2021 Big 12 Championships: Day 2 Prelim Live Recap

2021 BIG 12 SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Swimming: Wednesday, February 24 – Saturday, February 27, 2021
  • Diving: Monday, March 1 – Wednesday, March 3, 2021
  • Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center – Austin, TX (Central Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Texas men (24x) & Texas women (8x) (results)
  • Live Results
  • Live Video
  • Championship Central

SCORES AFTER DAY 1

Women:

  1. Texas – 80
  2. Kansas – 68
  3. Iowa State/Texas Christian/West Virginia – 60

Men:

  1. Texas – 80
  2. Texas Christian/West Virginia – 66

Texas got off to an early lead for the Big 12 women after winning both the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays. On the first day of individual events, we’ll see how well Kansas can hang on to the 12 point margin that separates them from Texas. On the men’s side, Texas also leads, having won both relays and establishing a 12 point lead over TCU and Kansas.

We’ll get things started this morning with the 500 freestyle prelims, and then move into the 200 IM followed by the 50 free. Texas will look to defend their titles in all three of those events tonight.

WOMEN’S 500 FREESTYLE

  • Big 12 Record: Joanna Evans (Texas) – 4:36.87 (2019)
  • Big 12 Meet Record: Joanna Evans (Texas) – 4:36.87 (2019)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:35.76
  • 2020 Champion: Evie Pfeifer (Texas) – 4:40.13

Top 8:

  1. Evie Pfeifer (Texas) – 4:41.91
  2. Ella Tierney (Texas) – 4:49.82
  3. Brinley Horras (Iowa State) – 4:50.89
  4. Grace Ritch (Texas) – 4:51.32
  5. Kara Church (Kansas) – 4:51.85
  6. Mary Smutny (Texas) – 4:52.05
  7. Abby Reardon (West Virginia) – 4:53.17
  8. Luisa Winkler (West Virginia) – 4:53.78

Defending champion in the women’s 500 freestyle Evie Pfeifer established a clear lead over the field, hitting a 4:41.91 to earn top seed for tonight’s final. Pfeifer is in good shape to repeat as champion for Texas as she touched nearly 8 seconds ahead of teammate Ella Tierney‘s second-seeded 4:49.82. Pfeifer was within 2 seconds of the winning time last year which was a 4:40.13.

Last year Ella Tierney swam a 4:51.56 to win the C final at Big 12s, lowering her time this year and moving up a significant amount in the prelim rankings. She was just about a second faster than 3rd seed this morning Brinley Horras from Iowa state. While Tierney was a little bit slower than her PB of 4:45.14 in the event, Horras notched a new best time, lowering it from a 4:53.28.

Texas’s Grace Ritch and Mary Smutny gave the team a total of 4 in the A final as they finished in 4th and 6th, respectively. Kansas meanwhile managed to the A with her 5th place finish in the prelims. Rounding out the top 8 this morning is the West Virginia duo of Abby Reardon and Luisa Winkler.

WOMEN’S 200 IM

  • Big 12 Record: Madisyn Cox (Texas) – 1:52.58 (2017)
  • Big 12 Meet Record: Madisyn Cox (Texas) – 1:52.82 (2017)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:53.66
  • 2020 Champion: Kelly Pash (Texas) – 1:55.91

Top 8:

  1. Kelly Pash (Texas) – 1:57.43
  2. Kate Steward (Kansas) – 1:58.70
  3. Megan Morris (TCU) – 2:01.17
  4. Lucia Rizzo (Iowa State) – 2:01.22
  5. Dannie Dilsaver (Kansas) – 2:02.03
  6. Jordan Buechler (West Virginia) – 2:02.49
  7. Ellie Wehrmann (Kansas) – 2:02.94
  8. Kaeleigh Rice (TCU) – 2:03.30

Similar to her teammate Evie Pfeifer in the 500, Texas junior Kelly Pash set herself up this morning to defend her Big 12 title in the 200 IM. Pash went a 1:57.43 which isn’t quite what it took to win the event last year but was enough to let her go in tonight more than a second ahead of second seed Kate Steward from Kansas (1:58.70). Steward got with 0.40 of Chelsie Miller‘s school record of 1:58.37 from back in 2015.

Megan Morris for TCU earned the third seed this morning, swimming a 2:01.17. That’s nearly a 5 second PB for Morris, lowering her time from a 2:06.08 which she swam in 2017. The swim also placed Morris at #4 all-time on TCU’s school rankings.

