Big 12 Preview: Kansas Classic, Texas Hall of Fame Diving Invite Headline Invitational Weekend

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

By Jason Tillotson. 

As we move further into November, as coaches begin to rest their swimmers ahead of the mid-season, pre-thanksgiving invitationals, the pace of action around the Big 12 picks up.

This week around the Big 12 we are slated for exciting and intense action with the Kansas Jayhawks hosting the Kansas Classic this Saturday and Sunday.

The University of Texas diving squads will also host their their own annual Hall of Fame invite with Big 12 rivals Texas Christian University in attendance.

West Virginia University will split their swimming and diving squads, with the swimmers traveling to the Ohio State Invitational and the divers heading to Navy for the Navy Diving Invite.

Check below for a breakdown of this weekend’s action:

Texas Hall of Fame Diving Invitational

The Texas Hall of Fame diving invite is one of the most competitive collegiate diving meets in the nation, with several of the top Division I divers in attendance.

Longhorn sophomore Jordan Windle took the win on both springboards at this meet last year with his junior teammate Jacob Cornish earning fourth on the platform.

Among the tough competitors this meet will play host to, NCAA champions David Dinsmore out of University of Miami in Florida and Zhipeng Zeng out of Tennessee, will both be on the boards again this year. Dinsmore won the platform event at this meet in 2017, while Zeng earned platform golds at the NCAA meet in 2016 and 2018.

On the women’s boards, the lady Longhorns will look to sweep all three events as they did at this meet last year with Meghan O’Brien taking both springboards and Murphy Bromberg on platform.

Mountaineers Diverge; Swimmers head to Ohio, Divers to Navy

The West Virginia Mountaineers will split their swimming and diving rosters with the swimmers traveling to the mid-west for the Ohio State invite while the divers will travel to Annapolis, Maryland for the Navy invite.

Last at this meet we saw NCAA top-25 teams such as NC State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Yale and FGCU.

Division III powerhouse Kenyon will also be in attendance.

On the men’s side, the Mountaineers will look to sprint-superstar Merwane Elmerini to lead the team into battle as he will likely take a large portion of the relay responsibilities.

Luke Hene and Philip Kay will likely fill in the IM spots in the roster as they earned second swims in both IM events last year.

On the women’s side the ladies will rely on Morgan Carr, Julia Miranda and Morgan Bullock to score major points against the rest of the stacked teams in the pool.

Jayhawks Host Annual Kansas Classic

The Kansas University Jayhawks usually have an impressive showing at this meet, having won the whole show last year and placed second in 2016.

The Jayhawks are in a powerful position this year, heading into the meet as the favorites, with a dual meet record 3-0.

Jenny Nusbaum and Crissie Blomquist will lead their squad into battle in the freestyle events while the breaststroke and IM responsibilities will be taken by Haley Downey.

Haley Bishop and Elizabeth Amato-Hanner will likely fill in the butterfly events, as they both earned A final appearances in the 100 butterfly last year. Bishop also earned a victory for the Jayhawks in the 200 fly at this meet last year; she will aim for the top place on the podium again this year.

The Jayhawks will be aided by their deep backstroke crew led by Manon Manning who won the 100 backstroke last year with swift 54.45. In that same race Amato-Hanner, Madison Hutchison and Taylor Sieperda took third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

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