2019 Big 12 Swimming & Diving Championships: Day 2 Finals Live


There was one really good swim in prelims on day 2 of the 2019 Big 12 Championship worth writing home about: Alex Zettle‘s 4:14 in the 500 free. But all of the big names are in the big finals, so tonight we might see a little more from the Longhorns (though relay results and day 1 interviews indicate that both the men’s and women’s teams will be short of their bests here, by-and-large.

Texas’ Townley Haas got his B cut in the 500 free in prelims, which is all he really needed with an invite pretty-well locked up already. But, right now he’d be a low seed at NCAAs with just a 4:17 on his resume for the season.

It would be a good sign for the Longhorn women, meanwhile, if either freshman Grace Arolia or Julia Cook were able to dip under 22 seconds in the 50 free with what they say is no relief from heavy training. The same goes for Tate Jackson in the 50 free.

WOMEN’S 500 FREE – Finals

  • Meet Record – Joanna Evans, Texas, 2017 – 4:36.97
  • Big 12 Record – Joanna Evans, Texas, 2017 – 4:35.05
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 4:40.59

Texas’ Joanna Evans turned on the jets in finals of the women’s 500 free and broke her own Meet Record with a 4:36.87 in the final. She didn’t swim the race at last year’s Big 12s (declaring a false start instead), but knocked a tenth of a second off her old Meet Record from 2017.

She was effectively on the same splitting as she was in 2017, with one notable difference: in 2017, she was out in 52.78 and split 55.82 on the second hundred. This year, she was out in 53.39, about half-a-second slower, and made most of that up in the next hundred.

Evans has already been 4:35 this year, and so already has her NCAA qualifying slot locked up. Evie Pfeifer’s 4:40.60 for 2nd place is right-on-the-projected-bubble, though she was 4:40.00 mid-season which puts her in a little better position.

Kansas freshman Claire Campbell dropped 4 seconds from her prelim swim to touch in 4:49.58 and win the B-Final.

Top 3 Finishers:

  1. Joanna Evans, Texas – 4:36.87
  2. Evie Pfeifer, Texas – 4:40.60
  3. Remedy Rule, Texas – 4:41.94

MEN’S 500 FREE – Finals

  • Meet Record – Clark Smith, Texas, 2017 – 4:08.42
  • Big 12 Record – Clark Smith, Texas, 2017  – 4:08.42
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 4:15.44

After a 4:17.82 in prelims (which was his season best by over 2 seconds), Texas senior Townley Haas woke up in finals, swimming a 4:13.35 in the men’s 500 free finals. His freshman teammate Alex Zettles, who made a big drop in prelims to qualify 1st into finals, dropped another 8-tenths, going 4:13.42 for 2nd place.

The two paced the race almost evenly, other than Haas going out a bit faster and Zettle having to gradually catch up over the next few hundreds. The two turned within .15 of each other on each of the last 4 50s.

JohnThomas Larson swam a 4:15.62 for 3rd place. That’s his season best, but still leaves him on the bubble for NCAA qualifying.

Texas’ Drew Kibler was 4th in 4:15.89 (he was a 4:14 in high school) to join the group under 4:20

Top 3 Finishers:

  1. Townley Haas, Texas – 4:13.35
  2. Alex Zettle, Texas – 4:13.42
  3. JohnThomas Larson, Texas – 4:15.62

WOMEN’S 200 IM – Finals

  • Meet Record – Madisyn Cox, Texas, 2017 – 1:52.82
  • Big 12 Record – Madisyn Cox, Texas, 2017 – 1:52.82
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 1:56.86

Texas senior Nora McCullagh won her 2nd-straight Big 12 title in the women’s 200 IM, taking the title in 1:58.14. That’s over a second slower than she was last season, though, and is unlikely to earn an invite to the NCAA Championships.

Not far behind her on Thursday was her teammate Brooke Hansen, who took 2nd in 1:58.42. She closed hard on McCullagh, having more than a second-and-a-half deficit to make up after the backstroke.

West Virginia’s Morgan Bullock took 3rd in 1:58.96, which is her season best but about a second short of her school record. Still, the swim helped her pick up big points in the Mountaineers’ battle for 3rd place with TCU and Iowa State.

Top 3 Finishers:

  1. Nora McCullagh, Texas – 1:58.14
  2. Brooke Hansen, Texas – 1:58.42
  3. Morgan Bullock, West Virginia – 1:58.96

MEN’S 200 IM – Finals

  • Meet Record – Will Licon, Texas, 2015 – 1:41.67
  • Big 12 Record – Will Licon, Texas, 2016 – 1:40.04
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 1:43.88

Texas senior John Shebat swam a 1:42.58. Only 2 of Will Licon’s 3 conference titles (2015, 2017) have been faster than his swim was among conference champions.

Shebat was just 1:45.36 in this event last season when he was dealing with injury for most of the 2nd semester. He wound up not swimming the event at NCAAs, focusing on just the 2 backstrokes as his individuals.

Texas freshman Matthew Willenbring took 2nd place in 1:43.45, which is a likely NCAA qualifying time, while his classmate Braden Vines improved to 1:44.02 in finals.

