2023 Big 12 Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


After the University of Texas swept the relays on the opening night of the Big 12 Championships Wednesday, the first full day of competition from the Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center in Austin gets underway this morning with heats in the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free.

Defending champions will be out in full force on Day 2, as all six of the individual winners from the 2022 champions will seek successful title defenses in their respective events.

On the women’s side, Erica Sullivan will look to go back-to-back in the 500 free, holding the nation’s #1 time this season at 4:35.88, while Kelly Pash (200 IM) and Grace Cooper (50 free) will also go for repeat victories.

An intriguing race is cooking in the men’s 500 free, where Texas junior Coby Carrozza comes in as the defending champion but he’ll have to battle teammates David JohnstonLuke Hobson and Alec Enyeart.

Carrozza was 1:32.65 on the ‘A’ squad and Hobson split 1:32.29 with a flying start. Johnston, who is perhaps the most distance-oriented among the quartet, had a strong split as well at 1:33.81.

We also can’t overlook Enyeart, a freshman, who set a best time of 4:14.21 at the Minnesota Invite to place second to Johnston (4:13.54) while beating Hobson (4:16.80).

Meanwhile, Carson Foster will go for a three-peat in the men’s 200 IM, and Daniel Krueger aims to go five straight in the 50 free.

Women’s Team Scores Thru Day 1

  1. University of Texas – 80
  2. West Virginia University – 66
  3. Iowa State University / Texas Christian University – 62
  4. University of Kansas – 58

Men’s Team Scores Thru Day 1

  1. University of Texas – 139
  2. Texas Christian University – 116
  3. West Virginia University – 75

Women’s 500 Freestyle – Prelims

  • NCAA Record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky (STAN) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Record: 4:35.02, Evie Pfeifer (TEX) – 2021 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Championship Record: 4:36.35, Evie Pfeifer (TEX) – 2021
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:35.76
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 4:43.08
  1. Erica Sullivan (TEX), 4:45.16
  2. Olivia Bray (TEX), 4:47.69
  3. Abby Pfeifer (TEX), 4:49.78
  4. Jordan Edwards (TCU), 4:50.82
  5. Olivia McMurray (TEX), 4:51.44
  6. Abby Reardon (WVU), 4:52.80
  7. Brinley Horras (ISU), 4:53.32
  8. Mary Smutny (TEX), 4:53.55

Texas sophomore Erica Sullivan cruised to the top seed in the women’s 500 freestyle, touching in 4:45.16 to win the last heat and advance well clear of the rest of the field into tonight’s final.

Sullivan is the defending Big 12 champion and leads the NCAA this season with her showing of 4:35.88 from the Longhorns’ dual with NC State in late January.

Her junior teammate Olivia Bray, who is coming off of setting a best time of 4:40.80 at The Sterkel Classic in early February, led Heat 2 in a time of 4:47.69 to qualify second overall, while Longhorn sophomore Abby Pfeifer joined them sub-4:50 in 4:49.78 for third.

A total of five Texas swimmers will be in the ‘A’ final, with Olivia McMurray (4:51.44) and Mary Smutny (4:53.55), who were third and fourth last year, advancing in fifth and eighth, respectively.

TCU’s Jordan Edwards set a lifetime best of 4:50.82 to qualify fourth overall, having raced in the ‘B’ final last year.

Men’s 500 Freestyle – Prelims

  • NCAA Record: 4:06.32, Kieran Smith (FLOR) – 2020 SEC Championships
  • Big 12 Record: 4:08.19, Townley Haas (TEX) – 2019 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Championship Record: 4:11.11, Clark Smith (TEX) – 2017
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:11.40
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 4:14.96
  1. Alex Zettle (TEX), 4:15.04
  2. Luke Hobson (TEX), 4:16.18
  3. Jackson Huckabay (TEX), 4:16.31
  4. Coby Carrozza (TEX), 4:20.04
  5. David Johnston (TEX), 4:20.25
  6. Alec Enyeart (TEX), 4:21.96
  7. Milan Fabian (TCU), 4:25.13
  8. William Mullen (WVU), 4:27.68

Texas senior Alex Zettle grabbed the bull by the horns in the opening heat of the men’s 500 free, soaring to a massive season-best time of 4:15.04 to take the top seed into tonight’s final.

Zettle has been 4:13 on four different occasions, most recently the 2022 NCAA Championships (4:13.88), but had only been 4:25.62 so far this season at the Minnesota Invite. His swim this morning puts him within a tenth of what it took to earn an invite to last year’s NCAA meet (4:14.96).

Longhorn sophomores Luke Hobson and Jackson Huckabay had a close battle in the second heat, with Hobson holding his teammate off to qualify second into the final in 4:16.18. Hobson owns a season-best of 4:13.82 from late January.

