Reported by Braden Keith:
The Texas men’s swimming & diving teams held their annual Class Relay Meets on Thursday, and the results were the most encouraging results yet this season for the defending NCAA Champions.
In the meet, which is one of many uniquely-formatted intrasquad meets (which are more like glorified full-speed practices) employed by Texas head coach Eddie Reese every season, the swimmers compete in a 200 medley relay and 200 free relay by class. That is to say, an all-star relay of freshmen compete against an all-star relay of sophomores, against one of juniors, against one of seniors, in each of two relays.
Last year’s meet saw some incredible splits from Townley Haas and Joseph Schooling, both of whom would go on to win multiple NCAA titles in individual events.
This year saw more fireworks from the pair, along with their teammates.
The best splits in each race, regardless of class:
- Backstroke – John Shebat – 21.16
- Breaststroke – Will Licon – 23.64
- Butterfly – Joseph Schooling – 19.68
- Freestyle – Townley Haas – 18.70
- Aggregate – 1:23.18
200 free relay
- Flat start – Jack Conger – 19.41
- Relay start – Joseph Schooling – 18.87
- Relay start – John Shebat – 19.00
- Relay start – Townley Haas – 19.19
- Aggregate – 1:16.47
Among the highlights:
- The aggregate time of the medley relay was 1:23.18, which would’ve beaten all but 3 relays at NCAAs last year. Texas placed 3rd at NCAAs in 1:22.75 with the same 3 legs, except for the now-graduated John Murray. He split 19.15 in finals for the Longhorns – Haas split 18.70 on Thursday.
- While Schooling wasn’t quite as fast as he was in the 200 medley relay finals at NCAAs in 2016 (19.36), his split was better than prelims (19.72) and also faster than any other split at NCAAs from last season. After a rocky start to the season, Schooling’s performance on Thursday says he’s rounding into form just in time for championship season to start.
- Texas won the 200 free relay at NCAAs last year with Brett Ringgold, Schooling, Jack Conger, and Murray combining for a 1:14.88. On relative terms, their 1:16.47 on Thursday wasn’t as impressive as the medley relay aggregate, though it was on a relatively quick turnaround. Schooling’s 18.87 was the only sub-19 split on Thursday – he was 18.53 to lead the Longhorns at NCAAs last year as well.
- Jack Conger, Will Licon, and the seniors won the 200 medley relay, while the sophomores, including both Haas and Shebat, won the 200 free relay. Last season, the class that are now sophomores won both relays as freshmen.
This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.