2021 Big 12 Swimming & Diving Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap


  • 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 Video
  • Championship Central
  • Live results

The Texas Longhorns stampede of top 200 freestylers should highlight day 3 prelims of the Big 12 swimming & diving championships.

On night 1, the Texas men had seven swimmers go under 1:35 in the 200 free. Though not all of that group will swim the race individually today, there should be plenty of jockeying for position, with NCAA roster spots, and perhaps even an 800 free relay spot, on the line.

This morning should be a busy prelims session, with five women’s events (100 fly, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back) in the first session followed by a men’s heats session with the same five events.


  • Big 12 Record: Triin Aljand (Texas A&M) – 51.32 (2008)
  • Big 12 Meet Record: Lily Moldenhauer (Texas) – 51.92 (2014)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 50.92
  • 2020 Champion: Emily Reese (Texas) – 53.49

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Bray (Texas) – 51.99
  2. Sticklen (Texas) – 52.57
  3. Reese (Texas) – 54.05
  4. Looney (Kansas) – 54.29
  5. Cooper (Texas) – 54.45
  6. Olsen (Kansas) – 54.59
  7. Haimes (WVU) – 54.60
  8. Minezawa (WVU) – 54.78

Freshman Olivia Bray came within .05 seconds of her first Big 12 title last night in the 50 free. She should have a great chance to break through tonight after leading the field in 51.99. Bray was 50.19 out of high school and went 50.37 at mid-season, so she should have plenty more in the tank for tonight.

It’s actually a pair of freshmen at the top, with Emma Sticklen going 52.57 for second. Sticklen was a lifetime-best 51.4 at mid-season and is probably locked into an NCAA invite already. But the two Longhorn freshmen should have a great battle for their first individual Big Ten title tonight.


  • Big 12 Record: Madisyn Cox (Texas) – 4:00.97 (2017)
  • Big 12 Meet Record: Madisyn Cox (Texas) – 4:01.15 (2017)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:03.62
  • 2020 Champion: Evie Pfeifer (Texas) – 4:06.47

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Pfeifer (Texas) – 4:09.83
  2. Pash (Texas) – 4:16.56
  3. Morris (TCU) – 4:17.72
  4. Riekhof (Kansas) – 4:21.31
  5. Rizzo (Iowa State) – 4:22.38
  6. Rice (TCU) – 4:22.53
  7. Heymans (Iowa State) – 4:25.80
  8. Musbach (WVU) – 4:26.90

Last night’s 500 free champ (Evie Pfeifer) and last night’s 200 IM champ (Kelly Pash) should collide in the 400 IM tonight, holding the top two spots into the final. Last year, Pfeifer won by about a second over Pash, who was then a freshman breaking out in her rookie NCAA season.

Pash was a lifetime-best 4:07.7 last year, but already smashed a 4:06.1 at mid-season this year, so things could tighten up considerably from last year. Pfeifer, though, was 4:05.3 in this event way back at 2018 NCAAs, so if she’s at her peak, she’ll be tough to beat. Regardless, though, her 4:09.83 this morning was a season-best, and gets under last year’s NCAA invite time (though Pfeifer was already pretty well locked in via her 500 free).

TCU’s Megan Morris cut 2.6 seconds from her lifetime-best to take third place, just behind Pash. Her 4:17.72 breaks a TCU program record that had stood since 2013.


  • Big 12 Record: Karlee Bipso (Texas) – 1:42.78 (2011)
  • Big 12 Meet Record: Karlee Bipso (Texas) – 1:43.43 (2011)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:42.98
  • 2020 Champion: Bridget Semenuk (Texas) – 1:45.66

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Heckman (Texas) – 1:47.29
  2. Leibel (Texas) – 1:47.61
  3. Tierney (Texas) – 1:48.15
  4. Semenuk (Texas) – 1:48.46
  5. Buechler (WVU) – 1:49.24
  6. Winkler (WVU) – 1:49.74
  7. Campbell (Kansas) – 1:49.85
  8. Parrish (Kansas) – 1:49.90

Last year, it was freshmen Bridget Semenuk and Kyla Leibel battling for the Big 12 title in the 200 free, with another Texas freshman, Miranda Heckmanright behind. This year, all three are set up to renew that rivalry as sophomores. Heckman leads the way in 1:47.29, with Leibel a few tenths behind.