Huckabay orchestrated a massive time drop, closing strong (50.73) to touch in 4:16.31, knocking more than five seconds off his previous best of 4:21.61 from the Minnesota Invite in December.

Texas will occupy the middle six lanes in the final as Coby Carrozza (4:20.04), David Johnston (4:20.25) and Alec Enyeart (4:21.96) cruised through in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

TCU sophomore Milan Fabian, who was 10th in his freshman year, clocked 4:25.13 to take seventh, with his PB sitting at 4:21.36 from November 2021.

Women’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • NCAA Record: 1:50.08, Alex Walsh (UVA) – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Record: 1:52.58, Madisyn Cox (TEX) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Championship Record: 1:52.82, Madisyn Cox (TEX) – 2017
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:53.66
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:56.85
  1. Kelly Pash (TEX), 1:55.72
  2. Emma Sticklen (TEX), 2:00.88
  3. Dakota Luther (TEX), 2:01.11
  4. Jacqueline McCutchan (WVU), 2:01.21
  5. Lucia Rizzo (ISU), 2:01.23
  6. Trinity Kay (ISU), 2:01.66
  7. Mia Cheatwood (WVU), 2:01.77
  8. Channing Hanley (TEX), 2:01.91

It was a relatively sleepy preliminary in the women’s 200 IM, with only one swimmer breaking 2:00 after four did so in last year’s heats.

However, the one athlete that did go sub-2:00 did so by a wide margin, as defending champion Kelly Pash produced a very solid time of 1:55.72, within two seconds of her season-best of 1:53.81.

Pash was the fastest swimmer in the field on the breast (34.36) and free legs (28.11), while junior teammate Emma Sticklen, who qualified second in 2:00.88, was out a bit faster at the 100-yard mark (53.01 to 53.25) but shut things down after that.

Sticklen set a best time of 1:54.70 in late January, a swim that ranks her ninth in the NCAA (Pash is sixth).

Texas graduate senior Dakota Luther topped the first circle-seeded heat in 2:01.11 to qualify third, while WVU senior Jacqueline McCutchan clocked a lifetime best of 2:01.21 to advance in fourth.

McCutchan, who finished 11th last year, came into the meet with a personal best time of 2:02.15 from the WVU Invite in November.

Joining McCutchan in upgrading from the consolation final last year into the big heat were Iowa State fifth-year Lucia Rizzo (2:01.23) and Texas sophomore Channing Hanley (2:01.91), who finished 16th and 14th in 2022, respectively.

Men’s 200 IM – Prelims

  • NCAA Record: 1:37.69, Leon Marchand (ASU) – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Record: 1:39.63, John Shebat (TEX) – 2019 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Championship Record: 1:41.32, Carson Foster (TEX) – 2021
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:41.22
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:43.36
  1. Carson Foster (TEX), 1:42.04
  2. Jake Foster (TEX), 1:43.31
  3. Braden Vines (TEX), 1:43.62
  4. Caspar Corbeau (TEX), 1:44.94
  5. Danny Berlitz (WVU), 1:45.77
  6. Alec Filipovic (TEX), 1:46.49
  7. Geremia Freri (TCU), 1:46.75
  8. Holden Smith (TEX), 1:46.78

Carson Foster rattled off a season-best time of 1:42.04 to pace the field in the men’s 200 IM, coming within seven-tenths of his meet record set in 2021.

The two-time defending champion, Foster blasted the first 100 yards with 21.80/24.77 splits on fly and back, and then appeared to shut things down as he dips under his 1:42.68 showing from the SMU Classic and moves into seventh in the NCAA this season.

His older brother Jake Foster also set a new season-best in 1:43.31, using the field’s fastest breaststroke split (29.02) to win the penultimate heat and qualify second for the final.

Fifth-year Braden Vines (1:43.62) and senior Caspar Corbeau (1:44.94) also set new season-best times to make it a clean sheet for Texas swimmers in the top four, and they were joined by freshman Alec Filipovic (1:46.49) and sophomore Holden Smith (1:46.78) as the Longhorns put six up in the ‘A’ final.

WVU’s Danny Berlitz, a transfer out of Michigan, swam his fastest time since the 2021 Big Tens in 1:45.77 to qualify fifth into the final, while TCU’s Geremia Freri came within .05 of his PB to advance in seventh.

Women’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims

  • NCAA Record: 20.83, Gretchen Walsh (UVA) – 2023 ACC Championships
  • Big 12 Record: 21.73, Rebecca Millard (TEX) / Grace Ariola (TEX) – 2017 / 2018
  • Big 12 Championship Record: 21.87, Hee-Jin Chang (TEX) – 2009
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 21.66
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 22.16
  1. Grace Cooper (TEX), 22.25
  2. Bridget Semenuk (TEX), 22.47
  3. Ava Longi (TEX), 22.59
  4. Kyla Leibel (TEX), 22.61
  5. Olivia Rhodes (TCU), 22.88
  6. Sienna Schellenger (TEX) / Dewi Blose (KANS) / Ada Szwabinska (TEX), 23.17

The only swimmer in the conference sub-22 this season, Texas’ Grace Cooper led the women’s 50 free prelims by over two-tenths in 22.25, leading a Longhorn squad that went 1-2-3-4 in the heats.

