2023 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS (MEN’S FAN GUIDE)
- Wednesday, February 22 – Saturday, February 25, 2023
- Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center, Austin, TX
- Defending Champions:
- Women: Texas (10x)
- Men: Texas (26x)
- Live Results
- Live Video
- Championship Central
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
- 1-Meter Diving
- 200 Medley Relay (Timed Finals)
- 800 Free Relay (Timed Finals)
- 500 Free
- 200 IM
- 50 Free
- Men’s 3-Meter Diving
- 400 Medley Relay (Timed Finals)
- 100 Fly
- 400 IM
- 200 Free
- 100 Breast
- 100 Back
- Women’s 3-Meter Diving
- 200 Free Relay (Timed Finals)
- 200 Back
- 100 Free
- 1650 Free (Timed Finals)
- 200 Breast
- 200 Fly
- Platform Diving
- 400 Free Relay (Timed Finals)
2022 FINAL STANDINGS
- Texas – 1033
- TCU – 828
- West Virginia – 788
Texas won their 26th-straight conference title last year, once again dominating the three-team conference. The Longhorns were on their way to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Meanwhile, TCU continued to show progress under head coach James Winchester. The Horned Frogs notched a second-place finish at Big 12s, then went on to finish third at the National Invitational Championships. Additionally, TCU sent three athletes to men’s NCAAs, marking a big step forward for the program.
West Virginia came in a close third to TCU, finishing just 40 points behind. The Mountaineers sent two athletes of their own to NCAAs last season as well.
SWIMMERS TO WATCH
Texas: Carson Foster (Jr. – Back/IM), David Johnston (Jr. – Free/IM), Andrew Harness (Sr. – Diving), Luke Hobson (So. – Free), Will Chan (5th – Breast)
In reality, a “swimmers to watch” section would feature nearly every member of the Texas roster, but we’ll just list a few of the most notable returners for the Longhorns.
Let’s start with someone who will actually be swimming in his first Big 12 Championships. Will Chan, a 5th year graduate transfer from Michigan, is looking to provide a breaststroke boost to Texas. Chan was a three-time All-Big Ten team member during his time at Michigan. His personal best of 50.95 in the 100 breast could end up being huge for Texas both here and at NCAAs.
Of course, there’s also Carson Foster. Last year, Foster won the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 back at Big 12s. He went on to finish second in the 200 back, third in the 400 IM, and sixth in the 200 IM at NCAAs.
Distance swimmer David Johnston was excellent last year as well, winning the 1650 free, taking third in the 500, and third in the 400 IM. Johnston went on to earn All-American (top eight) status in all three events at NCAAs as well.
Luke Hobson had an incredible freshman season last year. He came in second in the 500 free at Big 12s, finished fourth in the 200 free, and was again second in the 1650. Hobson was third in the 500 at NCAAs, also scoring in the 200 free and 1650.
There’s also senior diver Andrew Harness, who is perhaps the top diver in the conference currently. At Big 12s last year, Harness won 3-meter and platform, also finishing second in 1-meter.
TCU: Raphael Paiva (Jr. – Free), David Ekdahl (So. – diving), Geremia Freri (So. – Free/IM), Jadon Wuilliez (So. – Free/Breast)
The Horned Frogs bring in an excellent sophomore class to this year’s championships. Jadon Wuilliez finished fourth in the 50 free, eighth in the 100 free, and second in the 100 breast last year as a freshman. Wuilliez is currently ranked fourth in the conference in the 100 breast this season.
Sophomore diver David Ekdahl was exceptional last year as a freshman, winning 1-meter diving, taking second in 3-meter, and finishing eighth in platform. We can expect improvement from his freshman to sophomore year, so Ekdahl is primed to be a huge impact here.
Geremia Freri, another sophomore, managed a fifth-place finish in the 500 free, fourth in the 400 IM, and third in the 1650 free last year as a freshman.
Junior Raphael Paiva is ranked well in the sprint events in the conference this year. As we head into these championships, Paiva is fifth in the 50 free and seventh in the 100 free within the Big 12 this season.
