2020 Big 12 Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


  • When: Wednesday, February 26th to Saturday, February 29th | Prelims 10:00 am | Finals 6:00 pm
  • Where: Aquatic Center at Mylan Park, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: University of Texas Men (40x), University of Texas Women (8x) – results
  • Live Streaming Links: Thursday finals / Friday finals / Saturday finals
  • Championship Central: Here
  • Detailed Timeline: Here
  • Psych Sheets: Here
  • Live Results: Here

It’s day 2 of the Big 12 Championships, with our first individual events of the meet. Thursday will feature the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free for both men and women.

Texas swept the relays last night, and the Longhorn women notably hitting an NCAA B cut in their medley relay to lock themselves into an NCAA berth in all five relays.

A few of the big names we should see on day 2:

  • NCAA All-American Evie Pfeifer will lead the 500 free after pulling double-duty on both relays last night. She’s got talented freshmen Miranda Heckman and Mary Smutny on her heels.
  • Drew Kibler was 9th at NCAAs in the 50 free as a freshman, but the Big 12 meet has previously allowed him to go after the 500 free instead. Kibler is the top seed in front of Sam Pomajevich.
  • Texas freshman Kelly Pash leads the 200 IM, but Kansas has its best event set up with seeds #2 (Kate Steward) and #3 (Dannie Dilsaver).
  • In the 200 IM, sophomores Matthew Willenbring and Braden Vines lead for Texas, but we also get to see our first postseason appearance for #1-ranked recruit Jake Foster.
  • Freshman Bridget Semenuk is the top 50 free seed on a loaded Texas sprint roster that also includes returning NCAA scorer Grace Ariola.
  • The men’s 50 free features Texas’s trio of transfers (Maxime Rooney, Alvin Jiang, Chris Staka) along with last year’s freshman standout Daniel KruegerKeep an eye on West Virginia rookie Hunter Armstrong.

Swimmers with an asterisk (*) appear to be exhibition entrants who can’t compete in the A final. We’ll include them below, but will also note who should make the A final in their place.

Women’s 500 Free – Prelims

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:35.76
  • 2019 NCAA Invite Time: 4:40.92

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Pfeifer (TX) – 4:40.13
  2. Nusbaum (KAN) – 4:47.20
  3. Shiller (TX) – 4:49.65
  4. Case (TX) – 4:52.65
  5. Smutny (TX) – 4:52.93
  6. *Ritch (TX) – 4:53.85
  7. Bliss (WVU) – 4:54.16
  8. *Tierney (TX) – 4:55.50
  9. Blomquist (KAN) – 4:56.70
  10. Clough (TCU) – 4:56.84

Texas junior Evie Pfeifer easily qualified #1 in the 500 free, going 4:40.13 this morning. Pfeifer was 4:38.4 at mid-season and ranks 13th nationally in the event for now, and her morning swim is a good indicator that she could be bettering that time tonight. It’s very similar to what she was in prelims (4:40.00) of the Minnesota Invite at mid-season.

Kansas senior Jenny Nusbaum returns to the A final after going 4:47.20. She was 4:45.5 for 5th overall last season, the highest non-Texas finisher. Lauren Case of Texas was 6th last year and sits 4th heading into finals.

Junior Logan Shiller of Texas had a nice breakthrough swim, going 4:49.65. Shiller was 4:45 out of high school, but her best collegiate time so far has been a 4:48.9 in-season in February of 2018. She should be able to challenge that in the final tonight. West Virginia’s Emma Bliss (4:54.16) also set herself up well. Bliss was 4:55 in prelims last year before hitting a career-best 4:53.22 in finals.

Texas’s big-name freshmen were well off their best times. Mary Smutny made the A final, but was only 4:52 – she was 4:42 out of high school and 4:45 at mid-season. Miranda Heckman (4:41 out of high school; 4:43 at mid-season) missed the final in 11th at 4:57.07.

Men’s 500 Free – Prelims

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:11.82
  • 2019 NCAA Invite Time: 4:16.04

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. J. Larson (TX) – 4:18.34
  2. *P. Larson (TX) – 4:19.43
  3. Kibler (TX) – 4:23.14
  4. Katz (TX) – 4:24.00
  5. Neri (TX) – 4:24.97
  6. Babic (TCU) – 4:25.24
  7. Pomajevich (TX) – 4:25.87
  8. *Andrade (TCU) – 4:28.36
  9. Collins (TX) – 4:29.40
  10. Chao (TCU) – 4:31.17

Brothers JohnThomas Larson and Peter Larson went 1-2 in the 500 free heats for Texas. JohnThomas, a junior, was 4:18.34. He went 4:15.9 at mid-season and has been 4:15.6 at Big 12s in both of his collegiate seasons so far. Younger brother Peter is a freshman who went 4:19.43 – his third-best swim behind a 4:17.9 and 4:18.6 at the Minnesota Invite in December.

Top seed Drew Kibler was a casual 4:23.14 this morning, well off his mid-season best, but plenty enough to qualify into the A final. Texas took six of the top eight spots, though no Longhorns dropped from seed this morning.