Bridget Semenuk (22.47), Ava Longi (22.59) and Kyla Leibel (22.61) sit second, third and fourth, with Longi’s time marking a new personal best, having previously been 22.69 at the Minnesota Invitational in December.

TCU sophomore Olivia Rhodes was fifth last season and qualified in the same position this morning, matching her personal best time from November 2021 in 22.88.

There was a three-way tie for sixth, as Texas freshmen Sienna Schellenger and Ada Szwabinska clocked 23.17 along with Kansas’ Dewi Blose, who makes the ‘A’ final after placing ninth last season.

Men’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims

  • NCAA Record: 17.63, Caeleb Dressel (FLOR) – 2018 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Record: 18.60, Drew Kibler (TEX) – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • Big 12 Championship Record: 18.76, Joseph Schooling (TEX) – 2017
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 18.88
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 19.28
  1. Peter Larson (TEX), 19.45
  2. Daniel Krueger (TEX), 19.73
  3. Will Chan (TEX), 19.75
  4. Charlie Crosby (TEX), 19.80
  5. Conner McBeth (WVU), 19.82
  6. Sam Artmann (TEX), 19.91
  7. Kobe Ndebele (TEX), 20.01
  8. Jadon Wuilliez (TCU), 20.15

After establishing a personal best time in the 200 free leading off Texas’ ‘B’ relay last night, senior Peter Larson fell just shy of doing so once again in the heats of the men’s 50 free, clocking 19.45 to come .04 back of the 19.41 he produced at the Minnesota Invite.

Larson was followed by a sea of Longhorn teammates as Texas will occupy six of the eight lanes in tonight’s ‘A’ final.

Four-time defending champion Daniel Krueger qualified second in 19.73, as the fifth-year senior owns the conference’s top time this season at 19.40.

Will Chan swam a season-best of 19.75 for third, while Charlie Crosby sits fourth (19.80), having been as fast as 19.54 this season.

WVU sophomore Conner McBeth, who placed ninth last year as a freshman, broke 20 seconds for the first time in 19.82 to advance in fifth.

According to the results, TCU’s Milan Fabian was disqualified for a false start after producing a time of 20.12, though he was swimming the race as exhibition so the result didn’t impact the picture for finals.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 months ago

This meet is a joke

9 months ago

Erica Sullivan would’ve been 13th after prelims at Pac-12s with that time.

Claire Curzan Fan
9 months ago

Mens 50 free slower than winter juniors east 😭

9 months ago

Someone cancel this meet already…

Reply to  Bud
9 months ago

I mean, you don’t have to watch it…

9 months ago

Peter Larson is discount Drew Kibler. Can perform in the 50-500 although at a lower level (obviously)

On a side note, Texas’s mid D free depth never ceases to amaze me. They could very well have 6 guys under 4:12 and that doesn’t include Peter Larson.

My guess is that Vines and Corbeau are trying to punch their ticket in the 200 IM as well

Last edited 9 months ago by Andrew
Reply to  Andrew
9 months ago

Caspar has A cut in the 100 breast so he’s already good with his 200 IM B cut

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
9 months ago

It definitely feels easy to understand why they’re going to the SEC.

BB Aggie '91
Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
9 months ago

I think the conference switch has everything to do with football (maybe basketball, baseball a little). Nothing to do with swimming & diving.

Reply to  BB Aggie '91
9 months ago

Football and $$$

Michael Andrew Wilson
9 months ago

Jackson Huckabay 4:16 👀👀 Not gonna make any noise nationally with that, but it sure bodes well for next year.

9 months ago

Rhetorical Question: Does it help or hurt to not have a competitive conference meet? Are men different than women? Will moving to SEC help or hurt them? Does it vary by events? Relays?

Reply to  MCH
9 months ago

“Does it hurt or help” – I think it helps and some ways and hurts in others. I think the net outcome of help or hurt depends on what you can get your team to buy into – which probably isn’t even consistent for a team from year-to-year.

Reply to  Braden Keith
9 months ago

I’ve been thinking about the same thing. Would love to see a Swimswam podcast debating it! Will Texas and all the SEC schools go “all in” on Conference? I’m assuming now Texas tries to get as many NCAA cuts at Mid-Season and then they train through Conference more than the SEC schools?

Reply to  OTS
9 months ago

Why go all in when your goal is the National Title and most of your guys have their cuts? Honest question.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »