AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 4. THE University of Texas men's swimming and diving team began its quest for a fourth consecutive national championship on Friday by hosting the annual Orange/White scrimmage at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center. The Orange team, behind
two wins apiece from junior Olympic gold medalist Ian Crocker (Portland, Maine) and freshman Olympic silver medalist Aaron Peirsol (Irvine, Calif.), edged the White team, 142.5-130.5.
Crocker, the 2002 National Champion in the 100-yard
butterfly, posted the top times in the 100-yard butterfly (49.28) and the 50-yard freestyle (20.81), while Peirsol made his first appearance as a Longhorn with victories in the 100- (49.89) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:49.49).
The Orange also received wins from sophomore John Nabors (Spring, Texas) in the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:46.62) and freshman Paul Ridgeway (Chicago, Ill.) in the 200-yard individual medley, (1:52.72) as well as claiming first place in 400-yard freestyle relay. Crocker and Peirsol teamed with junior Austin McNally (Sherman, Texas) and senior John Suchand (Highland Village, Texas) to post the decisive victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a mark of 3:02.63.
"This was a very exciting meet," Texas head coach Eddie Reese said. "We had a lot of people competing in multiple races and they did a great job. At this time of the year, we want to see that they are willing to work hard and I definitely felt they did that today."
The white team countered Crocker and Peirsol's dominance with senior All-American Chris Kemp (Southlake, Texas) and junior NCAA Champion Brendan Hansen (Havertown, Pa.). Kemp posted the top times
in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle at 1:38.41 and 4:38.71, respectively, while Hansen touched first in the 100- (56.20) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:03.79).
In diving, the Orange and White teams split the two
competitions. Sophomore Max Bookman (Santa Monica, Calif.) posted a victory for the Orange on the one-meter with a score of 208.20, while junior transfer Jamie Davidson (Ambleck, Pa.) was the top scorer on
the three-meter with a score of 255.45.
"Jamie and Max both had great efforts today," Texas head diving coach Matt Scoggin said. "I hope to see both of them get stronger throughout the year and work on their degree of difficulty for each dive. Today was a good indicator that they are heading in the right direction."
The University of Texas men's swimming and diving team will return to action on Friday, Oct. 11, when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., to compete at the Big 12 Relays.