Top 3 Finishers:

  1. John Shebat, Texas – 1:42.58
  2. Matthew Willenbring, Texas – 1:43.45
  3. Braden Vines, Texas – 1:44.02

WOMEN’S 50 FREE – Finals

  • Meet Record – Hee-Jin Chang, Texas, 2009 – 21.87
  • Conference Record – Rebecca Millard, Texas, 2017/Grace Ariola, Texas, 2018 – 21.73
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 22.26

Nobody broke 22, but Texas freshman Grace Ariola, the conference leader this season and conference record-tier, was the top finisher in 22.09.

The top 5 went in the same order as prelims (at least among scoring swimmers), with Texas freshman Julia Cook taking 2nd in 22.32 and West Virginia’s Julia Nilton taking 3rd in 22.42. That pulls her ever-so-slightly closer to the school record of 22.40.

Top 3 Finishers:

  1. Grace Ariola, Texas – 22.09
  2. Julia Cook, Texas – 22.32
  3. Julia Nilton, West Virginia – 22.42

MEN’S 50 FREE – Finals

  • Meet Record – Joseph Schooling, Texas, 2017 – 18.76
  • Big 12 Record – Joseph Schooling, Texas, 2017 – 18.76
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 19.35

Two-time Big 12 50 free champion Tate Jackson scratched the final on Thursday, leaving his freshman teammate Daniel Krueger to win his first championship in 19.40. That time probably won’t earn an invite to NCAAs on its own right, but Krueger’s 100 free time trial from Tuesday likely qualifies him for the meet anyway.

West Virginia’s Merwane Elmerin added from prelims and swam 19.67 for 2nd place. Texas’ Jacob Huerta was the only other swimmer under 20 seconds in finals.

Top 3 Finishers:

  1. Daniel Krueger, Texas – 19.40
  2. Merwane Elmerin, West Virginia – 19.67
  3. Jacob Huerta, Texas – 19.93

Women’s 1-Meter Diving – Finals

  • Meet Record – 356.25
  • Big 12 Record – 356.25

Even with Kansas’ 1-and-done senior Vicky Xu looming, Texas sophomore Alison Gibson was unphased on the women’s 1-mter, winning with a score of 349.10. In fact, Texas took 4 out of the top 5 spots, with Meghan O’Brien placing 2nd with a score of 342.10. Xu broke up the Longhorn stranglehold with a 3rd-place finish of 322.35.

Texas went 1-2-4-5.

Top 3 Finishers:

  1. Alison Gibson, Texas – 349.10
  2. Meghan  O’Brien, Texas – 342.10
  3. Vicky Xu, Kansas – 322.35

Women’s 400 Medley Relay – FINALS

  • Meet Record – Texas, 2018 – 3:29.51
  • Big 12 Record – Texas, 2018 – 3:29.51

The Texas women cruised to a 6-second margin of victory in the women’s 400 medley relay. The team of Claire Adams (51.29 – back), Kennedy Lohman (59.28 – breast), Remedy Rule (52.92 – fly), and Grace Ariola (48.16 – free) combined for a 3:31.65. That’s 2 seconds slower than they went at this meet last year with almost the same relay (only Ariola is the anchor), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing: they added a second at nationals and never got back down to their Big 12 time. This year, they’ve got more room to grow into the national championship meet.

West Virginia took 2nd in 3:37.71. Morgan Bullock split 52.47 on the fly leg, which was the only leg where Texas didn’t have the fastest leg. Kansas was 3rd in 3:38.73.

Top 3 Finishers:

  1. Texas, 3:31.65
  2. WVU, 3:37.71
  3. Kansas, 3:38.73

Men’s 400 Medley Relay – FINALS

  • Meet Record – Texas, 2018 – 3:03.56
  • Big 12 Record – Texas, 2017 – 2:59.22

The Texas men skimmed under their own Meet Record in the 400 medley relay, swimming a 3:04.57 in finals. The squad of Ryan Harty (45.55 – back), Charlie Scheinfeld (51.77 – breast), John Shebat (45.07 – fly), and Daniel Krueger (42.18 – free) combined to break the 2016 Meet Record that had Shebat on the backstroke, followed by 3 NCAA Champions in Will Licon, Joseph Schooling, and Jack Conger.

Aside from the usual tapering for NCAAs, Texas will have a few options to improve that lineup at NCAAs. Not the least of those is adding Tate Jackson, a contender for the 100 free title individually, on the anchor.

West Virginia placed 2nd in 3:07.95 while TCU was 3rd in 3:15.33. West Virginia’s Jake Armstrong actually had the fastest breaststroke split in the field, swimming a 51.56.

Team Scores After Day 2


  1. Texas – 384.5
  2. Kansas – 241.5
  3. West Virginia – 187
  4. TCU – 165
  5. Iowa State – 134


  1. Texas – 367
  2. West Virginia – 301
  3. TCU – 201

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3 years ago

Interesting note, Evie Pfeifer would have won the 200 IM with her exhibition time from the morning.

3 years ago

Townley finna to go 4:05-4:06 at NCAAs.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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