Based on relay results from day 1, both Heckman and Leibel should have lots more speed tonight. Leibel was 1:46.0 on a leadoff leg of an exhibition relay on Wednesday, while Heckman split 1:46.6 from a flying start.

Interestingly enough, though Texas swept the top four spots in this event, none of the four were on the Longhorns’ top 800 free relay night 1. Instead, they used two IMers (Kelly Pash and Evie Pfeifer), a butterflyer (Olivia Bray) and a backstroker/sprint freestyler (Julia Cook). Perhaps the biggest showdown tonight is whether any of the young Texas 200 freestylers can swim fast enough to earn a spot on that relay, perhaps allowing versatile sprinters like Bray or Cook to swim other relays at NCAAs.


  • Big 12 Record: Breeja Larson (Texas A&M) – 57.51 (2012)
  • Big 12 Meet Record: Breeja Larson (Texas A&M) – 57.92 (2012)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 58.60
  • 2020 Champion: Kate Steward (Kansas) – 1:00.34

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Elendt (Texas) – 59.22
  2. Steward (Kansas) – 1:00.95
  3. Thorson (Iowa State) – 1:01.82
  4. Dilsaver (Kansas) – 1:02.22
  5. Haas (Iowa State) – 1:02.38
  6. Hanley (Iowa State) – 1:02.96
  7. Miller (TCU) – 1:03.01
  8. Breitbach (Iowa State) – 1:03.15

This event will have the most non-Texas representation of any event so far. Freshman Anna Elendt is currently ranked #6 nationwide, and cruised a very easy 59.22 this morning for the top spot by 1.7 seconds. She should be the clear favorite tonight, and the only real question is whether she’ll challenge the 58.0 she put up at mid-season, or if she’ll be saving her top speed for NCAAs. After a 57.8 split on the medley relay last night, Elendt should at least have 58-low speed tonight.

Kansas’s Kate Steward is the second qualifier, one of two Jayhawks into the A final. Her 1:00.95 is just six tenths off her lifetime-best from this meet a year ago, a time that won her the conference title. That time set the school record, and Steward now has a chance to be the first Kansas swimmer ever under a minute in the event. Her teammate Dannie Dilsaver is #3 in school history with her 1:01.2 from last year, and she’s the fourth qualifier this morning.

Meanwhile Iowa State’s Lehr Thorson was about eight tenths off her career-best, and could challenger the Cyclone school record if she can go 1:00.4 or better tonight.


  • Big 12 Record: Claire Adams (Texas) – 50.51 (2020)
  • Big 12 Meet Record: Claire Adams (Texas) – 50.51 (2020)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 50.93
  • 2020 Champion: Claire Adams (Texas) – 51.10

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Cook (Texas) – 52.35
  2. Manning (Kansas) – 52.83
  3. Blose (Kansas) – 54.33
  4. O’Brien (TCU) – 54.52
  5. Haan (Iowa State) – 54.98
  6. Goushchi (Iowa State) – 55.07
  7. Kenchel (TCU) – 55.43
  8. Brave (Kansas) – 55.76

Texas junior Julia Cook is the top qualifier in the 100 back, going 52.35. Cook’s mid-season best (51.1) ranks #7 nationwide, and she was 51.5 on the medley relay last night.

Kansas’s Manon Manning went 52.83 for second. That’s a tenth behind what she went on the medley last night. But she’ll be pushed by her own teammate Dewi Blose, who finished third overall last year in 52.44. Both could challenge for Kansas’s school record of 52.02 from the 2010 season.

