COLLEGE STATION, TX, February 26. TEXAS won both the men's and women's team titles at the 2005 Big 12 Swimming & Diving Championships Saturday at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium on the Texas A&M campus reports the Big-12 Conference office.
The Longhorn men have won all nine league titles, while the women have captured the last seven in a row (1999-2005). Nebraska claimed the first two titles in 1997 and 1998. The Texas men's conference championship streak dates back to head coach Eddie Reese's second year at UT in 1980 when Texas was a member of the Southwest Conference. Since that time the Longhorns have put together a string of 26 straight league victories under the 2004 Olympic coach Reese.
UT compiled 1,050 points over the four-day event in the men's division, followed by Texas A&M (842) and Missouri (788).
On the women's side, UT finished ahead of the pack with 965 points, while Texas A&M (783), Nebraska (461), Kansas (454), Missouri (377) and Iowa State (337) trailed the 'Horns.
The Big 12 Conference honored the top performers of the championships based on a vote of the league's head coaches at the conclusion of the meet.
The men's honorees include Swimmer of the Meet: Garrett Weber-Gale, Texas; Newcomer of the Meet: Matt McGinnis, Texas; Diver of the Meet: Eric Sehn, Texas A&M; Swim Coach of the Meet: Brian Hoffer, Missouri; Dive Coach of the Meet: Kevin Wright, Texas A&M (1997-99, 2005).
In the women's field the following received recognition, Swimmer of the Meet: Sarah Wanezek, Texas (2003-05); Newcomer of the Meet: Macie Garrett, Texas; Diver of the Meet – Rosie Whiting, Texas A&M; Swim Coach of the Meet: Steve Bultman, Texas A&M (2002, 04-05); Dive Coach of the Meet: Kevin Wright, Texas A&M (2001-02, 04-05) – women).
Wanezek headlines the student-athlete award winners after collecting the third straight meet honor, becoming the only swimmer in Big 12 history to do so. She ends her career with 20 league crowns. The Brookfield, Wis., native added seven titles (50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 and 400 medley relays and 400 free relay) to that total this week, earning at least one victory each day. She also defended three of her individual championships in the 50 and 100 free and 100 butterfly. Wanezek qualified for the NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships March 17-19 in each of the events she competed in at the league meet.
Weber-Gale, also the 2004 Men's Newcomer of the Meet, posted victories in the sprints (50 and 100 free) and four relays (200, 400 and 800 free, and 400 medley). The Fox Point, Wis., sophomore swam an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 42.84 on the last day of competition.
A&M's Sehn completed a sweep of the 2005 diving events when he claimed the platform Saturday with a score of 579.10. Sehn also won the one- and three-meter springboard at his first championships.
Fellow Aggie junior diver Whiting took home both the one and three meter titles as well for the first time in her career. It marked the second straight year that an Aggie student-athlete has won the women's one-and three-meter diving events and the Diver of the Meet honor.
McGinnis claimed the first two individual crowns (200 and 500 free) and two relays (400 free and 800 free) of his career. He also earned a berth to nationals as a member of the 400 and 800 free relays and individually in the 200 free.
Garrett, another Longhorn freshman, recorded individual triumphs in her first Big 12 meet. She finished in first in the 1,650 free Saturday and scored victories in the 500 free and on the 800 free relay.
On the final day of competition, Elizabeth Wycliffe broke the third and final meet record. Wycliffe turned in a time of 1:55.03 in the 200 backstroke to surpass the former record of 1:56.26 set by the injured Aggie Rebecca Sturdy in '04.
Sophomore Elizabeth Tinnon also established a meet record in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.14) and was a member 400-medley relay that posted a meet mark (3:36.28).
Tinnon and senior Rainer Kendrick both defended their titles in the 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly, respectively, Saturday. Kendrick has won this event all four years of his career. He also is the reigning 200-meter fly NCAA champion.
In diving action Saturday, junior Hillary Nichols claimed the first Big 12 individual title for Iowa State since Kim Reid in 1999. It also marked the first diving crown for the Cyclones in the Big 12's nine-year tenure. Nichols tallied a score of 408.70 in the platform diving competition.
2005 BIG 12 SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL TEAM SCORES
1. Texas: 1,050
2. Texas A&M: 842
3. Missouri: 788
1. Texas: 965
1. Texas A&M: 783
3. Nebraska: 461
4. Kansas: 454
5. Missouri: 377
6. Iowa State: 337
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS HONORS
Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet: Garrett Weber-Gale, Texas
Outstanding Diver of the Meet: Eric Sehn, Fr., Texas A&M
Outstanding Newcomer of the Meet: Matt McGinnis, Fr., Texas
Swim Coach of the Meet: Brian Hoffer, Missouri
Dive Coach of the Meet: Kevin Wright, Texas A&M
Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet: Sarah Wanezek, Sr., Texas
Outstanding Diver of the Meet: Rosie Whiting, Jr. Texas A&M
Outstanding Newcomer of the Meet: Macie Garrett, Fr., Texas
Swim Coach of the Meet: Steve Bultman, Texas A&M
Dive Coach of the Meet: Kevin Wright, Texas A&M
! – Big 12 Championships Meet Record; $ – NCAA Championships Automatic-Qualifying Time; # – NCAA Championships Consideration Time
200-Yard Backstroke: Nate O'Brien, Sr., Texas – $1:42.95
100-Yard Freestyle: Garrett Weber-Gale, So., Texas – $42.84
1650-Yard Freestyle: James Hard, Fr., Texas A&M – 15:39.28
200-Yard Breaststroke: Christian Schurr, Jr, Texas – #1:58.28
200-Yard Butterfly: Rainer Kendrick, Sr., Texas – $1:44.74
Platform Diving: Eric Sehn, Fr., Texas – 579.10
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Texas – $2:53.69
(Austin McAnally, Caleb McDermott, Matt McGinnis, Weber-Gale)
Platform Diving: Hillary Nichols, Jr., Iowa State – 408.70
200-Yard Backstroke: Elizabeth Wycliffe, Jr., Texas – !$1:55.03
100-Yard Freestyle: Sarah Wanezek, Sr., Texas – $48.99
1650-Yard Freestyle: Macie Garrett, Sr., Texas – #16:26.01
200-Yard Breaststroke: Elizabeth Tinnon, So., Texas – $2.10:35
200-Yard Butterfly: Katie Robinson, So. Texas – #2:00.35
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Texas – $3:02.07
(Connie Brown, Kristy Siminski, Kaela Humphries, Wanezek)