Big 12 Championships, Day 4 Finals: Kelly Pash Wins Claims Third Triumph; Lydia Jacoby, Will Modglin Among Winners

Kelly Pash -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Big 12 Championships, Day 4 Finals: Kelly Pash Wins Claims Third Triumph; Lydia Jacoby, Will Modglin Among Winners

On the fourth of five days of competition in Morgantown, W.Va. at the Big 12 Championships, the Texas women and men each extended their leads in the team competition, winning six out of seven events on the docket. Texas fifth-year swimmer Kelly Pash looks like the MVP of the meet for the Longhorn women as she claimed her third individual victory and took part in a relay win for the third time this week. Her win in the 200 butterfly was extremely impressive as she held off defending NCAA champion Emma Sticklen.

Lydia Jacoby, the Olympic gold medalist and defending NCAA champion in the 100 breaststroke, grabbed a win over Anna Elendt in their shared signature event while on the men’s side, Will Modglin continued to impress as he scored his second individual win in the 100 backstroke.

The Texas women are in the lead with 1506 points, well ahead of Houston (954.5) and Texas Christian (879.5), while the Longhorn men have 1538 points to lead TCU (1041) and Brigham Young University (984).

Women’s 200 Butterfly

In recent years, the University of Texas women have established a tradition of success in the 200 fly, with the Longhorns getting three swimmers into the NCAA Championships A-final each of the last three seasons. Kelly Pash and Emma Sticklen have been part of that mix on each occasion, with Olivia Bray in the top-eight in 2021 and 2022 before Dakota Luther entered the mix last year in her lone season with the Longhorns. In that race, Sticklen came from behind to shock the University of Virginia’s Alex Walsh and secure the national crown while Pash claimed third.

The duo will remain among the national favorites this year, with Sticklen currently ranking No. 2 in country at 1:50.31 and Pash sitting second at 1:51.22, with only Walsh’s NCAA record of 1:49.16 ahead (and Walsh may not swim the event at NCAAs). But in this conference showdown, Pash got the better of Sticklen, taking over the lead on the second 50 and then holding off Sticklen by just two hundredths down the stretch, 1:51.66 to 1:51.68. The Longhorns scored a sweep in the race as freshman Angie Coe placed third in 1:56.20.

Event 25  Women 200 Yard Butterfly
      NCAA D1: ! 1:49.16  2/23/2024 Alex Walsh
     American: $ 1:49.37  10/20/2023Regan Smith
      US Open: & 1:48.33  10/20/2023Reagan Smith
       Big 12: * 1:49.95  3/18/2023 Emma Sticklen, Texas
         Meet: # 1:52.03  2/27/2021 Olivia Bray, Texas
     NCAA "A": A 1:52.86
     NCAA "B": B 1:59.23
 NCCA Invit23:   1:55.92
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
                       === Championship Final ===                        
  1 Pash, Kelly            GS TEX               1:55.81    1:51.66#  32  
             25.45        53.92 (28.47)
        1:22.52 (28.60)     1:51.66 (29.14)
  2 Sticklen, Emma         SR TEX               1:54.27    1:51.68#  28  
             24.82        54.09 (29.27)
        1:22.61 (28.52)     1:51.68 (29.07)
  3 Coe, Angie             FR TEX               1:59.25    1:56.20B  27  
             26.04        55.58 (29.54)
        1:25.75 (30.17)     1:56.20 (30.45)
  4 Ortiz, Alondra         SO UH                1:59.43    1:56.93B  26  
             27.20        56.62 (29.42)
        1:27.41 (30.79)     1:56.93 (29.52)
  5 Nethercutt, Syd        FR UH                1:59.60    1:58.93B  25  
             27.13        57.02 (29.89)
        1:27.81 (30.79)     1:58.93 (31.12)
  6 El Gendy, Noor         SO UH                1:59.80    1:59.95   24  
             27.41        57.61 (30.20)
        1:29.11 (31.50)     1:59.95 (30.84)
  7 Jackson, Abby          SR UH                2:00.43    1:59.97   23  
             27.33        58.03 (30.70)
        1:29.11 (31.08)     1:59.97 (30.86)
  8 Gore, Morgan           SO TCU               2:00.65    2:00.22   22  
             26.99        57.85 (30.86)
        1:28.96 (31.11)     2:00.22 (31.26)

Men’s 200 Butterfly

Following a win by Jordan Tiffany in Thursday’s 100 fly, Brigham Young University secured a sweep of the stroke as Brad Prolo was victorious over 200 yards. Prolo engaged in a tight race with fifth-year Texas swimmer Cole Crane, with Prolo leading early before Crane made a run on the third 50 to nearly take the lead, but Prolo had another gear, closing the race in 26.73 to secure the win.

