Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

In November of 1998, Jordan Windle had just been born in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. By that time, Texas head coach Eddie Reese had already won his 19th straight conference championship with the Longhorns.

Fast forward 20 years and Windle has now helped the men’s swimming and diving team capture its 39th straight conference title in just his first season on the 40 Acres.

On Saturday, Windle showcased himself in the platform finals and did not disappoint. Not only did he win the competition, but Windle’s 570-point performance set an NCAA record for the event, shattering the previous mark by nearly 20 points.

“I’m still wowed by it,” Windle said. “A lot happened in this competition so I’m still trying to take it all in, but I’m really ecstatic about coming out on top and having a new record set for NCAA. It’s incredible.”

Windle is a unique hybrid in the diving game, being able to perform both platform and springboard diving while most specialize in only one. This type of versatility is what allowed him to also take home first place in the 3-meter finals on Friday.

The Big 12 Championships were a new opportunity for Windle to put his athletic abilities on display in front of the entire country, and he looked to keep his composure through it all.

“The first one I felt really calm about it,” Windle said. “I just wanted to have some fun. I got up there, did it. Then right when I hit the water I was like, ‘That felt really good.’ So I came out and everyone was cheering. Then when I got to my second dive, I was like, ‘Hopefully we keep this rolling,’ then I hit that one as well. Everything then just started falling into place.”

Everything did seemingly fall into place for Windle. At the conclusion of the events, he was awarded the newcomer of the meet and diver of the meet for his monumental display throughout the competition.

Windle’s next challenge will be the NCAA Championships next month in Minnesota.

After this week’s strong showing, Windle and the rest of his Texas teammates are one step closer to a fourth straight national championship.

“We took a good step here, but we’ve got another three-and-a-half weeks to get ready for NCAAs,” Reese said. “I feel real good about where we are.”

Reese said that his athletes will approach the next meet just the same as they have in previous years.

“They have real simple goals,” Reese said “It’s just work hard and try to get better in whatever you do. If you do that, it makes your team better. Some of them didn’t swim like they wanted to, but they know they’re going to be good in the end. That’s more or less our tradition. We are good here, and we’re real good at NCAAs.”

Despite having led the Longhorns to a record 13 national championships over his four decades at Texas, Reese was quick to dismantle the championship-or-bust mentality for the Longhorns.

“We don’t ever talk about winning,” Reese said. “If we have great performances and somebody beats us, they’re going to have to have great performances. We’ll just congratulate them.”

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

It’s no secret that Texas women’s swimming and diving is a perennial powerhouse in the Big 12.  

Few would dare to contradict that statement as the Longhorns flexed their muscles Saturday night. Texas won its sixth consecutive Big 12 championship by scoring 1,021 points and completing a clean sweep of events — 21 events, 21 first-place medals.

“I think (a complete sweep) is what we were going for,” said Texas head coach Carol Capitani, who was named coach of the meet for the second consecutive year.  

Capitani, now in her sixth season at Texas, has won the Big 12 title each year during her stint with the Longhorns.  

Through a large portion of the meet, event finals primarily featured Texas swimmers filling the lanes. Often times Longhorn swimmers finished 1-3, a tribute to the culture and standard of Capitani’s program.  

“I think that kind of culture starts at home,” Capitani said. “Practices are competitive, and we like to recruit like-minded athletes who like to compete.”

One of those is sophomore Claire Adams, who was named the Big 12 women’s swimmer of the meet after winning the 100 backstroke and freestyle individually, in addition to swimming for all relays. Adams’ individual successes were capped off by breaking a meet record in the 100 freestyle.  

Freshman Evie Pfeifer seemed to have little trouble completing her sweep of distance events, taking the 1650 by nearly 40 seconds and shattering her previous personal record by more than 8 seconds.   

Many times it seemed the Longhorns’ biggest competitors were themselves, which was made evident when Remedy Rule and Lauren Case traded first and second in the 100 and 200 butterfly, respectively. Or perhaps when Adams out-nudged Rebecca Millard to break a meet record Millard had set just that morning. Or when Kennedy Lohman and Olivia Anderson finished first and second, respectively, in the 100 and 200 breastroke.

“I think it’s awesome that we have that kind of competition within our team,” Adams said. “If (my team) is swimming well, that means I’m swimming well.”

