COLUMBIA, Mo.February 22. DEFENDING Big 12 champion Texas swept the men's and women's 200-yard medley relays in the opening races, while both Texas A&M squads claimed top honors in the 800-yard freestyle relays on day one of the 2006 Big 12 Swimming & Diving Championships at the Mizzou Aquatics Center.
The Aggie men are in first place with the 800 free relay victory to their credit, in addition to a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay. Missouri and Texas follow in second and third, respectively.
Scott Newmann, Joel Benson, Ryan Loney and Matt Neal earned A&M's first 800 free relay title in Big 12 Championships' history, snapping UT's nine-year win streak in the event. The squad recorded an NCAA Championships provisional time en route to winning the gold medal.
The A&M women also made league history on Wednesday night in the same race. The team of Codie Hansen, Kristen Heiss, Christine Marshall and Julia Wilkinson broke a meet record with a time of 7:09.52. It is the fifth fastest time in the nation and automatically qualifies for the NCAA Championships on March 16-18 in Athens, Ga. No. 12 A&M has won the 800 free relay twice in the past three years (2004 and `06).
In other women's action, Texas' Connie Brown, Elizabeth Tinnon, Lina Petersson, and Hee-Jin Chang recorded the second fastest time in the nation in the 200 medley relay. UT, the ninth ranked team in the country, also punched its ticket to the national meet while tallying its ninth straight win in the event.
Texas and Texas A&M pace the women's field in a first-place tie. Missouri and Kansas trail the leaders in a tie for third and are followed by Nebraska and Iowa State in the fifth and sixth spots, respectively.
The Longhorn men, currently ranked seventh nationally, posted a national consideration time in their 200 medley relay victory. Thomas Sacco, Matt Molnar, Daniel Rohleder and Jeremy Harris earned Texas' 10th consecutive conference crown, and the sixth-fastest time in the country.
The championships resume Thursday at 10 a.m. with preliminary action , while the finals are slated for 6 p.m.
For complete results visit the Big 12 web site at big12sports.com.
1. Texas A&M 74
2. Missouri 66
3. Texas 40
1. Texas 74
1. Texas A&M 74
3. Kansas 60
3. Missouri 60
5. Nebraska 58
6. Iowa State 54
DAY ONE CHAMPIONS
$ – NCAA Championships Automatic-Qualifying Time
# – NCAA Championships Consideration Time
* – Big 12 Championships Meet Record
200-Yard Medley Relay: Texas – 1:26.95#
(Thomas Sacco, Matt Molnar, Daniel Rohleder, Jeremy Harris)
800-Yard Freestyle Relay: Texas A&M – 6:37.52#
(Scott Newmann, Joel Benson, Ryan Loney, Matt Neal)
200-Yard Medley Relay: Texas – 1:38.48$
(Connie Brown, Elizabeth Tinnon, Lina Petersson, Hee-Jin Chang)
800-Yard Freestyle Relay: Texas A&M – 7:09.52$*
(Codie Hansen, Kristen Heiss, Christine Marshall, Julia Wilkinson)