TCU’s Joao Andrade was the only swimmer to better his seed time in prelims. The junior was 4:28.36, seven tenths better than his mid-season rest meet time. Andrade was 4:22 way back in 2017, but only went 4:24.6 last season. He’s into the A final along with freshman teammate Dusan Babic.

Women’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:53.66
  • 2019 NCAA Invite Time: 1:56.79

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Pash (TX) – 1:57.79
  2. Steward (KAN) – 1:59.99
  3. Dilsaver (KAN) – 2:00.02
  4. Pollok (TX) – 2:00.68
  5. Bullock (WVU) – 2:00.69
  6. Downey (KAN) – 2:01.56
  7. Riekhof (KAN) – 2:02.53
  8. Rice (TCU) – 2:03.34

Texas freshman Kelly Pash is the top qualifier in the IM, going 1:57.79 this morning. That’s solidly faster than she was in prelims at the mid-season rest meet (1:58.11) and suggests she could challenge her lifetime-best (1:57.10) tonight, considering she swam that time in finals at mid-season. Pash is currently 35th in the nation in this event and probably needs to go faster to procure an NCAA invite, though she’s likely already in through the 200 fly.

Kansas had its best event of the meet so far, stacking four swimmers into the A final. Kate Steward was fourth last year without breaking two minutes, and went 1:59.99 this morning to sit second. That’s seven tenths from her career-best and just her second swim ever under two minutes. Cal transfer Dannie Dilsaver went 2:00.02 – that’s the best swim she’s had since the 2017-2018 season, when she broke two minutes three times between mid-season and the Pac-12 Championships. Haley Downey (6th) and Paige Riekhof (7th) are also into the A final. Downey would have been in the A last year but took a DQ, and Riekhof was 8th in 2019.

Men’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:41.34
  • 2019 NCAA Invite Time: 1:43.82

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Willenbring (TX) – 1:45.26
  2. *Artmann (TX) – 1:45.88
  3. Corbeau (TX) – 1:45.94
  4. Foster (TX) – 1:46.17
  5. *Harder (TX) – 1:46.42
  6. Vines (TX) – 1:48.04
  7. Dixon (WVU) – 1:48.89
  8. Harlan (WVU) – 1:48.93
  9. Kay (WVU) – 1:49.55
  10. Silins (TCU) – 1:49.91

Texas showed off its youth in the men’s IM, putting three freshmen and two sophomores in the top six. Sophomore Matthew Willenbring is the top qualifier at 1:45.26, very similar to his prelims time last year (1:45.33) before he went 1:43.4 for second place.

Rookie Caspar Corbeau dropped a little more than a second off his best, going 1:45.94 for third. Fellow freshman Jake Foster was fourth (1:46.17) and Ethan Harder fifth (1:46.42) in a good showing for the Texas freshman class. Foster was about three seconds from his best, set at mid-season, but Harder is only about a half-second from a career-best time.

Senior Josh Artmann is the lone upperclassman at the top, going 1:45.88. Braden Vines (sophomore) also made the top 8, returning after a third-place finish in 1:44.0 last year.

West Virgina’s David Dixon and Josh Harlan also return to the top 8 from last year.

Women’s 50 Free – Prelims

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 21.66
  • 2019 NCAA Invite Time: 22.24

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Semenuk (TX) – 22.34
  2. Haimes (WVU) – 22.87
  3. Leibel (TX) / Nilton (WVU) – 22.98
  4. Straight (KAN) – 23.02
  5. Manning (KAN) – 23.03
  6. Wheeler (TX) – 23.10
  7. Ariola (TX) – 23.11

Texas freshman Bridget Semenuk was 22.34 this morning, only about a tenth off her season-best from December. Semenuk is right on last year’s NCAA invite times in both the 50 and 100 frees (Invite times last year were 22.24 and 48.56; she’s been 22.23/48.51), so she’s probably got reason to shave down and gear up for a big swim tonight.

It was a great morning for youth in this race – West Virginia rookie Emily Haimes dropped almost four tenths of a second, going from 23.24 at mid-season to 22.87 this morning. Haimes is a British prospect with limited short course yards experience.

Texas freshman Kyla Leibel tied for third with West Virgina senior Julia NiltonNilton was third last year in 22.4, so she should have room to drop from 22.9 this morning. Leibel has been 22.8 already this year.

Last year’s Big 12 champ and NCAA scorer Grace Ariola nearly missed the A final here, going just 23.11. That’s more than a second slower than her winning time (22.09) from last year.

Senior Claire Adams, meanwhile, swam exhibition but put up a 22.36, the second-best time of the prelims field.

Men’s 50 Free – Prelims

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 18.96
  • 2019 NCAA Invite Time: 19.38

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Krueger (TX) – 19.33
  2. Rooney (TX) – 19.53
  3. *Huerta (TX) – 19.82
  4. *Bowman (TX) – 19.87
  5. Staka (TX) – 19.93
  6. Armstrong (WVU) – 20.20
  7. O’Shea (WVU) – 20.22
  8. Van Wyk (WVU) – 20.28
  9. Neaveill (WVU) – 2.040
  10. *Varozza (TX) – 20.42
  11. *Park (TX) – 20.49
  12. *Crane (TX) – 20.56
  13. Pedersen (TCU) – 20.57

Texas swept the top five spots here, with all five under twenty seconds, though multiple exhibition swimmers will appear to be bumped from that A final. Defending champ Daniel Krueger was a quick 19.33 – that’s actually better than his winning time from last year (19.40), close to the 19.31 he put up at NCAA prelims last year, and tonight he could challenge his 19.19 career-best.

