Katz’s 1:40, Zettle’s 8:48, Highlight Texas Men’s Senior Day Win Over SMU

Texas v. Southern Methodist (Men)

  • February 5, 2021
  • Texas Swim Center, Austin, TX
  • Dual meet format
  • SCY
  • Live Results
  • Full Results
  • Score: Texas 170, SMU 115

The Texas Longhorn men celebrated senior day with a lot of swims in off events, with a sprinkling of fast times in primary events, as they closed out the dual meet season with a win at home over Southern Methodist, 170-115. We weren’t there, and haven’t seen any videos, but based on the times, we’re assuming both teams were, at least mostly, suited up.

The biggest swim of the day arguably came from senior Austin Katz, who punched his NCAA ticket with a 1:40.89 in the 200 back, moving him up to #8 in the nation this season. Katz, the 2018 NCAA champion and 2019 runner up in the event, had only appeared in limited action for the Longhorns this season, swimming in a dual meet against A&M in October and the long course San Antonio PSS meet last month, but appears to be in great shape, boosting the Longhorns’ chance against the Cal Bears next month in Greensboro.

The other big-time swim came from Alex Zettle, who knocked ten seconds off his lifetime best with a 8:48.39 in the 1000 free, the 3rd-fastest time in the NCAA this season. Teammate David Johnston leads the nation this season with a 8:45.38. The Longhorns’ distance crew has been pretty hit or miss at NCAAs the last few years, but if they’re “on” they are a big threat to roll up plenty of points. Jake Foster, who’s known more as a breaststroke/IM type, took 2nd in in 8:54.95, a lifetime best by 11 seconds and making him the 6th-fastest in the NCAA this season.

Last year, Texas didn’t enter fly/back specialist Alvin Jiang in the 50 free for NCAAs, but that might change this year. He hit 19.48 today, just 0.02s off of his lifetime best from the 2019 Minnesota Invite; he’s now #14 across the nation this season. Caspar Corbeau took 2nd in 19.97, not far off of his lifetime best of 19.84.

Outside of those guys, most of Texas’ big names focused on events outside of their normal schedule. Drew Kibler nearly equaled his lifetime best in the 100 back, going 47.15 today for the win, with teammate Daniel Krueger taking 2nd in 48.24, setting a new personal best. Krueger would later win the 100 free, his best event, in 43.42.

Toward the end of the meet, Kibler would be one of nine Longhorn swimmers who exhibitioned the 200 IM, with several of them being not-really-IMers who set new personal bests. Kibler lowered his personal best from 1:58 in high school to 1:49 today, Chris Staka dropped from 1:54 to 1:46, Luke Bowman dropped from 1:49 to 1:47, and Jiang dropped from 1:51 to 1:50.

Texas freshman Carson Foster earned the win in the 200 fly, popping a 1:43.06 to improve on his lifetime best of 1:44.11. He moves to #14 in the nation this season, although he will almost surely swim the 200 back at NCAAs. Foster, the 2nd-fastest man ever in the 400 IM (SCY) would later take 2nd in the 200 breast with a 1:56.53, just 0.03s off of his lifetime best.

JohnThomas Larson joined Katz and Jiang as Texas seniors who earned victories on senior day, winning the 500 free in 4:19.40. Zac van Zandt took the 200 free in 1:37.11, and Halvor Borgstroem won the 100 fly in 48.49, in what appears to be the Norwegian native’s first official yards swim for this event.

The Longhorns bookended the meet with wins in the 200 medley and 200 free relays. In the medley, Texas switched things up a bit with Jiang taking back and Staka swimming fly, opposite of what we normally see, and Jiang led off in 21.32 while Staka split 20.69. Caspar Corbeau threw down a 23.90 breast split, and Krueger anchor in 19.54 for a 1:26.26. Texas got a 1:26.36 on its ‘B’ relay, with Kibler anchoring in a very fast 18.99.

In the 200 free relay, Peter Larson (20.10), Coby Carrozza (19.85), Ethan Harder (20.38) and Andrew Couchon (20.18) combined for 1:20.51, just ahead of SMU’s ‘A’ squad, which officially won with a 1:20.59, as Texas elected to swim exhibition.

SMU battled hard against the Texas juggernaut, with the Mustangs’ breaststrokers particularly standing out. That trend began with the 200 medley relay, where Connor Dalbo (24.69) and Caleb Rhodenbaugh (24.37) would drop a pair of 24s on the breaststroke legs.

Rhodenbaugh and Dalbo would later finish 1-2 in the 100 breast, touching in 54.11 and 54.24, ahead of a pair of Longhorns, Borgstroem and Couchon, who were also under 55. Rhodenbaugh would later complete the breaststroke sweep with a 1:56.14 win in the 200. Colin Feehery took 3rd in 1:56.99, and Dalbo took 4th with a 1:57.10.

Earlier Feehery had earned SMU’s only other 2nd place finish of the day (ignoring exhibitioned results), when he battled Van Zandt in the 200 free, ultimately finishing 0.40s back with a 1:47.51. Feehery ended the day as the official winner in the 200 IM, actually touching 3rd behind Jake Foster (1:44.50) and Corbeau (1:45.51) with a 1:46.51.

Daniel Forndal also looked sharp for SMU, taking 3rd in the 100 free with a 44.42 and splitting 19.96 on the Mustangs’ 200 free relay.

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Enchantedrock
2 months ago

Katz still has it in him to do some damage in the pool and to be a leader.

Honest Observer
2 months ago

Jake Foster’s 1000 is particularly impressive. Just based on that, he’ll probably put up a big 400 IM at Trials.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Honest Observer
2 months ago

If he can put together a decent backstroke leg he definitely could.

camelboar
Reply to  Honest Observer
2 months ago

I agree, really impressed by that swim. I am wondering if he will swim the 200 breast at NCAA’s. Probably will, but he could really put up a great 1650.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  camelboar
2 months ago

200 breast vs 1650 free seems like an IQ test. Let me see, which would I rather do…

Austinpoolboy
Reply to  camelboar
2 months ago

6th in nation in 1000, vs 12th in 200breast. Maybe he (Eddie makes the line ups!) will make the switch?

bobthebuilderrocks
2 months ago

Watch out for Staka in the 200 IM. 0_0

Austinpoolboy
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
2 months ago

Yeah, that might be a good first day switch (from 50 free) for him.