At the sound of the horn, Joseph Schooling dove into the water for the first time of the season after missing time with an arm injury.
He cruised below the surface before emerging into butterfly form. Burnt orange fans roared in the stands as he immediately took the lead among his fellow Texas and North Carolina State counterparts. In just 1:45.82, the junior Olympic gold-medalist took home a victory in the 200-yard butterfly race.
No. 2 Texas won a total of six events during the first home meet of the season on Friday. However, it wasn’t enough to top No. 3 North Carolina State, as the Longhorns fell 173.5-126.5.
“This is our second loss this season, and you need to know that it’s no fun, but it shows where we are,” head coach Eddie Reese said. “We’ve got a month before our [Texas] Invitational, and if we’re not a lot better there, we’re going to have to do some drastic stuff.”
Schooling — who competed for Singapore this summer in Rio — completed his sweep of the butterfly events by grabbing another win in the 100-yard race. Both senior Olympians brought home victories in their respective races: Jack Conger won the 200-yard freestyle, while Clark Smith took the 500-yard freestyle — each won gold for Team USA in Rio.
The Longhorns expected to win the four-man relay events coming into the meet. However, they fell to the Wolfpack in both the 200-yard medley and freestyle relays.
The two-time defending national champions hope to turn the page by focusing on the upcoming Texas Invitational moving forward.
“It’s just stepping stones,” junior Brett Ringgold said. “We don’t expect to be really fast here. It’s more important to be fast at the Invite and NCAAs.”
The Longhorns look to improve their race times at the Texas Invitational on Nov. 30.