Five Races to Watch at Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships; Harty Not Entered (UPDATED WITH PSYCH SHEET)

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Austin Katz is leading a big backstroke group for Texas at the Big 12 swimming and diving championships. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships

Morgantown, West Virginia 2020

The Big 12 swimming and diving championships will be in a different site than Austin, Texas for the first time in a long, long time as the series shifts to Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers will host the championships in their brand new facility as Texas will go for its 24th men’s title and 18th women’s title.

It may be in a different venue but it is expected to be a dominant showing from Texas with West Virginia, TCU, Kansas and Iowa State vying for second place. It is a small conference but that does not mean it won’t be a fast meet. The Texas men are still capable of dropping some noteworthy times even when they are not fully rested.

Notably, senior Ryan Harty is not listed on the psych sheet for the meet as he was ranked fifth in Division I this season in the 100 back. He has confirmed to Swimming World that he will stay in Austin to train and continue with his Masters degree classes in business analytics.

Meet Info:

Swimming World Big 12 Personality Features:

Here are five races to watch at the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships.

Men’s 400 IM

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Jake Foster. Photo Courtesy: Angela Wang / Texas Athletics

Why watch? To see if Braden Vines or Jake Foster can break 3:40. They were second and third in the country before SECs.

How will they respond after Kieran Smith dropped a 3:37 last week at SECs? Will that light a fire under them or will they save themselves for NCAAs? The latter is more likely as both Vines and Foster could factor into the national title race in this event come nationals in 29 days.

Women’s 100 Breast

Why watch? To see the possibility of Kansas winning an individual event at the Big 12 swimming and diving championships.

The Kansas Jayhawks have the top two times in the conference as Kate Steward (1:00.80) and Dannie Dilsaver (1:01.63) have a shot to be one of the few non-Texas winners at the Big 12 swimming and diving championships. Texas really does not have a breaststroker as their top time this year has been Holly Jansen (1:03.39) from the Minnesota Invite.

Kennedy Lohman was an NCAA swimmer a year ago, but hasn’t been faster than a 1:03.47 this season. Does she have enough to break a minute? And if she doesn’t, then can Kansas come out with a victory? Iowa State’s Lehr Thorson (1:01.93) and TCU’s Sheridan Schreiber (1:02.52) could also factor into the top three as this one of the few wide open events on the program, and it should be a can’t-miss race.

Men’s 100 Back

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Austin Katz leads a deep backstroke group at Texas into the Big 12 swimming and diving championships. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Why watch? Because Texas very well may put five of these guys in the A-Final at NCAAs in a month.

Remember in 2015 when Texas put six swimmers in the A-Final at NCAAs in the men’s 100 butterfly and everyone thought there was no chance that would ever happen again with one school in one event? Well, it may happen this year with Texas in the 100 back. The Longhorns have guys who have broken 46 this season in this event and have four guys ranked in the top eight in Division I currently.

Austin Katz (44.93) is ranked fourth in the nation and should be able to cruise this weekend at Big 12’s no problem. Big 12 newbie Alvin Jiang (45.26) is ranked sixth in Division I so far and Jason Park (45.84) is also ranked in the top 16.

Notably, senior Ryan Harty is not listed on the psych sheet for the meet as he was ranked fifth in Division I this season in the 100 back. He has confirmed to Swimming World he will stay home to train and continue with his Masters degree classes in business analytics.

Chris Staka was also ranked in the top eight nationally but he will not be swimming the 100 back this weekend.

We will get a chance to see what kind of shape these four Texas guys are in before they completely take over this event at NCAAs.

Men’s 200 Breast

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Caspar Corbeau will be making his Big 12 swimming and diving championships debut. Photo Courtesy: Angela Wang / Texas Athletics

Why watch? Because freshman Caspar Corbeau is the real deal. But no one knows it yet.

It may take some time before the Caspar Corbeau hype train gets going, but the freshman has been a 1:52 already this year and is fourth in Division I. He is also leading a very strong and deep breaststroke group in Austin with Braden VinesJake Foster and Charlie Scheinfeld. All of them are underclassmen so that is a scary thought to think this Texas squad could be even better in the years to come.

Vines is currently ranked fifth in Division I (1:52.28) in this event and Foster is ranked 12th (1:53.15). Scheinfeld is another guy who has a big potential in this event and is certainly capable of scoring at NCAAs. If Texas doesn’t get five up at NCAAs in the 100 back, then they definitely have a chance at some point in the next four years to take the breaststroke events by storm. Their dominance will be on display at the Big 12 swimming and diving championships.

Women’s 200 Fly

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Kelly Pash. Photo Courtesy: Angela Wang / Texas Athletics

Why watch? Because freshman Kelly Pash is also the real deal.

Pash did not lose a single duel meet this year in the 200 butterfly and she has the 17th fastest time in Division I this season. But she should rise up the rankings at the Big 12 swimming and diving championships this week as she enters her first post season in her college career. The Carmel product has adjusted nicely to her new life in Austin and is the top seed ahead of teammate Lauren Case (1:57.19).

West Virginia’s Morgan Bullock, who scored in this event in the B-Final at NCAAs in 2018, has been a 1:54 in the past. She should definitely feel the hype of swimming a conference championship in her home pool in her senior year. Who knows, maybe it will push her to get in front of Pash?

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