200 yard backstroke
Texas’ Austin Surhoff, who was the Longhorns’ highest individual NCAA scorer during their 2010 title run, notched his second win of the meet in this 200 back. He won this race easily in a strong 1:42.24. This was well off of his best time, but was a solid performance in a meet that he was obviously not very rested for.
Freshman Patrick Murphy, who specializes in this 200 back, was 2nd in 1:43.61, and Hayes Johnson, who is having a breakout meet to say the least, was 3rd in 1:44.41.
100 yard freestyle
Jimmy Feigen has never lost a Big 12 Championship in the 100 freestyle. His teammate Dax Hill, however, has come on strong this season. Feigen had already won the 50 in this meet, and Hill had the 200 free title under his belt. And that’s sort of an encapsulation of how this race won. Feigen went out hard and had an easy lead (19.96) at the halfway mark. But at the 75-yard mark, Hill’s 200-free-endurance started to kick in, and he closed hard. In the last 20 yards, he made up about 2 feet of pool space on one of the best sprinters in the country. But at the end of the day, the 100 free is still that, a sprint, and so Feigen is still the king. He took home the title in a winning mark of 42.46, which is the 5th-best time in the country this season. Hill takes second in 42.59.
A&M sophomore John Dalton took third in 43.64. This was just off of his prelims time, and he should be squarely on the bubble for an NCAA invite.
1650 yard freestyle
This was a two-swimmer race in every sense of the word. Texas’ Jackson Wilcox and MIchael McBroom, who both finished in the top 4 at NCAA’s last year (McBroom for Minnesota) lapped every other swimmer in the final heat of this race. Wilcox took an early lead, but appeared fatigued as McBroom overtook him for about 150 yards. But then Wilcox caught his second-wind, and had just enough to take the win in 14:49.24. McBroom was second in 15:50.06. These two marks sit third and fourth in the country this season.
Texas A&M’s Omar Enriquez was third in 15:22.66.
200 yard breaststroke
Texas’ Scott Spann is one of the United States’ best breaststrokers at any level. Despite this, he has never won an individual Big 12 Championship since transferring from Michigan after the 2007-2008 season. Even though he has never swum well at the conference level (aside from his last season with Michigan, where he swept Big Ten breaststrokes, he had to be motivated in this race.
But his teammate Nick D’Innocenzo was seemingly unaware of Spann’s motivation, and powered his way to a 1:53.68 Big 12 Championship Record. This time makes him the second-fastest 200 breaststroker in school history, behind only USA Olympic hero Brendan Hansen and also will hold up as the fastest time in the country through the weekend. Eric Friedland, who won this event at Big 12’s last year, was second in 1:55.28. Spann touched 3rd in 1:56.32. A&M’s best finisher was Bryan Snowden in 4th in 1:56.75, which is just off of the school-record (1:56.55) that he set in a time trial on day 1.
200 yard butterfly
None of the three Big 12 teams are great butterflying teams. This was made obvious by the fact that the A-final had only 6 swimmers in it: only one of whom was a Longhorn. The winner of the abbreviated field was that lone Longhorn, Neil Caskey, in 1:45.27, with A&M’s Max Lewis taking second in 1:47.69. Texas’s Matt Belecanech, swimming out of the B-final for Texas’ non-scoring team, had the second-best overall time in 1:47.50.
Drew Livingston lost his chance at breaking his own Championship Record on the platform on his very first dive, where he didn’t have a great score. From that point forward, however, he put on about as good of a performance as you’ll see at the collegiate level to win the platform in 478.40. This included one dive that earned perfect 10’s from every judge, for a huge total of 99 points.
In a great battle for second, Texas A&M’s Grant Nel, who hasn’t spent much time training the platform lately, audibled his final dive to try and knock of Missouri freshman David Bonuchi for second. He came just short with a score of 390.35, behind Bonuchi’s 393.70, for third-place.
400 yard freestyle relay
Texas hadn’t lost a single race the entire meet to this point. And the 400 free relay is a race that they have never lost in the history of the Big 12 Championships.
So of course, Texas A&M pulled off a monster upset to win this final race. The Texas relay, that was without anchor Jimmy Feigen, was behind from the beginning after A&M senior Balazs Makany swam a fantastic 43.37 to put the Aggies well ahead after the first 100. A&M’s second leg, John Dalton, extended that lead with a great 42.57. Dalton has really come into his own as a fabulous sprinter in this meet. On the third leg, Texas began clawing back into the race, and were back to within 1.1 seconds by the time their anchor Dax Hill hit the water.
A&M put up freshman Kyle Troskott against Hill. Troskott is one of the best sprinters in Canada, despite his young age, and the Aggies have high hopes for his future. For Troskott, this final anchor leg would serve as a rite-of-passage for him, as he was clearly outmatched against Hill, but had the advantage of that lead. Hill dug deep, and stroke-by-stroke gained on Troskott. On the final 25, he may have even briefly taken a lead, but Troskott (breathing every stroke the whole way), gritted his teeth and outreached the very long Hill to get to the final wall first. Troskott’s split was 42.83 compared to a fantastic 41.76 for Hill.
A&M’s final time was 2:52.76, which breaks the A&M school record. Texas was second in 2:52.83.
1. Texas 1052
2. Texas A&M 817
3. Missouri 707