Texas Takeoff: Star-Studded Longhorn Men Begin Season With Elite… Intrasquad Meet?

Texas' Drew Kibler, Coby Carrozza, Carson Foster and Luke Hobson (left to right) won the 2022 NCAA title in the men's 800 freestyle relay -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Texas Takeoff: Star-Studded Longhorn Men Begin Season With Elite… Intrasquad Meet?

Your average intrasquad meet does not make headlines across the swimming world — but the University of Texas men’s squad is not exactly your average swim team. This group is led by head coach Eddie Reese, now entering his 45th season with the Longhorns and his second since announcing his retirement and then opting to return to Texas a few months later. Under Reese, Texas has won 15 national team titles, including five since 2015, and Texas has been a top-two team at the NCAA Championships every year since 2013 and in 13 of the last 14 national meets.

Elite talent propels each Texas team, and even after losing Drew Kibler, a U.S. Olympian and last year’s NCAA champion in the 200 freestyle, Texas still boasts a squad led by Carson Foster, who won silver medals in both IM events at this summer’s World Championships and also finished the year ranked fourth in the world in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke. The roster also includes NCAA 100 breaststroke runnerup and 200-meter breast World Championships finalist Caspar Corbeau, national-team-caliber 200 freestylers Luke Hobson and Coby Carrozza and returning NCAA A-finalists David JohnstonJake Foster and Danny Krueger.

Texas will be in the mix at the end of the year. That’s a guarantee. So what makes this intrasquad meet, known colloquially as Orange-White, so special? Well, here are some of the meet records set in the past few years at this event:

  • Corbeau went 51.99 in the 100 breast.
  • Carson Foster going 1:43.73 in the 200 IM as a freshman, then 1:42.37 in his sophomore campaign.
  • Before he ever swam an official race for Texas, Johnston owned the Orange-White meet record in the 500 free at 4:16.45.
  • Krueger swam a mark of 19.32 in the 50 free, equaling the meet mark first set by Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling.
  • A season ago, Alex Zettle went 8:53.43 in the 1000 free.

Reese has a series of longstanding traditions for his Texas teams, including the Eddie Reese Invitational where his swimmers take on unique distances such as 75s, 150s and 300s, and this Orange-White meet is the beginning of the always-exciting stretch of quick times coming out of the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center in Austin. Sure, the times are unofficial, but any spurt of fast swimming brings some energy to the competition lull that is September, and we can begin taking stock of how this year’s Texas bunch fits together.

We know about the Foster brothers, Corbeau, Hobson and the like, but how about Will Chan, previously an NCAA B-finalist in the 100 breast now enrolled in a graduate program at Texas? Can any of Texas’ freshman make an unexpected immediate impact like Hobson last season? The freshman class for the Longhorns is led by Alec Enyeart, who won three medals for the U.S. at last month’s Junior Pan Pacific Championships.

So keep an eye on what transpires in Austin this week as the competition hiatus comes to an end and the long buildup to the next NCAA Championships gets underway.