Texas Destroys American Record in 800 Free Relay at Big 12s

AUSTIN, Texas, February 27. Just a few months after Club Wolverine's team of Michael Phelps, Peter Vanderkaay, Davis Tarwater and Chris DeJong reclaimed the American record for Ann Arbor at the USA Swimming National Championships, the Texas Longhorns returned fire at the Big 12 Championships.

The team of Dave Walters (1:32.51), Matt McGinnis (1:33.31), Michael Klueh (1:32.21) and Ricky Berens (1:32.52) demolished the standard of 6:12.43 set by Club Wolverine on Nov. 30, 2007 in Atlanta when the Longhorns checked in with a remarkable 6:10.55.

Walters threatened Phelps' American record in the 200 free of 1:32.08 set in Austin in 2006 with his leadoff.

In other relay action at the meet, Texas A&M's foursome of Julia Wilkinson, Alia Atkinson, Triin Aljand and Sarah Woods claimed the women's 200 medley relay in 1:38.76, while the Aggies also won the women's 800 free relay in 7:05.98 with the effort of Christine Marshall, Kristen Heiss, Beth McCullough and Codie Hansen.

Texas, meanwhile, snared the men's 200 medley relay with the team of Hill Taylor, Matthew Lowe, Daniel Rohleder and Jeremy Harris touching in 1:27.18.

Special thanks to Texas for the following quotes from Big 12s:

Texas head coach Eddie Reese
On UT's 800 freestyle relay setting a new American record:
"Everyone knew if we got a school record on the opening leg, that they would be in the ball game to break that record. I was getting the splits (each 25-yard time) and I knew they were overswimming the first 100 (yards of each leg) a little bit. But, their time at the three-quarter mark was so fast, even if they got tired and showed fatigue, they would still have a great split, and they all did that. Was I surprised? Without a doubt! I figured we could go 6:12 or 6:16. They did a phenomenal job."

Sophomore Ricky Berens
On swimming the anchor leg of the American-record setting relay:
"It hasn't really hit me yet, but it was really cool to be the one finishing and touching the wall and getting to react to the record and see the crowd. I was hurting in the end, but I told myself not to screw it up because it would all turn out great in the end."

Sophomore Dave Walters
On swimming the opening leg of the record-setting relay:
"This is such an extreme privilege. I'm very humbled and very blessed that I had the privilege to swim on a relay like that. Also, it was an honor to break Doug Gjertsen's 200 freestyle record. He sent me a text message and told me it was a nice swim."

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