Prolo touched in 1:41.15, with Crane taking second in 1:42.02. Prolo jumped into the national top-10 with his victory. The Longhorns continued wracking up points as sophomores Ryan Branon Jr. (1:43.08) and Alec Filipovic (1:43.43) placed third and fourth, respectively.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

A showdown between two of the top breaststrokers in the country took place in the women’s 100 breast, with defending NCAA champion and 100-meter breast Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby facing Texas teammate Anna Elendt, who won silver in the 100-meter race at the 2022 Worlds for Germany. Jacoby has not raced much during this college season as she focuses on the long course campaign, but she posted a time Friday night that shows she will be a threat to win another title in March.

Elendt had a slight lead over Jacoby at the halfway point, 27.20 to 27.21, but Jacoby overtook her teammate on the third length before taking the win in 57.27. Jacoby’s time ranks No. 4 in the country, behind Tennessee’s Mona McSharry, USC’s Kaitlyn Dobler and Virginia’s Jasmine Nocentini, while Elendt was just off her season best of 57.51 that ranks fifth.

Cincinnati’s Joleigh Crye took third in 58.24, with Houston’s Henrietta Fangli also under 1:00 (59.29).

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

This year’s freshmen have emerged as immediate forces for the University of Texas, with Will Modglin and Nate Germonprez in particular shining over the first two days of the meet. Now, the spotlight belonged to Will Scholtz and Brayden Taivassalo in the 100 breaststroke. Scholtz had the lead early, going out in 24.18 while Taivassalo had the best back half at 27.42 as the duo secured a 1-2 finish.

Scholtz touched in 52.09, with Taivassalo moving up on the final lap to touch out TCU’s Jadon Wuilliez for second by one hundredth. 52.28 to 52.29. Another Horned Frogs swimmer, Guilherme Camossato, was close behind in 52.46.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

Berit Berglund became the second Texas women’s freshman to win a title this week as she stormed from behind to take the touch out a pair of her teammates. Berglund was more than a quarter-second behind Olivia Bray at the halfway point, but she made the return trip in 26.30 to reach the wall in 51.72. Bray came in second at 52.00 while Emma Kern, another freshman, took third in 52.26.

Berglund already ranks in the national top-10 with a mark of 50.77 from midseason while Bray and Kern both have 51-mid swims to their credit this year. Bray clocked 50.61 in the 100 back at last season’s NCAA Championships as she placed fifth.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

After securing the win in the 200 IM two days earlier, Will Modglin topped the Big 12 again in the 100 backstroke, staking his claim as one of the country’s best in the sprint events. Modglin finished more than one-and-a-half seconds clear of the field as he touched in 44.75. He has actually been faster on two occasions this season, with a 44.49 at midseason and a 44.56 leading off the Texas men’s 400 medley relay Thursday night. The star freshman, winner of Swimming World’s High School Swimmer of the Year honor the last two years, ranks fifth nationally in the race.

The Longhorns went 1-2 here as Chris O’Connor came in second at 46.41 while TCU’s Edgar Cicanci swam a time of 46.63 to place third.

Women’s Platform Diving

Another diving event came down to the wire as Texas senior Jordan Skilken got the win in 334.90, just two tenths of a point clear of teammate Sarah Carruthers (334.70). Skilken took sixth at last year’s NCAA Championships while Carruthers was 11th, and the Longhorns figure to bring a strong 1-2 punch on the platform yet again to the national level. Houston’s Michelle McLeod placed third (296.55).

Women’s 200 Freestyle Relay

Finishing almost three-and-a-half seconds clear of the field, the Texas women posted a time of 1:26.66, just off the group’s season-best time of 1:26.31 that ranks fourth nationally behind Virginia, Louisville and NC State. Grace Cooper led off in 21.76, a quarter-second quicker than she clocked in winning the individual 50 free, and her teammates all split 21s in the winning effort. Ava Longi went 21.57 before the women who finished in the top-two spots in the 200 fly, Emma Sticklen and Kelly Pash, clocked 21.68 and 21.65, respectively.

Texas Christian University’s team of Olivia RhodesMikayla PophamSerena Gould and Claire Chahbandour placed second in 1:30.13, coming in just ahead of the Cincinnati team of Jessica DavisKaylee NagelJoleigh Crye and Sonja Aarsvold (1:30.58).

Men’s 200 Freestyle Relay

The Texas men rounded out the night with a win, with Peter PaulusCamden TaylorNate Germonprez and Will Modglin combining for a time of 1:17.02. Germonprez, who had the night off from individual racing after already taking second in the 200 IM and 200 free, blasted an 18.91 split on the second leg before Modglin brought it home in 19.02.

The team from Brigham Young University did make Texas work harder than expected here, with Jordan Tiffany going out in 19.54 to open up a slight lead, but Germonprez gave Texas an advantage not to be surrendered on the way to winning by almost seven tenths. Tiffany, Tanner EdwardsDiego Camacho Salgado and Luigi Riva took second in 1:17.70, and third went to West Virginia’s Danny BerlitzRoanoke ShirkBraden Osborn and Connor McBeth in 1:18.47.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x