Another school record threat: TCU’s Ashleen O’Brien, who was 54.52 this morning, but was just .01 off the school record last year in 52.8.


  • BIG 12 Record: Joseph Schooling (Texas) – 43.75 (2017)
  • BIG 12 Meet Record: Joseph Schooling (Texas) – 44.06 (2017)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 45.05
  • 2020 Champion: Alvin Jiang (Texas) – 45.11

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Van Zandt (Texas) – 46.30
  2. Crane (Texas) – 46.93
  3. Kibler (Texas) – 47.09
  4. Dixon (WVU) – 47.29
  5. Sadlowski (TCU) – 47.30
  6. Jiang (Texas) – 48.04
  7. Chwaluk (TCU) – 48.22
  8. Pomajevich (Texas) – 48.32

It was a pretty sleepy morning session of the 100 fly, with only three of the top 8 finishers dropping time from seed. Freshman Zac van Zandt leads the way for Texas in 46.30, though he’s still a half-second off his mid-season time of 45.84. Last year, it took 45.9 to earn an NCAA invite, but it took 45.6 to score at the most recent edition of the NCAA Championships. With Texas up against its roster cap, van Zandt probably needs a big swim here and/or in tomorrow’s 200 fly to help solidify his NCAA bid.

Cole Crane is second in 46.93. One of the few swimmers to drop from seed was Drew Kibler, who switched from his usual 200 free to take on the fly today. Kibler was 47.09, about two tenths of a second off his career-best from his high school years.

West Virginia’s David Dixon will join the Texas crew at the top of the A final. He was 47.29 this morning, a half-second from his best. Dixon, a senior, could challenge for the school record of 46.5 tonight with a good swim.

Also of note: defending champ Alvin Jiang was well off his best time, going just 48.04 this morning. But he was the fastest in the field to 50 yards by a longshot, going out in 21.2 and coming back in 26.8. He should be much more in the mix tonight, with a shot to improve on his #4-ranked time in the NCAA this season.

MEN’S 400 IM

  • BIG 12 Record: Carson Foster (Texas) – 3:35.27 (2020)
  • BIG 12 Meet Record: Jonathan Robert (Texas) – 3:40.26 (2017)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:39.16
  • 2020 Champion: Jake Foster (Texas) – 3:43.92

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. J. Foster (Texas) – 3:40.67
  2. C. Foster (Texas) – 3:42.56
  3. Johnston (Texas) – 3:47.41
  4. Koustik (Texas) – 3:51.18
  5. Heasley (Texas) – 3:52.20
  6. Millette (TCU) – 3:54.18
  7. Bennett(WVU) – 3:54.93
  8. Chao (TCU) – 3:58.67

Texas’s Jake Foster won this event as a freshman, but he’s going to face a tougher challenge tonight from his younger brother. Carson Foster won the 200 IM last night, dropping 1.7 seconds between prelims and finals, so his 3:42.5 this morning in the 400 IM probably sets him up for a foray under 3:40 tonight. Jake, meanwhile, was 3:40.67 this morning, shaving .04 seconds off his lifetime-best.

The Fosters both rank inside the top 8 nationally this season. Carson was 3:35.21 in October and still holds the NCAA lead, though swimmers in the SEC could take a shot at that time tonight. Jake now moves up to 6th nationally after this morning, but the ranks should shift quite a bit based on the meets happening this week.

Texas swept the top five spots this morning, though Ethan Heasley appears to be an exhibition swimmer who won’t take an A final spot.


