University of Texas junior Catherine Wagner, a Finance major, is leading our coverage on the Big 12 Championships this week.
Night 2 of the Big 12 Championships went very much according to plan, with the exception of a relay disqualification for the University of Texas men. The Texas men and women stormed to very comfortable leads, winning every event except for two. The West Virginia women had some very impressive performances and proved the relatively unknown strength of their distance group.
Women’s 500 Freestyle
West Virginia made their presence known in the Big 12 as Rachael Burnett kicked off the first individual event in meet-record-setting fashion with a time of 4:38.40. Burnett’s performance also would have won the Pac 12 against a very stacked field, consisting of the likes of Haley Anderson and Bonnie Brandon. She was followed by Texas All-American Kelsey LeNeave in second (4:43.27) and fellow Mountaineer Amanda Nugent in third (4:43.65).
Men’s 500 Freestyle
There was never any doubt that Texas would win this race, the question was who from Texas would win this race. In the end, Michael McBroom came away with the victory, improving his time from Nationals to a 4:14.42 which would have placed 4th at the Big 10 Championships taking place this evening. Second was Jake Ritter, achieving an ‘A’ cut in 4:15.85. Rounding out the top 3 was Clay Youngquist in 4:17.64.
Women’s 200 Individual Medley
Skylar Smith from Texas owned this 200 IM from the very beginning as she put up a personal best time of 1:57.12 for the win. Laura Sogar was second, thanks to an incredible 32.18 breaststroke split leading to a final time of 1:58.64. West Virginia continued an excellent night of swimming with Breanna McCann’s third place finish of 1:59.47.
Men’s 200 Individual Medley
Once again, Texas swept the medals with a 1-2-3 finish by Austin Surhoff (1:43.59), Dax Hill (1:45.33), and Conor Swanson (1:47.19). Surhoff’s time would have placed him 5th at SECs and is also good for the 5th fastest time in the country this year. Dax Hill proved he could potentially swim this event at NCAA’s instead of the 50 free, a move that actually makes sense given the absence of Nick D’Innocenzo this season and by putting up a time that places him in the national top 20. We will have to wait and see what Eddie Reese decides positions Hill to score valuable team points at NCAA’s.
Women’s 50 Freestyle
The Texas women have always had a very strong sprint group, and this year has been no exception. Ellen Lobb, the reigning Big 12 champion in this event, defended her title in 22.27 seconds. She was followed by Texas teammates Kelsey Amundsen and Bethany Adams, with times of 22.57 and 22.61, respectively. Lobb’s time was a hair slower than what she went at Nationals in December, but it is unlikely that all of the Longhorns are fully rested for this meet. TCU’s Sabine Rasch just missed the top 3 with her fourth place effort of 22.65.
Men’s 50 Freestyle
Not to be outdone by the women’s sprint group, the Texas men answered with a sweep of their own. Junior Charlie Moore touched first in 19.73, Madison Wenzler was second in 19.80, and John Murray third in 19.82. Although Moore was slightly slower than this morning, his prelims time of 19.66 puts him at a tie for 13th in the nation.
Women’s 1 mtr Diving
In what became the trend of the evening, the Texas Longhorns swept the 1 meter diving led by redshirt junior Maren Taylor en route to her 3rd career Big 12 title. Texas freshman Meaghan Houston and senior Samantha Holland placed second and third.
Women’s 400 Medley Relay
The Lady Longhorns were once again victorious, as the quartet of Sarah Denninghoff, Laura Sogar, Gretchen Jaques, and Ellen Lobb cruised to an easy win in a time of 3:32.75. They were slightly faster than the performance from Nationals, and have now jumped Florida in the national rankings as they move to 9th overall. Denninghoff’s 52.20 backstroke leadoff also moves her up to 9th in the country, and she will be looking to improve this time tomorrow in the individual event. Second place went to West Virginia (3:38.56). Finishing third was the Iowa State in 3:42.92.
Men’s 400 Medley Relay
The West Virginia foursome Andrew Marsh, Christopher Brill, Julien Vialette, and Nathon Cobbe came away with a victory in the final event of the night in a time of 3:17.99. Actually, they were the only team to score points in this as Texas and TCU both were disqualified. Notable splits include Texas’ Patrick Murphy’s 46.89 backstroke leadoff and Tripp Cooper’s 46.64 butterfly leg.
Team Scores after the end of Day 2:
1. University of Texas 318
2. West Virginia University 217
3. Texas Christian University 181
4. Iowa State University 175.5
5. University of Kansas 155.5
1. University of Texas 326
2. West Virginia University 253
3. Texas Christian University 204