Press release courtesy of Texas Swimming and Diving.
WHAT: No. 3 Texas (7-1) visits No. 5 Arizona for the Longhorns’ final dual meet of the season. The meet will be contested in separate sessions with the final score tabulated after Saturday’s session.
Friday, Jan. 31 – 3 p.m. CT
Saturday, Feb. 1 – 11 a.m. CT
WHERE: Hillenbrand Aquatic Center – Tucson, Ariz.
LAST MEETING VS. ARIZONA: No. 7 Texas defeated then-No. 1 Arizona by a 166-125 count on Feb. 1, 2013 in Austin. Former Longhorn Michael McBroom set the NCAA record in the 1,000-yard freestyle at 8 minutes, 46.88 seconds.
LAST TIME OUT: Texas defeated No. 10 Georgia by a 169-126 count on Jan. 11 in Austin. Freshman Michael Hixon swept the diving events and notched a personal best on the three-meter board. His performances against Auburn and Georgia earned him his third selection as the Big 12 Men’s Diver of the Week.
Texas was scheduled to host TCU last Friday (Jan. 24) but the meet was canceled due to inclement weather.
TEXAS DIVERS WIN TEAM TITLE AT USA DIVING WINTER NATIONALS
The most recent competition for the Longhorns saw the Texas divers claim the men’s team title and join the UT women to win the combined team title for a second straight year at the USA Diving Winter National Championships (Dec. 17-22).
Sophomore Cory Bowersox opened the meet on Dec. 17 with a fourth-place finish in the one-meter event. Freshman Mark Anderson added a runner-up finish in the platform synchronized event, and freshman Michael Hixon notched a sixth-place finish in the three-meter event. Hixon competed alongside four-time U.S. Olympian and former Longhorn Troy Dumais in three-meter synchro at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Junior Will Chandler placed ninth on the three-meter board, and Bowersox added an 11th place showing. Bowersox and Chandler capped the meet by placing fourth in the three-meter synchronized event. Anderson went on to place eighth in the platform finals.
HORNS FINISH STRONG AT TEXAS INVITATIONAL
Texas produced a number of NCAA automatic-qualifying marks at its annual Texas Invitational last month (Dec. 5-7). The meet’s final day saw freshman Jack Conger defeat a loaded field in the 200 backstroke, where he took the win in 1:40.90, well under the NCAA “A” cut of 1:41.41. The Rockville, Md., native now ranks fourth all-time in the 200 backstroke at Texas behind Olympic gold medalist Aaron Peirsol, Austin Surhoff and Hill Taylor. UT also qualified its 400 freestyle relay for the NCAA Championships with a mark of 2:51.50.
UT qualified its 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays for the national championships on day two of the Texas Invitational. The quartet of Aaron Gustafson, Charlie Moore, Conger and Matt Ellis finished in 1:25.90, good for the third-fastest time in college swimming. Sam Lewis joined Conger, Ellis and Clay Youngquist to qualify the 800 freestyle relay in 6:23.58. Also on day two, Youngquist produced the nation’s fourth-fastest time in the 200 freestyle at 1:33.72.
Texas kicked off the meet’s opening night with a bang, as Ellis, Murray, Moore and Caleb Weir won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:17.57, good for a NCAA automatic-qualifying mark. UT wrapped night one with a NCAA automatic-qualifying mark in the 400 medley relay, as Conger, freshman Imri Ganiel, Ellis and Weir finished in 3:08.80.
LONGHORNS RANK AMONG NATION’S ELITE
As is the norm after the first taper meet and initial semester of training, several Longhorns have posted times ranking among the fastest in college swimming.
Sophomore Matt Ellis, an Austin native and Georgia transfer, holds the nation’s third-fastest time in the 50 freestyle with his mark of 19.37 from the Texas Invitational. Ellis also boasts the nation’s ninth-fastest time in the 100 freestyle (43.07) and the 15th-fastest mark in the 100 butterfly (46.69).
In his second season as a Longhorn, senior Caleb Weir owns college swimming’s fourth-fastest time in the 100 freestyle at 42.66. The Atlanta native also holds the nation’s No. 14 mark in the 50 freestyle at 19.67. Sophomore John Murray ranks seventh nationally in the 100 freestyle (42.98) and 25th nationally in the 50 freestyle at 19.83.
A two-time All-American in the 200 freestyle, junior Clay Youngquist ranks fourth nationally in that event at 1:33.72. The former NCAA champion in the 800 freestyle relay ranks ninth nationally in the 500 freestyle at 4:17.62.
