Longhorns claim top-five finish at NCAA Championships

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Senior Madisyn Cox earned All-America honors during this weekend’s NCAA Championships.
Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

The last time Texas finished in the top five at the NCAA Championships was nearly a decade ago in 2009.

That changed Saturday night when the No. 2 Longhorns took fifth place at this year’s Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis.

No. 1 Stanford, the eventual champion, dominated the waters from the start, but Texas seemed much more preoccupied with Georgia and the battle for fourth place. A half point difference was all that separated the two teams in the end, with Georgia holding the slight edge.

Regardless, Texas had a lot to be proud of.

"We had a hell of a meet,” head coach Carol Capitani said, “This team was unbelievable. I know the scores said they finished fifth, but they know they swam and dove to a fourth-place finish.”
 And it was a finish that could only be described as bittersweet.

Two highly touted Texas seniors, Tasija Karosas and Madisyn Cox, pulled themselves out of the pool for the last time as Longhorns.Karosas smashed her own school record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:49.91.

That swim also earned her a career best fourth-place finish in the event.

Cox claimed career bests of her own, delivering in the 200-yard breaststroke preliminaries and final. She would go on to earn All-America honors in all of the three events she took part in — the 200-yard individual medley, the 400-yard individual medley and the 200-yard breaststroke.

“(Karosas and Cox) are amazing,” Capitani said. “It’s not about what they accomplished at this meet or how many points they scored. I want to celebrate who they are and the people
they’ve become.”

Even with the departure of this year’s seniors, the team proved it is in capable hands moving forward.

Junior Rebecca Millard clocked the third fastest swim in school history with her time of 47.56 in the 100-yard freestyle. It was the fastest time accomplished by a Longhorn in that event in five years.

Equally impressive was sophomore Joanna Evans, whose personal best of 15:54.46 in the preliminary heat of the 1,650-yard freestyle was the fastest 1,650-yard freestyle recorded by a Longhorn in more than 30 years.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Capitani said. “I already asked so much of them and they delivered in spades.”