Following the Texas/Kansas/TCU top three, Iowa state’s Lucia Rizzo got into the A final with a 2:01.22 for fourth seed. Dannie Dilsaver (Kansas), Jordan Buechler (West Virginia), Ellie Wehrmann (Kansas), and Kaeleigh Rice (TCU) filled out the 4th to 8th spots, respectively.

That means that Kelly Pash will be the sole Texas swimming to race in the A final tonight while Kansas will send three, TCU two, and Iowa and West Virginia will send one each.

WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE

  • Big 12 Record: Rebecca Millard (Texas), Grace Ariola (Texas) – 21.73 (2017, 2018)
  • Big 12 Meet Record: Hee-Jin Chang (Texas) – 21.87 (2009)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 21.66
  • 2020 Champion: Bridget Semenuk (Texas) – 22.33

Top 8:

  1. Bridget Semenuk (Texas) – 22.44
  2. Grace Cooper (Texas) – 22.61
  3. Emma Sticklen (Texas) – 22.62
  4. Olivia Bray (Texas) 22.66
  5. Kyla Leibel (Texas) 22.99
  6. Manon Manning (Kansas) / Emily Haimes, Harna Minezawa (West Virginia) – 23.03
Bridget Semenuk made it 3-for-3 events where last year’s champions earned the top seed this morning for Texas. It took a 22.33 for her to win the event last year and she was just 0.11 seconds slower in today’s prelims. Semenuk’s fastest-ever time in the event sits at a 22.23 from 2019.
Behind Semenuk, the Texas women managed to pack the A final, finishing 2nd-5th. Grace Cooper, Emma Sticklen, Olivia Bray, and 2020 silver medalist Kyla Leibel had only 0.38 seconds separating them. The Texas 5 all managed to get under the 23-second mark and were the only 5 to do so in the field.
After the top 5 swims from Texas, we actually saw a 3-way tie for 6th place as Kansas’ Manon Manning, and West Virginia’s Emily Haimes and Harna Minezawa all swam a 23.03.
The top 8 shut TCU and Iowa out of the A final tonight with TCU’s Katelyn Kenchel getting her school’s top finish in the event with a 23.18 for 9th seed. Iowa managed to get 2 into the B final as Sophia Goushchi (23.54) and Andie Quirke (23.60) were 15th and 16th, respectively.
MEN’S 500 FREESTYLE
  • BIG 12 Record: Clark Smith (Texas) – 4:08.19 (2017)
  • BIG 12 Meet Record: Townley Haas (Texas) – 4:11.11 (2019)
  • 2020 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:11.82
  • 2020 Champion: JohnThomas Larson (Texas) – 4:16.65
  1. JohnThomas Larson (Texas) – 4:15.46
  2. Alex Zettle (Texas) – 4:16.20
  3. Parker Neri (Texas) – 4:16.51
  4. Peter Larson (Texas) – 4:16.98
  5. David Johnston (Texas) – 4:18.45
  6. Matthew Tannen (Texas) – 4:19.06
  7. Coby Carrozza (Texas) – 4:19.78
  8. Drew Kibler (Texas) – 4:19.91

JohnThomas Larson swam a 4:15.46 to get under the 4:16.65 he swam to win the event last year. He was just over his personal best in the event of 4:14.96 which he hit in March 2020.

The Texas men followed Larson to fill out the remainder of the top 10. Alex Zettle was the second-fastest in the field, hitting a 4:16.20 which was a bit off his entry time of 4:13.14. Behind Zettle, 2020 silver medalist Parker Neri earned third seed into the final with a 4:16.51. Swimming a third 4:16 for Texas was Peter Larson in fourth (4:16.98).

David Johnston, Matthew Tannen, Coby Carrozza, and Drew Kibler filled out the top 8 for Texas. Texas’ Ethan Heasley swam a 4:22.45 to hit the 9th fastest time of the morning and Austin Katz was a 4:25.49 for 10th.

The fastest non-Texas swimmer in the event was West Virginia’s Max Gustafson who hit a 4:27.95 to wind up as 11th seed.

