200 yard medley relay
The Texas A&M women drew first blood at the 2011 Big 12 Championships thanks to a great butterfly leg from Paige Miller. Prior to her hitting the water, Texas had jumped out to a solid lead thanks to a rocket leadoff splits of 24.35 from Lilly Moldenhauer and an equally impressive 27.07 from Laura Sogar. The Aggies began clawing back on the breaststroke leg, thanks to a 26.97 from Breeja Larson that is amongst the best splits in the country this season. But on the third 50, A&M freshman Paige Miller made the big move to outsplit Texas’ Kelsey Amundsen with a mark of 23.24. Then Maria Sommer, the only senior in the race for either squad, took A&M home with a 21.71 (versus Bethany Adams’ 21.82) to win. A&M’s final time of 1:36.62 that breaks both the Championship and Conference records. It’s amazing that the Aggies could reload so strongly, after all of the losses they took, to win the first relay in a conference record. Texas’ final time was 1:36.98 and was also under the old Championship mark. These two relays will be fun to watch over the next few years as these two groups of swimmers will be almost entirely intact for a few more years still. Let’s check out the comparative Splits:
Texas A&M: Simpson (24.69) Larson (26.97) Miller (23.24) and Sommer (21.72)-1:36.62
Texas: Moldenhauer (26.97) Sogar (27.07) Amundsen (23.74) and Adams (21.82)-1:36.89
Kansas was third in1:39.10. Iuliia Kuzhill, the Jayhawks’ biggest name, wasn’t the star of that relay, however. A 23.26 fly split from Abigail Anderson took that honor, and this leg put them in the medals to stay.
800 yard freestyle relay
Texas took a strong early lead in this race, with a 1:43.43 leadoff from Karlee Bispo, and never looked back on their way to a final time of 7:00.97. This Texas relay is probably one more 1:45-low 200 freestyler away from being an NCAA medalist, but still sits third nationally with the Pac 10 women still to go off. The A&M women were well off the pace in 7:04.26. The most notable split for them was the 1:45.34 leadoff from freshman Liliana Ibanez. The 200 freestyle is one of the big swing events in this meet, where a lot of points could move in favor of one team or the other, and thus far Texas has the inside track at them.
A&M and Texas are tied at the top with one relay and one relay runner-up finish apiece. Missouri and Kansas are tied for third by splitting third-place honors in the relays. Expect more tight scoring tomorrow.
1. Texas 74
1. Texas A&M 74
3. Missouri 62
3. Kansas 62
5. Nebraska 56
6. Iowa State 52