NATIONAL TOP-25 FREESTYLERS
T3 Matt Ellis – 19.37
14. Caleb Weir – 19.67
25. John Murray – 19.83
4. Caleb Weir – 42.66
7. John Murray – 42.98
9. Matt Ellis – 43.07
4. Clay Youngquist – 1:33.72
9. Clay Youngquist – 4:17.62
12. Jack Conger – 4:17.84
6. Clark Smith – 9:05.73
13. Sam Lewis – 9:09.46
21. Clay Youngquist – 9:11.36
10. Sam Lewis – 15:00.30
Versatile Jack Conger holds top-10 national marks in the 100 butterfly (2nd, 45.65), 200 backstroke (3rd, 1:40.90) and the 100 backstroke (9th, 46.63). The national independent high school record holder in the 500 freestyle holds college swimming’s 12th-fastest time in that event at 4:17.84.
NATIONAL TOP-25 BACKSTROKERS
9. Jack Conger – 46.63
3. Jack Conger – 1:40.90
23. Will Glass – 1:42.92
25. Patrick Murphy – 1:42.93
NATIONAL TOP-25: BREASTSTROKE
23. Imri Ganiel – 53.76
14. Will Licon – 1:55.61
NATIONAL TOP-25: BUTTERFLY
2. Jack Conger – 45.65
15. Matt Ellis – 46.69
NATIONAL TOP-25: INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
25. John Martens – 3:47.91
HIXON TAKES TWO AT UT DIVING INVITATIONAL
Freshman Michael Hixon dominated the springboards and won the one- and three-meter events at the UT Diving Invitational (Nov. 21-23). The Amherst, Mass., native claimed the one-meter event with 410.60 points and took the three-meter crown with 453.35 points. Will Chandler led the Horns in the platform event with a second-place total of 418.40 points.
Hixon, who competed alongside Texas-Ex Troy Dumais in the three-meter synchronized event last summer at the FINA World Championships, has been selected three times as the Big 12 Men’s Diver of the Week (Dec. 11, Nov. 6, Jan. 22).
THREE-FOR-THREE IN VIRGINIA
Texas posted dual-meet wins over No. 19 Penn State, Virginia and West Virginia in a two-day (Nov. 8-9) quad meet in Charlottesville, Va. UT held off Penn State by a 185-168 margin and knocked off host Virginia, 225-128. Texas defeated Big 12 foe West Virginia by a 259-93 margin.
Clay Youngquist showed off his range in the meet’s second day by winning the 1,000 freestyle in 9:11.36 before leading start-to-finish in the 200 freestyle and winning in 1:36.97. A one-two Texas finish from John Martens and Will Licon in the 400 individual helped UT preserve the narrow win over Penn State.
Licon won the 200 IM on the meet’s first day, and Youngquist posted his first of three wins in the meet by taking the 500 freestyle in 4:23.99. Jack Conger was victorious in the 200 backstroke at 1:43.25.
HORNS SPLIT DOUBLE DUAL AGAINST INDIANA & MICHIGAN
Texas joined Indiana and Michigan for a double-dual meet in Bloomington, Ind., (Oct. 25) where the Longhorns topped the Hoosiers and fell to the defending national champion Wolverines. Texas defeated Indiana by a 204-96 margin and fell to the Wolverines by a 166-134 count.
MORE ON THE LONGHORNS: Texas returns 29 letterwinners from the 2012-13 squad that won the Big 12 Championship and placed fifth at the NCAA Championships.
Juniors Clay Youngquist and Kip Darmody have helped the Horns to NCAA titles in relay events. Darmody and Youngquist teamed up with former Longhorns Dax Hill and Neil Caskey to win the 800 freestyle relay at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Youngquist joined Hill and former Longhorns Austin Surhoff and Jimmy Feigen to claim the 2012 NCAA title in the 400 freestyle relay. Seniors Charlie Moore and Caleb Weir, junior Tripp Cooper and sophomore John Murray posted All-America finishes on relays at the 2013 NCAA Championships.
Redshirt junior diver Will Chandler made a triumphant return to the sport last season after sitting out the 2011-12 campaign due to the effects of Crohn’s Disease, a digestive disorder. The Waco native earned All-America honors in the platform diving event at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Chandler was a finalist in the platform event at the AT&T National Diving Championships in August.
Chandler heads a strong diving corps that includes the likes of sophomore Cory Bowersox and freshman Michael Hixon. As a true freshman, Bowersox earned All-America honors in the one-meter event at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Hixon competed alongside Texas-Ex Troy Dumais in the three-meter synchronized diving event at the FINA World Championships last summer in Barcelona, Spain.
Head coach Eddie Reese begins his 36th season with the Longhorns. Under his guidance, Texas has secured top-three finishes in 27 of 35 NCAA Championship meets. Assistant coach Kris Kubik returns for his 31st season, and diving coach Matt Scoggin, a former Longhorn diver, returns for his 20th season on Reese’s coaching staff.