Florida transfer Maxime Rooney was 19.53 for second, and Alabama transfer Chris Staka will follow him into the A final. 19.8 Jacob Huerta and 19.8 Luke Bowman appear to be exhibition swimmers with asterisks on live results, but qualified 3rd and 4th.

West Virginia rookie Hunter Armstrong was 20.20 and could challenge his lifetime-best 19.75 tonight in the final. His teammate Christopher O’Shea is also into the top 8 in 20.22.


In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Wow – what has happened to the UT women? Other than Pfeifer and Pash, they have really fallen. Lauren Case??? She was a swimswam top 20 recruit in 2016 and has not performed beyond her freshman year. How does Capitani continue to recruit well with these results?

Reply to  Brandi
2 years ago

>How does Capitani continue to recruit well with these results?

All Carol needs to do is bring them inside Texas Swim Center, show them around Austin, have them meet Eddie, and tell them PsychoDad lives in Austin. Done. 🙂

Track Start
Reply to  Brandi
2 years ago

Prob. hot yoga & biking

Reply to  Brandi
2 years ago

Franklin’s BBQ

Ya feel
2 years ago

I hope UT can win the meet

Reply to  Ya feel
2 years ago

Their bus driver could win this meet.

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

Eddie Reese can swim and they’d still win the meet

Reply to  DBSWIMS
2 years ago

I watched Eddie swim celebratory breaststroke in Atlanta and I was not impressed. 🙂

2 years ago

for anyone who’s having trouble finding live results, the full results are on meet mobile. I noticed the link isn’t updating so I thought some people would want to know

Reply to  hzmusicstand
2 years ago

Here we are in 2020 and the people running the meet can’t update Live Results.

Reply to  RenéDescartes
2 years ago

It is kind of frustrating, but sometimes it’s the fault of the website and not the people trying to put their own results on it. At least meet mobile has got results

2 years ago

This meet is a train wreck

Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

These times are uninspiring

Reply to  PhillyMark
2 years ago

No you

Reply to  Cetics
2 years ago

1 swimmer in this meet for 500 free and 200 IM wouldve made finals for big10 men

Reply to  Cetics
2 years ago

Zero swimmers wouldve made final in those 2 events in ACC

Reply to  PhillyMark
2 years ago

You’d rather Texas swim in the ACC and still finish first or second at NCAA’s?

Reply to  PhillyMark
2 years ago

inspire us then

Reply to  hzmusicstand
2 years ago

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop

Reply to  PhillyMark
2 years ago

Oh Boy here we go again. Same comments every year. Why would Texas swim fast if they don’t have to this meet? If you want to be inspired then go back and look at their mid-season times or just wait until next month. Comparing their times here to other conference meets is just pointless. Same discussion every year.

2 years ago

Some clues/drama for who might make the NCAA team

Not sure if swimmer/diver limits mirror NCAA’s (some conferences deviate a tad, but the swimmers with an * appear to be the exhibition swimmers (ie over the team limit) and amount those are Peter Larson, Jason Park, Josh Artmann, Ethan Harder. All with times that would have got an invite last year, and very well could again, but get left home.
In at least for this meet as “varsity” (or at least unstarred) is Koustik, Neri, JohnThomas Larson who all might be on the bubble.

And that is without Ryan Hardy or Chris Yeager in the meet.

And will they take two or four divers?


Former swimmer
2 years ago

FYI, B-team designated swimmers can’t swim in the scoring finals.

2 years ago

what is up with texas women… suppose they could just be cruising for prelims, but these swimmers are not all qualified individually for NCAAs yet. just pretty crazy that Capitani has recruited so well but it keeps looking like those star prospects rarely improve.

Reply to  Random123
2 years ago

Unfortunately, that’s been the case for years. I personally think Carol needs to be more quiet and let actions speak louder than words…

Reply to  Random123
2 years ago

I think (and hope) that means this year they will be the fastest when it counts – at NCAAs. At least, duals and this meet indicate that.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago

Start praying.

Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago

lol people said this last year. last year they also had a lot more people safely qualified. this meet matters to even get people to NCAAs

Reply to  Random123
2 years ago

Best performance was Pfeifer this morning… the other top seeds wouldn’t have fared too well at other conference meets in preliminaries:
– Pash would have been 12th at SECs, T-8th at Big 10s, and 10th at ACCs (in prelims)
– Semenuk would have been 16th at SECs, 5th at Big 10s, and 11th at ACCs (in prelims

hopefully some quicker times tonight

Track Start
2 years ago

Gonna be a sweet pool record board at WVU 😀

Right Dude Here
Reply to  Track Start
2 years ago

SMU had this problem for a really long time. Here’s how they solved it.


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 …

Read More »