New Texas head women’s coach Carol Capitani didn’t have a big freshman class coming in to swim with her this year, but she’s supplemented that group with now her second transfer of the summer, after Arizona’s Sarah Denninghoff announced that she would be headed to Austin.
Denninghoff won 11 All-American awards in her first two years of college swimming at the University of Arizona, including a 4th-place finish in the 100 back at the 2012 NCAA Championships. After informing the Wildcats coaches that she would be transferring shortly after the Olympic Trials, she was quick to make her decision on a new home.
Her best times in the two backstroke events of 51.33 and 1:52.49 makes her easily capable of 25-or-more individual points at NCAA’s, and will give returning Longhorn Lily Moldenhauer and incoming Oregon State transfer Shelby Webber in a beefed-up Longhorn backstroke group.
Denninghoff is also a very good sprint freestyler, with bests of 22.71 and 48.59, respectively (but with much faster relay splits). The new coaching staff of Capitani and Roric Fink both come from programs with incredible freestylers (Georgia, and Missouri with Shara Stafford, respectively). Denninghoff could expect to make serious improvements in those races as well.
She probably can’t quite replace the points lost by the graduation of Karlee Bispo, one of the best swimmers in the country last year, but she will definitely help as Capitani focuses this fall on bringing in her first recruiting class.