  • BIG 12 Record: Townley Haas (Texas) – 1:29.50 (2018)
  • BIG 12 Meet Record: Ricky Berens (Texas) – 1:32.01 (2009)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:32.05
  • 2020 Champion: Drew Kibler (Texas) – 1:33.66

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. P. Larson (Texas) – 1:33.26
  2. J. Larson (Texas) – 1:34.74
  3. Krueger (Texas) – 1:34.87
  4. Sannem (Texas) – 1:35.21
  5. Carrozza (Texas) – 1:35.38
  6. Bowman (Texas) – 1:35.57
  7. Tannenberger (Texas) – 1:36.40
  8. Gustafson (WVU) – 1:36.52

For the second-straight event, two brothers from the Texas Longhorns have swept the top two qualifying spots. Peter Larson would have been an NCAA qualifier as a freshman last year, but was one of eight Texas invitees left home to get the team under the 18-person roster cap. Larson is making a strong case for an NCAA bid this year, though, already going under his 2019-2020 best of 1:33.6 in three separate swims this season.

Larson was 1:33.5 at the mid-season Texas Invite, and led off an 800 free relay this week in 1:33.5. Now, Larson went 1:33.2 this morning to claim the top spot. It took 1:32.9 to score at the most recent edition of the NCAA Championships. With his time this morning, Larson would move to 13th in the NCAA ranks, pending results of other meets this week and next. He could also earn a spot on Texas’s 800 free relay, perenially a national powerhouse. Larson outsplit the slowest leg of Texas’s A 800 free relay earlier this week.

His older brother JohnThomas Larson was second in 1:34.74, also bettering his lifetime-best by two tenths of a second.

Behind them, sprinter Daniel Krueger, the conference 50 free champ, was 1:34.8 this morning. Jake Sannem went 1:35.21, but should be faster tonight after his 1:32.8 split on the 800 free relay a few days ago. And keep an eye on freshman Coby Carrozza, who was 1:35.3 this morning, but won the 500 free yesterday after dropping almost five seconds from prelims to finals. Carrozza split 1:33.9 on a relay on day 1.


  • BIG 12 Record: Will Licon (Texas) – 50.68 (2017)
  • BIG 12 Meet Record: Will Licon (Texas) – 51.15 (2017)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 51.67
  • 2020 Champion: Caspar Corbeau (Texas) – 52.55

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Corbeau (Texas) – 52.38
  2. Scheinfeld (Texas) – 52.71
  3. Silins (TCU) – 53.13
  4. DeGrado (Texas) – 53.82
  5. Borgstrom (Texas) – 54.01
  6. McPherson (TCU) – 54.17
  7. Huerta (WVU) – 54.49
  8. Schaefer (WVU) – 55.44

Sophomore Caspar Corbeau will seek his second-straight Big 12 title tonight after going 52.38 in prelims. Corbeau was 51.4 at mid-season last year, but just 51.9 so far this season. Getting his speed back to freshman year levels will be key for Texas, which probably needs  a 50-point breaststroke leg for their medley relay to keep pace with Cal at NCAAs.

Charlie Scheinfeld was 52.71 for the Longhorns. He time-trialed a 52.3 earlier this week, but really needs to get back to his freshman year 51.4 form to make the NCAA team. He was a likely cut last year after sneaking under the invite line in the 100 breast, but not projecting as a scorer.

TCU’s Janis Silins is the school record-holder via his 52.7 from last year, and he’s in the mix to break that record again this year. Silins went 53.1 this morning and sits third.


  • BIG 12 Record: John Shebat (Texas) – 44.35 (2017)
  • BIG 12 Meet Record: Alvin Jiang (Texas) – 44.95 (2020)
  • 2020 NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 44.95
  • 2020 Champion: Alvin Jiang (Texas) – 44.95

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Staka (Texas) – 45.53
  2. Katz (Texas) – 46.73
  3. Harder (Texas) – 46.96
  4. Jiang (Texas) – 47.25
  5. Varga (TCU) – 48.12
  6. Heimes (WVU) – 48.77
  7. van Wyk (WVU) – 48.80
  8. Knoch (TCU) – 49.04

Chris Staka leads the way for Texas here in 45.53. That’s only about three tenths off his medley relay leadoff (45.2) from last night. Staka has served as the team’s top backstroker so far this year, and it remains to be seen if former NCAA champ Austin Katz can return to form. Katz was 46.7 this morning after leading off a relay in 46.3. Neither of those times is likely to earn an NCAA invite, although Katz is probably safely in via the 200 back, where he’s been six tenths under last year’s invite time. Even if Katz does earn an invite, though, he’s far from the 44.9 form of 2019, and Texas could really use Katz back to full strength in the sprints for the sake of their medley relays.

