Longhorn’s Depth Showcased at Big 12 Day Two Prelim


Last night’s relay session saw the Kansas women and West Virginia men taking second in both the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays, giving them a jump on the competition for a second place team finish behind the power of the Texas Longhorns.  The Big 12 is smaller in swimming than the other major sports conferences, causing many fans to pay more attention to the internal races of the Longhorn roster. The traditional depth they carry can give this meet the flavor of an inter-squad, where we get a sneak peek at the performances that will help shape the UT championship roster for NCAA’s.

Thursday events include the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 400 medley relay, and the women’s 1-meter diving.


The top three women heading into the final for the 500 turned in B cuts.  In 1st and 3rd place are a pair of freshman representing the Longhorns, Joanna Evans and Quinn Carrozza.  Evans turned in a 4:42.88, which is a slight drop from her previous season best performed at the UT Hall of Fame meet in December.  Carrozza added slightly from her December swim at that meet with a 4:44.44.  Between them, less than two tenths behind Evans, is Kansas senior Chelsie Miller whose 4:43.07 crushes any lifetime best we can find in the database, and sets a new Team Record for the Jayhawks by almost five seconds.  It will be interesting to see if she can repeat this inspired effort to take a win for Kansas in tonight’s final.  West Virginia’s Emma Skelley (4:51.47,) TCU’s Mikayla Winkler (4:52.61,) Texas’ Maggie D’Innocenzo (4:53.97,) Kansas’ Sammie Schurig (4:56.45) and WVU’s Georgia Baldus (4:56.52) will complete the rest of the A-final heat tonight after removing Texas’ lone B roster swimmer, Erin Yeager (4:55.81) from the heat.


Texas placed six swimmers, five with B cuts, in the top eight of the 500.  Two of them of course come from their B roster, which opens the door for two athletes from TCU to compete in the A-final tonight.  UT’s Clark Smith cruised to a 4:16.53 in the prelim, 7.53 seconds behind his nation-leading 4:08.83 from December. Jonathan Roberts (4:19.78,) Townley Haas (4:20.01) and Jeff Newkirk (4:21.37) will swim in the rest of the middle lanes of the A-final with only Newkirk’s time from prelims being a season-best by .98.  TCU brings three back for the fast heat, all with swims faster than their seed-times, with Connor Dobbs at 4:27.29, Matthew Spallas at 4:31.91 and Rhorer Legendre at 4:31.99.  WVU’s Chris McMahon improved to 4:31.88 to also make the A-final, finishing 8th over-all in the prelim.


UT’s Madisyn Cox and Nora McCullagh will be the top seeds in tonight’s final.  Cox was about a second and a half behind her NCAA-leading 1:54.29 from December, at 1:55.83.  McCullagh was closer to her seed time at 1:59.87.  Iowa State landed two in the A-final on a third place prelim 2:00.70 from Kasey Roberts and 5th place 2:02.22 from Marissa Engel.  Roberts dropped a little from her season best this morning, but her lifetime best is the Cyclones Team Record 2:00.29 she set last year at this meet. Texas’ Jordan Surhoff finished 4th with 2:02.22.  KU’s Pia Pavlic (2:02.86) and TCU’s Devin Newton (2:03.11) each landed spots in the A-final with significant season bests for 6th and 7th, while Texas’ Bethany Leap claimed lane 8 for tonight with 2:04.04.


Will Licon moved up to 6th in the NCAA so far this year with his 1:43.22 to lead Longhorns to 7 of the top 9 preliminary swims.  Teammates Will Glass (1:45.41,) John Shebat (1:46.09,) and Ryan Harty (1:46.17) will join him to fill the top four spots in the A-final tonight.  West Virginia’s Nate Carr and TCU’s Carlos Hunnicutt turned in 1:47.26 and 1:47.46 respectively to claim the overall 5th and 6th place times of the prelim. After subtracting the UT swimmers over the limit, TCU’s Tommy Thach (1:50.39) and WVU’s Jake Iotte (1:51.21) will complete the A-final line-up.


Texas was the only team landing a sub-23 sprinter in this morning’s prelim, landing four of them led by a 22.35 from Rebecca Millard.  Mimi Schneider (22.47,) Remedy Rule (22.80,) and Sam Sutton (22.83) joined her to give all four NCAA B cuts, as well as the four middle lanes of tonight’s final.  The rest of the heat was within a tenth of the B-standard, with WVU’s Jaimee Gilmore at 23.02, Kansas’ Haley Bishop at 23.06, and Texas’ Brynne Wong at 23.09 continuing into the A final.  Texas freshman Brooke Hansen (23.11) will be pulled into the A-final as well after Anelise Diener (23.08) is taken out due to being on the UT B roster.


Texas heads into the final with three swimmers below 20 seconds, on a 19.51 from freshman Tate Jackson, a 19.72 from John Murray, and a 19.73 from Brett Ringgold.  Joining them below 20 is West Virginia’s Ross Glegg at 19.82.  After taking out Texas’ B swimmers Jeremy Nichols (20.12) and Aaron Gustafson (20.26,) the Mountaineers will return three swimmers to the A-final tonight on an 8th place 20.31 from Frank Csonka and 9th place 20.43 from Elmerin Merwane.  Texas’ Matt Ellis earned a place in the A-final with his 20.15 as did TCU’s Garrett Hills with his 20.60.



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Bay City Tex
6 years ago

Promote swimming? Prepare in a format similar to ncaa’s? Give “bubble” swimmers a chance at qualifying for ncaa’s? Give the Big 12 a conference champ? Tradition? The American Way?

6 years ago

Why even bother having a Big 12 Champs with three teams on the men’s side?

Justin Pollard
6 years ago

Really strong swim from Tate Jackson. As fast as it was, right now I’m guessing that doesn’t make the meet individually. I need a refresher, though, he can swim on the relay right?

Reply to  Justin Pollard
6 years ago

Before you even go there… That was just his first swim of the meet, and he put himself on the qualifying bubble! He has plenty more shots to make it into the meet, and I expect him to do so.

Justin Pollard
Reply to  Justin Pollard
6 years ago

True true. Still, there a plenty of swimmers who go their fastest during their first races coming from a shave & taper. I know nothing about Tate, so we’ll see what he does tonight and through the weekend!