West Virginia: Brendan Williams (Jr. – Free), William Mullen (Jr. – Free/IM), Justin Heimes (Back)
Juniors Brendan Williams and William Mullen were a solid 1-2 punch in the free events last year for the Mountaineers. As sophomores, both swimmers made the ‘A’ final of the 500 free, where Mullen took seventh and Williams eighth. Mullen also took fourth in the 1650 free and tenth in the 400 IM. Meanwhile, Williams notched a seventh-place finish in the 200 free and seventh in the 1650 free.
Justin Heimes is a great backstroker for the Mountaineers. Last year, Heimes took third in the 100 back and 200 back. He looks set for another pair of high finishes in the back events again this year.
The mile could turn out to be a really fun race to watch. Longhorn freshman Alec Enyeart has already been 14:43.39 this season, which he swam at mid-season and currently ranks eighth in the NCAA this season. We can expect to see David Johnston, one of the premier milers in the NCAA currently, as well as Luke Hobson, in the event at this meet as well. Neither Johnston nor Hobson has swum the 1650 yet this season, so if they want to compete in the event at NCAAs, they’ll have to swim it this week.
On a similar note, the 500 free should be a fun race as well, seen as Texas has a ton of great 500 freestylers. Last year, Coby Carrozza won the event in 4:13.31, beating Luke Hobson by less than a second. David Johnston and Peter Larson were right behind Hobson at third and fourth.
Alec Enyeart enters the mix this year as well, having already swum a 4:14.21 this season. Interestingly, Longhorn Carson Foster is the top Texas swimmer in the 500 this season, having swim a 4:10.31 at the Minnesota Invite.
It’s also worth noting that TCU’s Geremia Freri was fifth in the event last year with a 4:16.93, so if he can improve on that time a little bit this year, Freri could easily find himself right in the thick of it this time around.
Regardless of who ends up swimming the event this week, this should be one of the most exciting races to watch.
Anytime Carson Foster swims the 400 IM, it’s worth tuning in. Foster won the event in a new meet record of 3:37.72 last year and has already been 3:38.79 this season. His brother, Jake Foster, was second last year at 3:40.42, while David Johnston came in third at 3:43.61.
Johnston has been significantly faster than that time already this season, having swum a 3:39.36 at mid-season. Jake Foster has been 3:41.97 already this season.
- West Virginia
We’re going with a repeat of last year’s results. Of course, men’s Big 12s is always a relatively tight meet because there are only three teams, which makes it difficult for there to be too much space between the teams. That being said, Texas is absolutely en route to a 27th-straight conference title.
TCU lost a few key contributors from last year, however, West Virginia lost some of their top swimmers as well. In all, it doesn’t look like there was enough movement on either side for us to change the order from last year.
This is the year Vic Riggs and WVU upset the Longhorns!
Will they have a live video feed?
I wish I knew.
Did it ever become clear what happened to Zac Van Zandt? It looks like he fell off the roster at some point recently. Would’ve been very helpful for Texas to have him this season, but I hope all is well with him.
Is BigXIIs going to become a dual meet in two years?
Conference is actually getting way bigger shortly. It’ll be a better meet with Houston, Cincinnati, & BYU all coming in.
There’s going to be one interesting overlap year, then Texas is gone. Curious to see how that overlap shakes out.
I’m not a betting man, but I wonder if Vegas has odds that Texas mens will win the title.
They do not.
Even if they did carry college swimming odds, the line would be so ridiculous as to be meaningless. A $1000 bet would earn you 25 cents. That sort of risk profile is not really great for sports books, especially in smaller sports where tampering is relatively-easy to do. They’d take one $100 bet, a couple of Texas guys with NCAA cuts would get together and catch themselves some COVID, and the book would owe millions.
Foster lineup predictions
500fr 400IM 200fly
Last year was weird. Not sure if it was COVID related or travel team size limitations or what but Texas couldn’t bring a good chunk of their team to West Virginia for Big 12s. Those swimmers left behind then had their taper meet at ‘American Short Course Champs’ which was impossible to follow. Will be nice to see how the whole team performs after the year of hard work.
The surest bet in sports!
You can $1000 to win $.01