2014 Big 12 Championships: Texas freshmen impress on day 4 prelims

The final day of prelims racing at the 2014 Big 12 Championships saw Texas freshman take control in half of the overall races. First-year Longhorns won both 200 backs and both 200 breasts in a show of youth, while Texas continued to roll through A finals qualifiers with its tremendous relative depth.



Women’s 200 Back

The 200 back tonight will be an event dominated by youth at the top. 4 of the top 8 seeds are freshmen, with just one senior represented in the A final. The field is led by a pair of freshmen, starting with Texas rookie Tasija Karosas. Her 1:54.is easily the field’s fastest, and her split on the final 50 (28.8) was the only one under 30.

Kansas put its own freshman behind Karosas – Yuleya Kuchkarova went 1:57.37 for the 2-seed. Not far behind her is Iowa State sophomore Marissa Engel in 1:57.92.

There’s a bit of a dropoff form there. Rebecca Baxley, another of the three Longhorn freshmen in the top 8, is fourth with a 1:59.00. Also under 2 was TCU’s Lyndsie Gibson.

Sonia Filatova is the only senior to make the top 8, and she sits sixth, followed by Iowa State’s Bre Loeschke and Texas’s Cheyenne Low.

Men’s 200 Back

Another Texas freshman at the top here, and it’s, you guessed it, Jack Conger. The all-star first-year went 1:41.78 to grab the top seed by just a tenth over teammates Patrick Murphy and Will Glass. Glass is also a freshman, and both men were 1:41s.

TCU’s Cooper Robinson sits fourth, and West Virginia’s 100 back champ Bryce Bohman is the fifth seed.

Texas managed to get two more into the A final, with sixth-place freshman Austin Vacek and eighth-place sophomore Ian Lemaistre. West Virginia’s Jay Hickey sits between those two in 7th.

Women’s 100 Free

It’s a 1-2-3 sweep for the Texas seniors at the moment, with Sam Tucker leading the field at 49.14. Ellen Lobb was 49.20 and Alex Hooper 49.23 for Texas, who put five swimmers into the A heat.

Iowa State junior Amanda Paulson is fourth before the next Longhorn, Shelby Webber, finished. Both women were 50.0.

TCU’s Julia Sanders is the highest-seeded freshman at sixth, and Texas’s Emily Rose Williams and West Virginia’s Jaimee Gillmore round out the top heat.

Lily Moldenhauer swam the event as an exhibition for Texas, going 49.86. That means Texas put up the top 4 times in the event this morning.

Men’s 100 Free

The Longhorn men managed to one-up their women in the event, taking the top 4 spots heading into finals and putting five of their own swimmers into the top 8. Keith Murphy will get an inside lane for tonight with the field’s fastest time at 43.14. Next to him will be 2-seed Charlie Moore, who went 43.30.

John Murray and Matt Ellis each went 43.5 for the next two spots, and that should bode well for Texas’s 400 free relay tonight that they appear to have plenty of capable legs for the relay.

West Virginia’s Tim Squires was the last 43 of the field, going 43.69 for fifth. TCU’s Anthony McMurry sits sixth, and West Virginia’s Julien Vialette tied with Bobby Button of Texas for seventh, avoiding a swim-off by one place.

Women’s 200 Breast

Texas freshman Madisyn Cox rose to the head of the field in this morning’s 200 breast. She went 2:11.36, cutting six tenths off her lifetime best to grab the top seed. She’ll be pushed tonight by teammate Gretchen Jaques, who sits second in 2:12.67, but has been 2:10 earlier this year.

TCU’s Michelle Fleming is about two seconds back in third place, and she leads a trio of swimmers tightly-bunched around the #3 seed. Texas junior Skylar Smith and Kansas senior Alison Lusk were both 2:14s this morning to keep good pace with Fleming.

TCU’s Gabrijela Korac is sixth, and Kansas’s Bryce Hinde was the second Jayhawk up this morning in taking seventh. Texas freshman Jordan Surhoff just snuck into the A final, beating out Iowa State’s Imelda Wistey by a tenth.

Men’s 200 Breast

Freshman Will Licon put up a solid morning swim to take the top spot in the 200 breast. His 1:55.52 will lead the field by about two seconds. Two of his teammates sit second and third, with Imri Ganiel going 1:57.52 and Matt Korman 1:58.42.

TCU freshman John Remetta is knocking on the door of a sub-2-minute swim, going 2:00.01 on a six-second drop from his previous season-best.

Ian Carbone is the fourth Longhorn in this field in sixth place. A pair of West Virginia Mountaineers joined the A final field with Nate Carr and Christopher Brill both going 2:00s. TCU’s Garrett Hills rounds out the A final.

Women’s 200 Fly

The top seed for tonight will be Victoria Cassidy of Texas, who went 2:00.51 to easily outpace the scoring field.

The top three times in the event were all exhibitioned: Texas junior Kelsey Leneave went a fast 1:56.01 for easily the fastest time this morning. Her teammate Kaitlin Pawlowicz was 1:58.96 and Kansas sophomore Chelsie Miller went a 1:59.50.

Miller’s Jayhawk teammates Malia Johnson and Deanna Marks will go into the final with the second and third seeds, though. The duo went 2:02.97 and 2:03.11, respectively, this morning for the lanes flanking Cassidy in the final.

The field behind Marks is very tight, with TCU’s Catherine Rash and West Virginia’s Julie Ogden both 2:03.1s. Also putting up 2:03s were TCU’s Ali Bleasdell and West Virginia’s Natalie Johnsen, who tied with 2:03.96s. The last swimmer into the A main is TCU freshman Hannelore Strash.

Men’s 200 Fly

Texas swept the top 6 spots in the final individual swimming event of the morning, asserting their dominance with six different swimmers at 1:48.0 or better. John Martens leads the bunch with his 1:44.10, but Tripp Cooper was close behind in 1:44.27.

There’s a bit of a dropoff from there before freshmen Clark Smith and Chris Scheaffer went 1:46s for third and fourth. It was then a pair of juniors who rounded out the Texas party – Clay Youngquist put up a 1:47.54 and Grant Rogers was 1:48.05.

West Virginia claimed both of the non-Texas finals spots. Chase Williams and Austin Green were the last two swimmers sub-1:50 to make the championship heat.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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