Texas has qualified 16 swimmers and four divers to compete at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships set for March 27-29 at UT’s Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. UT will host its eighth national championship meet and its first since 2003.
Senior Patrick Murphy will make his third NCAA Championships appearance. Murphy ranks 17th nationally in the 200-yard backstroke at 1:41.35. Senior Caleb Weir makes his second NCAA Championships appearance in as many seasons after transferring to UT from Indian River Community College. Weir qualified with his No. 15 national mark in the 100 freestyle (42.66).
Led by former national champions Kip Darmody and Clay Youngquist, Texas will send six juniors to the national meet at its home pool. Darmody qualified with his No. 11 national mark in the 100 backstroke at 45.92. Youngquist qualified with the nation’s 11th-fastest times in the 500 freestyle (4:15.68) and the 200 butterfly (1:43.39). Darmody and Youngquist helped Texas win the NCAA title in the 800 freestyle relay two seasons ago as freshmen.
Tripp Cooper qualifies once more for the NCAA Championships after posting the nation’s sixth-fastest time in the 100 butterfly at 45.73. Cooper holds the No. 11 national mark in the 200 butterfly at 1:42.64. Keith Murphy, a former breaststroke swimmer, qualifies for his first NCAA Championship meet after breaking 43 seconds in the 100 freestyle. Murphy’s time of 42.91 ranks him 25th nationally.
Jacob Ritter qualifies for his third national meet in as many tries. The Houston native qualified for the meet with his No. 18 national time of 4:16.30 in the 500 freestyle. Junior Nicolas Munoz qualifies for his first NCAA Championship meet. His mark of 15:02.04 in the 1,650 freestyle ranks him 26th nationally.
Texas will send five sophomores to the NCAA Championships, including two-time NCAA qualifier Sam Lewis, who ranks 15th nationally in both the 500 freestyle (4:16.06) and the 1,650 freestyle (14:55.44). Matt Ellis, Imri Ganiel, Aaron Gustafson and John Murray also will make their first individual NCAA Championships appearances for the Longhorns.
Ellis, a Georgia transfer, qualified 19th in the 50 freestyle at 19.37. Ganiel qualified 30th in the 100 breaststroke at 53.23, and Gustafson took the final qualifying spot in the 100 backstroke at 46.57. Murray qualified with his 22nd-ranked mark of 19.40 in the 50 freestyle.
Freshman Jack Conger will bring top-10 national marks in the 100 butterfly and the 200 backstroke to the NCAA Championships. Conger ranks third nationally in the 100 butterfly at 45.56 and seventh in the 200 backstroke at 1:40.56. He boasts the nation’s No. 12 mark in the 500 freestyle at 4:15.73.
Freshman Will Glass qualified with his No. 23 national mark in the 200 backstroke (1:41.90). Freshman Will Licon will bring the nation’s 15th-fastest mark in the 200 breaststroke (1:54.40) to the national championships. Texas will compete in all five relays at the NCAA Championships.
Divers Michael Hixon and Will Chandler earned their berths to the NCAA Championships on Monday at the NCAA Zone “D” Diving Meet in Minneapolis. Diver Cory Bowersox qualified on Tuesday, and in Wednesday’s platform finals, freshman diver Mark Anderson qualified for the NCAA meet by winning with 840.6 points.
“Mark had a medical issue with his outer ear that kept him out of platform diving for a month,” UT diving coach Matt Scoggin said. “After he underwent a corrective procedure, he was told he needed to wear protective gear while diving, and that’s why he now wears a water polo cap to protect his ears. What’s very unique is that even without the ability to train on platform for four weeks, he had a great ability to stay cool and calm and focus on what makes the dive work at a very crucial moment. That’s the definition of a competitor.”
Texas’ NCAA Championships Qualifiers