Texas On Top Over Florida, Indiana After First Day Of Two-Day Meet

Will Licon Texas
Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold

The tri-meet featuring host Texas and challengers Indiana and Florida is taking on an exciting format, with the first day of the meet running the usual dual meet schedule in long course meters. The second day of the meet will feature the same events, but in short course yards.

With teams putting a slightly heavier focus on short course yards, even in the Olympic year, it was expected that the times on the scoreboard not drop any jaws. But many of the races were exciting to the final strokes, setting up even more thrilling matchups for the second day of competition. In attendance were NCAA champions Jack Conger, Caeleb Dressel, Clark Smith and Will Licon on the men’s side, while the women’s meet featured All-Americans Natalie Hinds and Madisyn Cox as well as USA Swimming national team member Lilly King.

After one day of competition, the Texas men are beating Indiana 201-98 and routing Florida 179-121. Florida has a narrow edge over Indiana going into the second day of the meet, 1571-43. In the women’s meet, Texas has a 168-130 lead over Indiana and a 171-129 advantage over Florida. Indiana is leading the Florida women by 20 points, 159-139.

Perhaps the most exciting race of Friday’s session was the men’s 100 backstroke, where the top four all finished within three tenths of each other. Leading the way was Florida’s Corey Main with a 56.98. Right behind in second through fourth place – and separated by just eight hundredths of a second – were Indiana’s Bob Glover (57.19), Texas’ Ryan Harty (57.24) and Florida’s Jack Blyzinskyj (57.27).

Main was one of five double winners on the men’s side, as he also won the 200 back in another close race with a 2:05.15 to lead a 1-2 finish for Florida. Blyzinskyj was second in 2:05.63, while Harty took third with a 2:05.89.

Texas’ Clark Smith, the reigning 500 free NCAA champion, won the long course version of that event with a 3:55.11 in the 400 free. Earlier in the session, he won the 800 free handily with an 8:13.16, using a 27.35 in the final 50 to widen his gap over Florida’s Arthur Frayler, who took second with an 8:16.66.

Indiana’s Blake Pieroni stayed an arm’s length ahead of Texas’ Townley Haas through the 200 free race, and that helped him secure the win, 1:49.94 to 1:50.35. That same strategy paid off for Pieroni in the 100 free, where he beat Dressel by four tenths, 49.93 to 50.38.

Dressel won the 50 free at the NCAA championships last March as a freshman and followed it up with a long course national title in August. He won the 50 free today with a 22.94, then followed it up with a bit of an upset in the 100 fly. NCAA champion and world championship bronze medalist Joe Schooling of Texas led at the 50-meter mark, but Dressel surprisingly ran him down and took the narrow victory, 53.99 to 54.15.

Licon, the NCAA champion in the 200 breast and 400 IM, had easy victories in long course racing. He took the 100 breast with a 1:03.41 ahead of the 1:03.85 from Indiana’s Tanner Kurz, and followed it up in the 200 breast in 2:20.76, beating Kurz by two seconds.

Conger is the current American record holder in the 200-yard fly and national runner-up in the long course version, and he was able to win the event today in 2:01.01, beating teammate John Martens by more than a second.

Mark Szaranek was able to give Florida a win in the men’s 200 IM with a 2:16.42 to win by two seconds.

On the women’s side, Madisyn Cox was the only double winner in a meet that saw all three teams notch strong victories. Cox won the 200 free with a 2:01.58 as Texas went 1-2 in the event. Quinn Carrozza placed second with a 2:03.40.

Carrozza would win the 200 backstroke in 2:13.66 as one of three other individual event wins for the Texas Longhorns in the women’s meet. Rebecca Millard won the 50 free with a 26.28, beating out the 26.49 from Florida’s Natalie Hinds. Joanna Evans held off Florida’s Jessica Thielmann in the women’s 800 free, posting an 8:54.12 to Thielmann’s 8:55.80.

Hinds would get the win in the 100 freestyle over Millard, 57.27 to 57.67. It was one of three wins for the Florida women. Ashlee Linn and Sydney Sell went 1-2 for the Gators in the 100 back, with Linn posting a 1:03.48 and Sell placing second in 1:04.29.

Taylor Katz was involved in a very close 200 fly race with Indiana’s Gia Dalesandro and Texas’ Maggie D’Innocenzo. A strong third 50 gave katz a little bit of momentum into the final stretch, and she won with a 2:16.17. Dalesandro followed with a 2:16.62 and D’Innocenzo took third with a 2:16.92.

The Indiana Hoosiers were the best performers in the women’s meet with four individual swimming wins. Dalesandro took the 100 fly title by just 11 hundredths of a second over Hinds, 1:01.60 to 1:01.71. the 400 free victory was almost as close for Kennedy Goss, who held off Evans to win in 4:20.10 to Evans’ 4:20.30.

King got the win in the 100 breast for Indiana, posting a 1:09.38 to beat Texas’ Olivia Anderson and her 1:09.71. King was part of an Indiana 1-2 in the 200 breast, where King was second in 2:32.87 behind the 2:31.79 by Miranda Tucker.

In relay action, Indiana won the women’s 200 medley relay with a 1:57.09, taking the lead on the butterfly leg and surviving a fast-charging Brooke Hansen on the freestyle leg. Texas had no problem winning the women’s 200 free relay with a 1:44.54.

The Texas men won both relays, taking the 200 medley relay with a 1:41.93 and the 200 free relay in 1:32.10.

Florida’s Kahlia Warner won both springboard diving events today, including leading a 1-2-3 finish for the Gators on the 3-meter springboard. In men’s diving, Sean O’Brien won the 1-meter event by 10 points over teammate Cory Bowersox. In the 3-meter competition, Bowersox won by 4.95 points over Indiana’s Joshua Arndt.

2015 Texas vs Florida, Indiana TriMeet, Day 1 – Results

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