Longhorn swimming and diving prepares for Big 12 Championships

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Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

Texas men seeking 39th straight Big 12 championship

It’s no secret that when it comes to men’s swimming and diving, Texas is the crown jewel of the Big 12.

The Longhorns will try to defend their reputation as the conference’s elite by facing TCU and West Virginia this week in the Big 12 Championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Events begin Wednesday and continue through Saturday.

No. 8 Texas has won a mind-boggling 38 consecutive conference championships under head coach Eddie Reese, including all 21 in Big 12 history.

“Big 12s are going to be really fun,” senior Jonathan Roberts said. “I think there is going to be a lot of big swims dropping all over the place … Just use that energy, take it into NCAAs and we are all looking forward to that. It is going to be a
good time.”

For Roberts and fellow seniors Jared Butler, Thomas Colket, Brett Ringgold, Joseph Schooling and Austin Temple, this week’s competition will mark the final time that the athletes officially compete in Austin as Longhorns.

Schooling enters the meet with four individual and 11 relay Big 12 titles under his belt, while Ringgold and Roberts also have three individual titles in their respective careers.

Another competitor to watch for is junior Townley Haas, who has left his mark on this meet in previous years. Haas captured two individual Big 12 titles in 2016 and another in 2017.

In the diving department, sophomore Grayson Campbell and freshman Jordan Windle have been dominant all season and will look to continue their success in the one-meter and three-meter events.

The two challengers coming into Austin are no strangers to the Longhorns, as the three programs have faced off in each of the last five conference championships. Texas has yet to face West Virginia this season, but the Longhorns defeated TCU, 159-108, in their final dual-meet of the
regular season.

Texas women hope to cap off perfect season with Big 12 championship 

The No. 4 Longhorn women look to cap off their first undefeated dual-meet season in 30 years by defending the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center this week. Coming off an assertive 162-105 victory over TCU on Feb. 2, Texas hopes to carry that momentum into this week’s Big 12 Championships.

The Longhorns have traditionally had success in the Big 12 Championships, winning an astonishing 15 of 21 championship meets, including last year’s title.

Five returning members from the 2017 championship team will look to defend their individual titles as well, including senior sprint freestyle swimmer Rebecca Millard and junior distance freestyle swimmer
Joanna Evans.

Evans, a 2016 Olympic competitor for The Bahamas, has had a record-breaking season in which she bested the school mark for the 1,650 freestyle by just over two seconds.

The Olympian will be charged with leading Texas again just as she did against Texas A&M on Nov. 3, where she was part of a winning 400 freestyle relay team and individually won the 200, 500 and 1,000
freestyle events.

In addition to an impressive college season, Evans also won silver in the 400 freestyle and a bronze in the 800 freestyle at 2017 World University Games in Taiwan.

On the diving side, sophomore standout Alison Gibson will look to continue her strong season, which has featured victories in the three-meter and one-meter dives at Arizona State and Arizona, respectively. Gibson was also named the Big 12’s Women’s Diver of the Week following the
TCU meet.

The fourth-ranked Longhorns will attempt to cement an impressive season with yet another Big 12 championship by the end of the week. Events are scheduled to begin Wednesday and conclude Saturday.