2019 Men’s Big 12 Championships Fan Guide: Texas Back to Full Health

2019 MEN’S BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS

While a small conference, the Big 12 men’s championship is always an exciting look into what the Texas Longhorns will do at the NCAAs. This year Texas looks to be facing even stiffer competition from Cal then last year, and this should be Texas’ first big meet this season at full force. At their invite back in November, freshman standout Daniel Krueger was out due to illness, and several other top swimmers only competed minimally at the meet. This week, though, it appears Texas will be 100%, at least in terms of the health of their roster. It will likely be the best gauge of what this team has got so far this season.

Texas lost a few heavy hitters from last year to graduation, including Brett Ringgold, Jonathan Roberts, and Joseph Schooling. But, Texas is set to overcome those losses thanks to one of the best freshmen classes ever. Additionally, Texas has filled a hole that had plagued them a little bit last year, being that they didn’t have a true breaststroker. Freshman Charlie Scheinfeld has filled that role nicely, and has proven to not only be sufficient for Texas, but also one of the fastest breaststrokers in the NCAA this season.

With everyone healthy, we should get a better idea of what the longhorn relays are capable of, although they will likely not be quite as fast this weekend as they will be at NCAAs.

West Virginia and TCU are the only other 2 men’s teams in the Big 12. West Virginia

Last year’s team scores:

  1. Texas – 1081
  2. WVU – 870
  3. TCU – 702

SCHEDULE

Wednesday

  • 200 Medley Relay
  • 1 Meter Diving- Men
  • 800 Free Relay

Thursday

  • 500 Free
  • 200 IM
  • 50 Free
  • 1 Meter Diving- Women
  • 400 Medley Relay

Friday

  • 3 Meter Diving- Women
  • 400 IM
  • 100 Fly
  • 200 Free
  • 100 Breast
  • 100 Back
  • 3 Meter Diving- Men
  • 200 Free Relay

Saturday

  • Platform Diving- Men
  • 200 Back
  • 100 Free
  • 1650 Free
  • 200 Breast
  • 200 Fly
  • Platform Diving- Women
  • 400 Free Relay

STARS

Texas – Drew Kibler (freshman freestyler), Charlie Scheinfeld (freshman breaststroker), Tate Jackson (senior sprinter), Townley Haas (senior freestyler), John Shebat (senior backstroker), Austin Katz (sophomore backstroker) – This is a team of stars from top to bottom, and they should win every event. Tate Jackson had a breakout performance in the 50 in November, and it will be interesting to see where he’s at now. Charlie Scheinfled has quickly become one of the NCAAs top breaststrokers, and he has been particularly lethal on relays. Shebat and Katz are always a fun duo in the backstroke events.

TCU – Joao Andrade (sophomore freestyler), Noah Cumby (freshman sprinter) – TCU has a solid freestyle core with Cumby leading things on the sprint end, and Andrade taking the longer events. TCU also has some backstroke/butterfly speed that could show through into some A finals.

West Virginia – Merwane Elmerini (senior sprinter), David Dixon (sophomore flyer/IM’er), Trayton Saladin (junior freestyler/backstroker), Sam Neaveill (junior sprint free/flyer) – David Dixon led the NCAA in the men’s 200 fly earlier this season, and he’s proven to be quite speedy in the IMs as well. If he does not swim the 100 fly, Sam Neaveill should be able to hold down the fort for the Mountaineers, having been 48.6 this season.

SHOWDOWNS

SHEBAT VS KATZ VS HARTY – 100/200 BACK:

It’s always a good time watching these two fight it out in the backstroke events. Katz is the defending NCAA champion in the 200 back, where Shebat was the runner-up. With even more 200 back competition emerging nationally this season, it will be interesting to see where these two are this week. Ryan Harty is in the mix as well, having been very fast in the backstrokes this season, he may be able to sneak past his teammates here.

200 FLY:

This may be the event where West Virginia has the best chance of grabbing a big 12 title. Afterall, David Dixon did lead the NCAA in the 200 fly for a while this season. Texas has a lot of power in the event, between Sam Pomajevich, Andrew Koustik, and Max Houlter, Texas has the top 3 seeds. It should be a really interesting battle to watch.

SELECTIONS:

Texas is the undisputed favorite to win this meet, and it will likely be by roughly the same margin they did it in last year. Menawhile, West Virginia seems to have a significant advantage over TCU this year, and should have runner-up locked down.

PREDICTIONS:

  1. Texas
  2. West Virginia
  3. TCU

The Swimulator season-best swimulation comes out with final swimming scores of Texas 1011, WVU 781, and TCU 541.

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PowerPlay
3 years ago

A three team men’s conference meet seems silly. Don’t know if it helps Texas or hurts them for NCAA. Seems like a glorified set of time trials for UTs best swimmers and a final chance to qualify for NCAA for the rest.

Harambe
3 years ago

Yo Spencer, double check Max’s last name

Superfan
3 years ago

Supposedly one can bet on anything in Vegas. Wonder how much they will pay out for my money on Texas to win Big 12?

Jeff
3 years ago

I do not understand why big Div. I schools would not field a swim team. It is an Olympic staple, and reflects good phys. sports that can be understood and inspired to the student level. I do not get it.

Stan Crump
Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

They don’t make much money for the University, and they spend a lot with their budgets. So it is basically $$$$$$.

wethorn
Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

Title IX.

The Wolf of Raleigh
3 years ago

What a joke of a conference. Might as well call it Men’s Big 1.

Easy for Texas to peak and NCAA’s when their conference meet is practically an intrasquad.