MEN’S 200 IM

  • BIG 12 Record: John Shebat (Texas) – 1:39.64 (2019)
  • BIG 12 Meet Record: Will Licon (Texas) – 1:41.67 (2015)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:41.34
  • 2020 Champion: Matthew Willenbring (Texas) – 1:43.98
  1. Jake Foster (Texas) – 1:43.12
  2. Carson Foster (Texas) – 1:43.13
  3. Chris Staka (Texas) – 1:43.91
  4. Caspar Corbeau (Texas) – 1:44.66
  5. Andrew Koustik (Texas) – 1:45.78
  6. Halvor Borgstr (Texas) – 1:46.21
  7. Dusan Babic (TCU) – 1:49.17
  8. David Dixon (West Virginia) – 1:50.21

The Texas brother duo of Jake and Carson Foster were separated by only 0.01 seconds this morning as they claimed the top 2 spots in the prelims of the 200 IM. Jake got his hand on the wall first, hitting a 1:43.12 to hover over his PB of 1:42.59. Carson came in right behind him, swimming a 1:43.13 which is also slower than his PB of 1:41.98 from December 2020.

Texas’ Chris Staka wasn’t too far behind the top 2 duo, hitting a 1:43.91 to for third. Last year’s bronze medalist Caspar Corbeau got in with a 1:44.66 for fourth, faster than his 1:45.43 bronze medal performance from last year.

Texas made it a 1-6 prelim performance as Andrew Koustik and Halvor Borgstr claimed 5th and 6th. Rounding out the top 8, TCU’s Dusan Babic swam a 1:49.17 and David Dixon was a 1:50.21.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE

  • BIG 12 Record: Joseph Schoolin (Texas)g – 18.76 (2017)
  • BIG 12 Meet Record: Joseph Schooling (Texas) – 18.76 (2017)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 18.96
  • 2020 Champion: Daniel Krueger (Texas) – 19.19
  1. Daniel Krueger (Texas) – 19.33
  2. Luke Bowman (Texas) – 19.74
  3. Zac van Zandt (Texas) – 19.99
  4. Ryen van Wyk (West Virginia) – 20.01
  5. Jake Sannem (Texas) – 20.14
  6. Roberts Zemturi (West Virginia) – 20.17
  7. Noah Cumby (TCU) / Cole Crane (Texas) – 20.26

Daniel Kreuger has a chance to defend his 50 freestyle title tonight as he will go in first with a 19.33, 0.41 seconds ahead of this morning’s second-fastest performer Luke Bowman (19.74). Krueger was a 19.19 to win the event at last year’s Big 12s but lowered his PB to a 19.14 in December 2020.

Zac van Zandt from Texas dipped under the 20-second mark as well with a 19.99 to earn third seed in tonight’s A final. Ryen van Wyk from West Virginia had the best non-Texas finish in the event with a 20.01 for fourth. Van Wyk will look to infiltrate the podium tonight to improve upon his 5th place finish last year.

Jake Sannem and Roberts Zemturi were 5th and 6th for Texas and West Virginia while TCU’s Noah Cumby and Texas’ Cole Crane rounded out the top 8 with a tie for 7th.

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swammer
1 month ago

wow so many teams represented in the men’s 500 free A Final

PFA
Reply to  swammer
1 month ago

I know right you one guy from Texas another guy from Texas 2 more from Texas then a mind boggling 4 more from you guessed it Texas’s D-gang

Swimmer
1 month ago

There’s so little competition within the Big 12 compared to other conferences. Surely the conference experience is completely different to that in the SEC/ACC? I don’t know a particular school ends up in a particular conference… but this must be a bit frustrating for some of the schools competing?

Coach
1 month ago

Let me say, I am a huge Eddie fan. I have never been to a Big “12” conference meet. However, what some of those TX guys did today in 500 prelims is an absolute embarrassment and discredit to our sport. If you’re not going to try DONT SWIM IT. If you don’t want to try in prelims, then just do a time trial. It’s not like they need the finals points. That’s a bad look. Come on guys – Do Better.

Time Keeper
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Why would you do 2 all out 500 frees in the same day if you don’t have to? There is a right way and a wrong way to handle prelim/final meets. Don’t expect their finals times to mirror the top times in the SEC either. There is no reason for the top Texas guys to rest for this meet. Same discussion every year….

Michael Andrew Wilson
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

A little presumptuous, don’t you think? I don’t think this morning was available via streaming, so I’m guessing you were there in person to watch these guys’ respiratory rates upon exiting the pool?

Between the pandemic and last week’s widespread power outages and iced-over roads in the area, these guys’ training and rest schedules are a total crapshoot right now. Guys like Katz and Kibler already have NCAA cuts and are surely not rested. Seeing as both were a couple seconds off of their best 800 relay splits, their times don’t seem particularly off-base. Carozza and Johnston are probably in the same boat. Both Larson brothers swam very good times. Good time for Neri as well. And with Katz… Read more »