diver for the second straight year, while head coach Matt Scoggin was tabbed Conference Women’s Diving Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Texas’ 400-yard freestyle relay of junior Erin Maher (Richardson, Texas), freshman Erin Howarth (Shrewsbury, Mass.), freshman Colleen Lanné (Tucson, Ariz.), and Spatz finished first with an NCAA automatic standard and Big 12 record time of 3:17.99. The old record of 3:21.90 was set by Nebraska in 1997.