Marge
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
3 years ago

Correct! Texas was barely able to compete nationally prior to entering the Big 12 Conference. They could barely finish races prior to 1997 (all those National Championships and Olympic medals are an illusion).

The Wolf of Raleigh
Reply to  Marge
3 years ago

I’d say swimming has become exponentially more popular, deeper, competitive, and more of a focus for young athletes over the past decade (mainly due to Michael Phelps). So prior to 1997 I’d say yes, it was significantly easier to win a Big 1 Championship.

BrundageSwims
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
3 years ago

And where exactly were all those Raleigh teams in the late 70s, the entirety of the 80s, 90s, aughts and most of the 10s?

Yeah, the backwater.

Right Dude Here
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
3 years ago

Before 1997, it was widely regarded as impossible to win the Big 12.

Zeke4Heisman
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
3 years ago

And yet y’all still wouldn’t even win the Big 12

Horninco
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
3 years ago

Texas’ conference affiliation is irrelevant because of their philosophy. Their only goal is to win a national title. I don’t think Eddie cares how many Big 12 banners there are. He’d rather be known for National Titles. Those are great for regional smack talk. But the real prize is the national title.

Texas, as currently constructed, would approach the conference meet the same no matter what conference they were in. The guys that have cuts would not rest much if at all, and the guys that didn’t would taper to make cuts. Kind of like Tate Jackson last year. There will be Texas guys that are tapered this week. The ones that need times or won’t make NCAA’s anyway.… Read more »

TRIBALTHUMPER
Reply to  Horninco
3 years ago

Eddie Reese is the country’s greatest recruiter. That he proves time and time again. Is he the best at making sure his athletes drop time and peak at NCAAs every year? Even with this so-called swim through conference strategy, the data says ‘no.’ Cal, Florida, Indiana, USC, all did better on beating seed times at NCAAs last year. A few dozen teams did better at beating their lifetime bests at NCAAs last year. https://swimswam.com/ncaa-d1-mens-improvement-at-nationals/

The cult of Eddie needs to quell itself. Just because y’all are willing to pay $125 for his biography doesn’t mean he’s actually the 3rd coming…

PsychoDad
Reply to  TRIBALTHUMPER
3 years ago

Those are all fair points. “The cult” of Eddie is not promoted by real Eddie fans – it is promoted by people who want to “prove” they are swimming experts. Eddie is first to admit he is winging it most of the time. My favorite Eddie’s quote (and I am paraphrasing here) is: “maybe the best taper is to get them out of the water for two weeks all together, but I am afraid to try that.” Eddie is the most colorful character and that adds to his legend. I am the most impressed how much common sense and simplicity he uses in his swimming philosophy.

Zeke4Heisman
Reply to  TRIBALTHUMPER
3 years ago

@TribalThumper, you’re out of you mind. Get off the computer and go back to your day job

Longhorn
Reply to  Horninco
3 years ago

I agree. If the National title is the goal (which it is!) then nothing comes before that. So while it’s really great that everyone is excited by the electricity at SEC’s when is the last time an SEC team won a national championship? I’m not saying Texas will win this year…there are a few really really great teams but let’s keep it real. The only prize that matters is NC’s!!!

Joe Joe
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
3 years ago

It is an odd little conference for swimming, no one could deny that. NC State would be a solid second every year!

Ladymanvol
3 years ago

Coach Reese is the greatest ever…the BIG question is can he still coach at UT when he turns 80?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Ladymanvol
3 years ago

Men’s coach ever. And UT just euthanizes all employees at age 80, so no.

Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

This isn’t a “team of stars” by UT standards. The Schooling/Conger/Licon/Smith/Haas et al team was the closest to one in recent years.

SwimGeek
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Schooling and Conger were massive stars upon arrival. But Licon and even Haas were not superstars they arrived. I think Haas was 4:15 in High school and around 1:35 200. Freshman year he goes 1:30 and 4:10 or 4:09 and THEN he’s a star. Drew Kibler was significantly faster coming out of HS than Haas. So let’s wait and see who comes out of this class. And don’t forget guys like Pomajevich. He didn’t break 4:20 in HS. Last year he goes 4:12 and makes A final as a freshman.

Swimmer
Reply to  SwimGeek
3 years ago

A 4:15 in high school would most likely be a top ten high school time. I’d say he was pretty good before coming to Texas.

SwimGeek
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

Of course, Haas was super fast coming out of HS. And Kibler is even faster (1:33 / 4:13) in HS. I’m responding to the comment that this is not a “team of stars” but Kibler is a bigger star than Haas out of HS.

Longhorn
Reply to  SwimGeek
3 years ago

Kibler was actually a 1:32.2/ 1:14.4 in high school, Haas went 1:33.38/ 4:14.07 In senior year. I think we can agree they’re just both fast.

Swimmer
Reply to  Longhorn
3 years ago

Yup. Both were Superstars. The standard for Texas. Eddie does a great job recruiting and refining.

SwimGeek
Reply to  Longhorn
3 years ago

Thanks for the correction – agreed

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  SwimGeek
3 years ago

College stars. Not HS stars. Kibler is not going to win an individual event this year. Geez.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  SwimGeek
3 years ago

A college “team of stars” has several NCAA individual champions. If they have more than two guys who win individual titles this year, I’ll be very surprised.

1001 pools
Reply to  SwimGeek
3 years ago

Once again, we bow to the Almighty SwimGeek

The michael phelps caterpillar
3 years ago

I got $20 on West Virginia. Country Roads baby!

Wethorn
Reply to  The michael phelps caterpillar
3 years ago

You’d have spent your money better be on a case of Boone’s Farm.