Texas grabbed the top four spots here. Defending conference champ Alvin Jiang pulled the same move he did in the 100 fly this morning, going out with blazing speed (a field-best 21.7 here) and cruising home to a 47.25 for fourth overall. Jiang was 45.1 earlier this year, and is still favored to win tonight.

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1 year ago

2020 and COVID seem to have taken their toll on the Longhorn women with the exception of Evie P.

Hooked them
Reply to  Skloss
1 year ago

What happened last year?

And the year before?

And the year before?

Maybe COVID was in the US as early as 2017??

1 year ago

Katz already has his invite time in the 200 back, with a B cut in the 100. I would expect he is not close to tapered so the worry about his form probably isn’t warranted.

Wanna Sprite
1 year ago

Considering that Corbeau’s 51.9 swim came from an intersquad meet, and based on his longcourse swims Id say he’s certainly capable of going faster at NCAAs

Last edited 1 year ago by Wanna Sprite
1 year ago

The article says that Will Licon still holds the Big Xll record in the 400 IM at 3:36 but it also acknowledges Carson Foster’s 3:35 from October. Is that just a mistake in the article or was his swim not valid for some reason?

Reply to  KimJongSpoon
1 year ago

Good question, it counted as a NAG I thought so should be recognized for Big 12, unless that the conference MEET record

Reply to  KimJongSpoon
1 year ago

I believe that’s the meet record

Reply to  yaboi
1 year ago

INah, they changed it. I think it was just an oversight somehow.

1 year ago

Texas, swimming fast…
-in off events
-mostly not tapered
-not swimming/scoring key role players (Vines, Zettle, Heasley, Peter LArson, Artmann, Couchon, Degrado)

-And would still be neck and neck with Florida in the SEC team race.

Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

Lotta negativity about the ‘Horns in the writeup, when it’s obvious that the pre-qualified guys are dog-tired. See you in Greensboro. #hookem

Reply to  Stewie
1 year ago

Lol you actually think that Texas would be competitive with these times at SECs? For the team title?

Never underestimate the dillusions of a Texas Longhorn alum. That’s wild y’all.

Reply to  actualreader
1 year ago

Texas doesn’t care about being competitive at any meet other than NCAAs. That’s the difference – they want to be fast when it counts. Let me know in a few weeks which SEC teams were better than Texas in Greensboro…

Reply to  actualreader
1 year ago

I would encourage you to not do the math on this, you will not like the results

Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

After this week wraps up, we’re actually going to do a lot of “cross conference” swimulating, so we’ll all find out soon enough :-).

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

How will you handle diving? Just ignore it?

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

You going to just pull all finals times and resort? I had trouble estimating since some guys in the C finals at SEC would sometimes swim A finals times, and Texas guys obviously had slow prelim times. So I ended up just slotting UT’s finals times into the A/B/C finals times for SEC’s and adjusting the points. That’s obviously imperfect. I had FLA 372, TX 337, GA 278.5, ATM 202 through Day 2 events without 200 free relay and 400 medley relay. No diving. But then I didn’t count Texas guys that swam exhibition that didn’t swim finals, didn’t count Jiang’s 50 free time trial that would have scored….

It’s messy

Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

I agree. Texas is unbelievably set up well for Greensboro. What a talented squad Eddie has!

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Guerra
1 year ago

It’s unfortunate Eddie wasn’t younger and could have coached under Ray Looze for a few seasons. 🙂

swim man
1 year ago

Kibler is swimming the 100 Fly though

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 …

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