Texas Invitational: Kelly Pash, Rex Maurer Pull Away for Impressive Wins

Kelly Pash -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Texas Invitational: Kelly Pash, Rex Maurer Pull Away for Impressive Wins

After the Texas Invitational opened with the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays Wednesday evening, the Longhorns and their guests kicked off individual racing Thursday with Aurora Roghair winning a tight battle in the 500 free before another Stanford swimmer, Rex Maurer, knocked off a pair of high-achieving veterans in the men’s race. But the star of the evening was Kelly Pash, a fifth-year swimmer at Texas who dominated the women’s 200 IM before providing a blazing anchor leg in the 400 medley relay.

Women’s 500 Freestyle

Stanford’s Aurora Roghair, who fell to 30th at last year’s NCAA Championships in this event, will be in much stronger position this time after she beat a strong field in Texas. Roghair took the lead by the 200-yard mark and steadily pulled away to win by more than one second in 4:37.10. USC’s Justina Kozan ended up second in 4:38.47, with Stanford’s Natalie Mannion taking third in 4:39.18 for a 1-3 Cardinal finish.

Wisconsin’s Abby Carlson, second in this race at last year’s NCAAs, took fourth in 4:39.50 while Texas’ Erica Sullivan surprisingly ended up seventh in 4:43.66.

Men’s 500 Freestyle

A huge swim from Stanford’s Rex Maurer saw him pull away from a pair of World Championships medalists down the stretch to earn a key win. Maurer, a freshman, was narrowly ahead with 100 yards to go before he put the pedal down to pull away. Maurer touched in 4:11.88, two seconds clear of USC’s Krzysztof Chmielewski, the 200-meter butterfly champion from this summer’s World Championships who came in second at 4:13.84.

Luke Hobson, a Texas junior who won the NCAA title in the event last year, was in the mix the whole way before fading badly at the end, touching third in 4:15.56. Texas’ Coby Carrozza and Stanford’s Henry McFadden, both swimmers with World Championships relay experience, tied for fourth in 4:17.52.

Women’s 200 IM

Texas fifth-year swimmer Kelly Pash took over from teammate Emma Sticklen and backstroke standout Phoebe Bacon on the breaststroke leg before pulling away to earn a key victory. Pash, more than one-and-a-half seconds behind Sticklen prior to her 32.51 breaststroke leg, came in at 1:53.18. That time would have placed her fifth at last season’s NCAA Championships, a meet where Pash ended up 10th in the 200 IM.

Sticklen, the 200 fly NCAA champion, took second in 1:54.94, just ahead of Wisconsin’s Bacon in 1:55.14.

Men’s 200 IM

As the Texas men seek to maintain a 15-year top-three streak at the NCAA Championships, the Longhorns will need huge swims from their freshman. hat happened in the 200 IM, as Will Modglin turned a half-second deficit at the halfway point into a commanding lead, and he pulled away to secure the win at his first college midseason invitational in 1:41.84, already a mark good enough for B-final points at the NCAA Championships.

Stanford’s Luke Maurer placed second in 1:42.89 while third place went to another Texas freshman, Nate Germonprez, in 1:43.14.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

Southern California claimed the top-two spots in the women’s splash-and-dash as Vasilissa Buinaia came in at 22.01, four hundredths ahead of teammate Anicka Delgado. Texas’ Grace Cooper, who went 21.73 in prelims for the fastest time of the day, came in just two hundredths further back in 22.07.

Men’s 50 Freestyle

USC completed the sweep of the 50s as Artem Selin got in ahead of the field in 19.27, with Wisconsin’s Taiko Torepe-Ormsby hitting the pad second in 19.36 and Stanford’s Jonathan Tan third (19.44).

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

A dominant effort from the University of Texas saw the Longhorns post a time nine tenths ahead of the mark Virginia swam Wednesday hundreds of miles away at the Tennessee Invitational. With that effort, Texas announced legitimate candidacy for the national title in this event.

Freshman Berit Berglund led off in 50.77 before the veterans took over. Anna Elendt split 57.71, followed by Emma Sticklen’s 49.90 split that put Texas into a lead it would not relinquish. Kelly Pash brought it home in 46.87 on the way to a time of 3:25.25, well clear of Virginia’s 3:26.15 and only seven hundredths slower than Texas’ fourth-place relay from last year’s NCAA Championships.

USC’s Caroline FamousKaitlyn DoblerAnicka Delgado and Vasilissa Buinaia took second in 3:26.90, with Dobler’s brilliant 56.38 mark helping announce the Trojans’ intentions to contend in this relay as well. The Texas B team of Olivia BrayChanning HaleyAva Longi and Erin Gemmell came in third at 3:30.30.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

Stanford was fueled by Rafael Gu splitting sub-45 on butterfly and Andres Dupont Cabrera coming home in 42.02 to overtake USC’s Artem Selin and secure the win. The Cardinal, with Rex Maurer leading off and Ethan Dang going second, put up a time of 3:06.13, about a half-second clear of the 3:06.61 achieved by USC’s Vaggelis MakrygiannisBen DillardKrzysztof Chmielewski and Selim.

UNLV’s team of Wikus PotgieterDanny BejiGeorge Ratiu and Bryson Huey secured third in 3:08.08, just ahead of the Texas team of Chris O’ConnorBrayden TaivassaloCole Crane and Ethan Doehler (3:08.11), with the Longhorns resting several key contributors.


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