COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Feb. 19. THE third-ranked University of Texas men's swimming and diving team is favored to win the men's Big 12 Championships, to be held Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 20-23, at the Student Rec Center Natatorium in College Station, Texas.
The preliminaries will start at 10:30 a.m. during
each of the three days with all final events set for 6 p.m. All tickets for the four-day meet are general admission, with doors opening one hour before each session. An all-session pass is $10, while one-day passes will be sold as $5 for adults, $4 for students
and $2 for all fans who are in high school and under.
For the first time this year, the Big 12 Championships have been combined to include both men's and women's competitions in their entirety.
For the fifth year in a row, FOX Sports Net will
telecast the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships nationally on a tape-delay basis. Bill Land will call the action with Mike O'Brien providing swimming analysis and Cynthia Potter adding poolside coverage. Check local listings for the FOX Sports Southwest
broadcast times in your area.
Under head coach Eddie Reese, the Longhorns have won 22 consecutive conference championships dating back to 1980 (17 Southwest Conference from 1980-1996; 5 Big 12 Conference from 1997-present).
Senior Tommy Hannan will be seeking his fourth consecutive Big 12 title in the 100 backstroke. With a victory this week, Hannan would become only the sixth Longhorn in Texas history to win an individual
conference championship during all four seasons at UT.
The Texas men's team won its second consecutive NCAA Championship last year and its eighth title (1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 2000) in school history. The Longhorns returned 11 of 16 All-Americans and 20 of 26 letterwinners from the 2000-01 NCAA Championship team.
22 AND COUNTING
The Texas men's swimming and diving program has been
a pillar of success in conference competition, claiming conference crowns in every season since 1980. From the Southwest Conference championships of the 1980's and early 1990's to the Big 12 Conference
titles over the past five years (1997-2001), the Longhorns have remained atop of the league standings since the second season of head coach Eddie Reese's tenure.
2001 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS REWIND
Texas claimed its 22nd consecutive conference championship last season, winning an astounding 20 of 21 events, while boasting a conference-record 1,105 points and breaking six meet records at the Jamail Texas Swim Center in Austin (March 1-3). Even with top competition from intra-state rival and then-No.
4 Texas A&M, Texas distanced itself from the field, outscoring the second-place Aggies (622), Iowa State (487.5), Nebraska (475.5), Missouri (353.5) and Kansas (275.5).
BY THE NUMBERS:
This year, The University of Texas began its 71st
season of swimming and diving as the Longhorns returned 11 All-Americans from last year's NCAA Championship team. Texas also returned three NCAA Champions, who won a total of five individual titles (Ian Crocker – 100 butterfly; Troy Dumais – one-meter and three-meter diving; Brendan Hansen – 100 and 200 breaststroke) and five members of the winning 200 and 400 medley relay, as well as the 400 and 800 free relay (Leffie Crawford – 200 medley relay; Tommy
Hannan – 400 medley relay and 400 free relay; Brendan Hansen – 200 and 400 medley relays; Chris Kemp – 800 free relay). Head swimming coach Eddie Reese has compiled a 190-54 (.779) all-time dual meet record.
HORNS SWEEP CONFERENCE HONORS:
Texas swept the Big 12 Conference Swimmer and Diver of the Month awards for January, the league office
announced on Jan. 30. Senior Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif./Buena) was named the conference's Male Diver of the Month, while sophomore Brendan Hansen (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) was named the Male co-Swimmer of the Month, sharing the honor with Matt Ferraelli of
Missouri and Matt Rose of Texas A&M. Selections were made by a vote of the league's head swimming and diving coaches.
IN THE RANKINGS:
The Texas men remained No. 3 in the latest edition
fo the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Top 25 released on Jan. 30. The next edition of the CSCAA team rankings are scheduled to be released on swiminfo on Thursday, Feb. 21. The Horns have been ranked in the top three since Nov. 13, 1997.
ON A ROLL:
Senior-diver Troy Dumais is off to an outstanding dual
meet season on the one and three-meter springboards, yet again. Dumais has totaled a perfect 7-0 record on the three-meter board this season, while also posting a 6-1 mark on the one-meter board, including five straight victories. The two-time NCAA Diver of the
Year's third-place finish against Southern Cal this season was first time he did not finish first in a dual meet competition since the 1998-99 season.
LEADING THE WAY:
While becoming mainstays on the winners stand for
the Longhorns this year, junior Chris Kemp (Southlake,
Texas/Southlake) and sophomore Brendan Hansen also are leading the way for the rest of the nation. Kemp's time of 1:36.02 in the 200 freestyle and Hansen's times of 53.57 in the 100 breaststroke and 1:56.09 in the 200 breast currently stand as the fastest collegiate times during 2001-02, according to swiminfo's top 25 listings. The Horns also have shown dominance in relay events, posting the nation's fastest times in both the 200 (1:27.69) and 400 (3:12.03) medley relays.
HANNAN GOING FOR FOUR:
Senior Tommy Hannan (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) has owned the 100 backstroke event at the Big 12 Championship meet, winning the past three titles (1999, 2000, 2001). This week, Hannan will be seeking his fourth consecutive Big 12 title in the 100 backstroke. With a victory this week, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist would become only the sixth Longhorn in Texas history to win an individual conference championship during all four seasons at UT.
Hannan is also the two-time defending Big 12 Champion in the 200 butterfly.
HANSEN HOLDS EDGE IN BREASTSTROKE:
Winning the points for all breaststroke events is something the UT swimming and diving team has become accustomed to this season, thanks in part to the help of sophomore Brendan Hansen. Hansen, who is the American and NCAA record holder in the 200 breaststroke (1:53.11), is undefeated this year in both the 100 and 200 breast, posting a 5-0 dual meet record in the 100 and a 6-0 mark in the 200. Hansen also is the defending 2001 NCAA Champion in both breaststroke events.
2001 NCAA CHAMPIONS:
The Texas men's swimming and diving team captured its second consecutive NCAA title at the 2001 NCAA
Championships. A total of nine American and eight NCAA records were broken at the meet with the Longhorns setting six of those records. The Longhorns claimed their eighth NCAA team title in UT history
after posting 597.5 points. Stanford finished second (457.5) and Tennessee (330.5) placed third. Texas posted a UT-record seven individual titles and four relay crowns at the meet.
MEN'S HEAD COACH EDDIE REESE:
Head coach Eddie Reese is in his 24th season at the helm of the Texas men's swimming program. During his
tenure, the Longhorns have won seven of the last 14 NCAA Championships and an incredible 22 consecutive conference titles. Last year, he led the Longhorns to their eighth NCAA Championship. Reese has coached 31 NCAA individual champions, 25 National Champion relays, 120 All-Americans and 18 Olympians. Those Olympians have claimed 19 gold medals in four Olympiads.
HEAD DIVING COACH:
Matt Scoggin is in his eighth year at Texas as the
head diving coach, where he has clearly established UT as one of the nation's top men's and 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. He was selected NCAA Women's Diving Coach of the Year for 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99, as well as the NCAA Men's Diving Coach of the Year in 2000-01. Additionally, Scoggin is a four-time Big 12 Conference
Women's Diving Coach of the Year and was the 1994-95 Southwest Conference (SWC) Women's and Men's Diving Coach of the Year. Scoggin has also coached the U.S. National Team seven times, including his most recent appointment as the head coach of the national team that competed at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan (July 22-29).