Swimming and diving aims to sustain success in 2016

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Junior swimmer Joseph Schooling won a gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly at the Rio Olympics, finishing with a time of 50.39 seconds. Schooling outpaced swimming legend Michael Phelps, who had won every 100-meter Olympic race since 2004.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Sports

Texas has built up a large resume in swimming and diving over the past few years.

The Longhorn men enter the 2016–17 season with two consecutive national titles, while the women will try for their fourth straight conference championship. 

With several key swimmers returning, the men hope to sustain their streak and give head coach Eddie Reese his 13th national title.

The team boasts four swimmers who earned gold at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer in seniors Jack Conger and Clark Smith, junior Joseph Schooling and sophomore Townley Haas. 

Reese has developed a reputation for yielding exceptional competitors and racking up titles. But he still gives all the credit to his athletes.

“Everybody thinks that I’m a good coach, or that I’ve got some kind of magic wand,” Reese said after the NCAA Championships on March 26. “The only magic is in the swimmers.”

The team also retains key seniors Will Licon and Mark Anderson. Licon was a force at the 2016 NCAA national championships, winning individual titles in the 200-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley. Anderson was named Big 12 Diver of the Year in 2015 after winning the 3-meter and platform diving events at the Big 12 championship.  

Upon winning their second consecutive title, Licon and his teammates were already gearing up for the next season. 

“I’m ready to get back to work,” Licon said after the meet. “We really don’t have much time left.”

The women look to continue their dominance in the Big 12 behind a mix of youth and experience. The team added two top-seven recruits in Claire Adams and Lauren Case, according to Collegeswimming.com. 

And like the men, the women have a strong cast of competitors returning from last year’s team. Madisyn Cox, Jordan Surhoff and Tasija Karosas highlight the experienced group. The trio has combined wins with two All-American and 11 Honorable Mention All-American honors over their three years in Austin.

Texas also brings back sophomore distance freestyler Joanna Evans, who will look to build on her appearances in the 400-meter and 200-meter freestyle events in Rio.

Both the men and the women will open their seasons in October.