University of Texas junior Catherine Wagner is on-deck in Austin bringing us these fine reports from the 2013 Big 12 Championships.
The Texas women enter tonight’s finals session with the top seed in each event and will be looking to further expand their lead over West Virginia. Kaitlin Pawlowicz from Texas was first in the 400 IM with a 4:14.94. Second place went to Kansas freshman Chelsie Miller (4:15.22) and third to Texas junior Victoria Cassidy (4:16.47).
After the top 3, there was a pretty significant drop-off in times, so the race for tonight’s victory will most likely be a battle between those leaders.
In the 100 butterfly, Texas had four girls under 53 seconds—Ellen Lobb (52.73), Kelsey Amundsen (52.77), and a tie for third between Lily Moldenhauer and Gretchen Jaques in 52.99. West Virginia continued to swim well, grabbing the 5th-through-7th seeds, which should help them maintain their second-place position over TCU in the team battle.
In the 200 freestyle, Texas took 6 of the top 8 positions, led by junior Samantha Tucker’s 1:45.93. 500 freestyle champion Rachael Burnett of West Virginia will be seeded 7thin 1:48.11, but don’t count her out of the race tonight.
In the 100 breaststroke, Texas All-American Laura Sogar will be seeded first (59.61) and sophomore teammate Gretchen Jaques in second (1:00.49). Jacques is trying a pretty rare double tonight, as she’ll be in the A-Final of both the 100 breast and the 100 fly. Jenelle Zee from West Virginia was third in 1:01.94.
To close the session, Texas took the top 4 spots in the 100 backstroke led by Sarah Denninghoff’s 53.03. Lily Moldenhauer, although she has been out for most of the season, was close behind in 53.15.
Just like the women, the Texas men will also be seeded first in every event tonight. The 400 Individual Medley will feature Austin Surhoff (3:47.50) and John Martens (3:48.37) from Texas, and Mitchell Adshead (3:51.76) from TCU in the top three. Michael McBroom is just behind them in 3:52.06 – three seconds off of his season best.
Sophomore Kip Darmody led the Texas men in the 100 butterfly in 47.65, followed by teammates Cole Cragin (47.86) and Tripp Cooper (47.98).
Not surprisingly, given their history in the event, Texas had 6 swimmers in the top 8 of the 200 freestyle. Clay Youngquist led the pack in 1:34.53. Because of swimmers on the ‘B’ squad not being allowed to compete in the A final, West Virginia’s Ross Glegg and Julien Vialette will move into the final heat for tonight.
2012 NCAA Champion Dax Hill was actually missing from that 200 free, opting instead for the 100 breaststroke and taking the top seed with a very good 53.92. Charlie Moore from Texas was second in 55.01 and West Virginia’s Christopher Brill was third in 55.12. The Longhorns still seem to be searching for their breaststroker, and Hill once again showed that thanks to his veratility, he might be the answer. Texas is still trying a lot of different race with Hill; remember that despite how good he’s been in the freestyles, he was a Texas high school state champ in the 100 breast.
The 100 backstroke was led by Texas senior Cole Cragin in 47.20. He was followed by Adam Szilagyi from TCU in 47.65 and Patrick Murphy from Texas in 47.66.
Tonight’s competition will begin at 6:00 PM Central, with finals of the 400 Individual Medley, 100 Butterfly, 200 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke, 100 Backstroke, and the 200 Free Relay.
Live results available here.