This mentality was not restricted to the swimmers, as Texas continued its success on the diving boards and platforms. Sophomore standout Alison Gibson was named the women’s diver of the meet after winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events. Murphy Bromberg completed the sweep of the diving events with her victory on the platform under the coaching of Matt Scoggin.

Capitani offered high praise for Scoggin, calling him “one of the best coaches in the country, and probably in the world.”

Scoggin was named the Big 12 women’s diving coach of the meet.  

The No. 4 Longhorns hope to improve on last year’s performance at the NCAA Championship meet, when they finished in the top five. Texas will attempt to earn its eighth team national title in Columbus, Ohio, and bring the first to Austin since 1991.

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

Senior Jonathan Roberts is no stranger to the podium.

Friday’s events at the Big 12 Championships resulted in Roberts’ third consecutive title in the 400-yard individual medley.

Roberts prepared for the race just like he does any other — taking it 100 yards at a time.

“I just wanted to work and build through each 100 in the strokes and see where I came out,” Roberts said. “It’s not my best performance, but I’m here and a senior. I’m just blessed to be here and really fortunate, especially in such a storied event.”

Roberts had been in this situation before, and he intended to treat it as such.

With just 50 yards to go in the final stretch of the race at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, junior Sam Stewart came close to securing an upset victory over Roberts. Then, as one length of the pool remained, Roberts switched gears to secure a victory over his teammate.

Roberts finished with a time of 3:43.72 while Stewart grabbed second place in the event at 3:44.93.

Despite having won a multitude of events over his four years at Texas, Roberts still looks to previous Longhorn greats for inspiration.

“Coming off guys like Austin Surhoff and Will Licon who have done this event before me and just building off of their legacy is really an honor,” Roberts said. “Especially with three of my teammates. Guys that I’m waking up in the morning with and getting lunch with. It’s really a great opportunity.”

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

“Swim fast.”

That was junior Remedy Rule’s race plan for the 100-yard butterfly Friday at the Big 12 Championships, where she earned yet another victory for Texas women’s swimming and diving, continuing its sweep of events on the first three days.  

It has become apparent that Texas is the most dominant team at the championships. Shortly after Rule’s victory in the 100-yard butterfly, Evie Pfiefer won the 400-yard individual medley for her second victory in as many days.  

“I’m just really excited to represent Texas and throw up the ‘Hook ‘em’ when I’m on the blocks after I swim,” Pfeifer said.

Quinn Carrozza continued Texas’ string of dominance in the 200-yard freestyle for her first victory of the meet, after taking second to Pfeifer in the 500-yard freestyle Thursday night.  

Sophomore Claire Adams had little trouble in the 100-yard backstroke, taking the title by more than two seconds. It was Adams’ first individual win of the meet, after being on a winning 400-yard medley relay team Thursday.

Texas had full control of the diving platforms, placing 1–4 on the 3-meter. Alison Gibson picked up where she left off on Thursday, winning the 3-meter dive after previously taking home the Big 12 title in the 1-meter.

The Longhorns capped off a sweep of the third day of events with a victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay.  

Texas takes a considerable lead in the Big 12 Championships into the final day of events on Saturday, where the Longhorns will look to complete a clean sweep of events and hoist their sixth consecutive conference title banner.

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

Joining a 13-time NCAA championship team is no small feat. But it does hold big expectations.

Not to mention it presents the tall task of swimming alongside Olympians like senior Joseph Schooling and junior Townley Haas.

For freshman Parker Neri, day two of the Big 12 Championships was an opportunity to showcase that he belonged on this championship-caliber Texas team.

“It is a whole different world,” Neri said. “I thought I trained hard going into this in the summer, but I got my rear-end kicked. It was just something that I was not used to, and I knew that it was either acclimate to it or I wouldn't get any better. You have to keep pushing yourself.”

Neri finished the preliminaries of the 500-yard freestyle Thursday morning with a time good enough for third place, and more importantly, a shot in the finals.

After going neck-and-neck down the stretch, Neri edged out teammates JohnThomas Larson and Haas with a final time of 4:15.40, just one-fifth of a second better than Larson.

In the biggest meet of the year, Neri gave his best run of the season and captured his first Big 12 individual title. With his win, Neri secured a spot at next month’s NCAA Championships in Minneapolis.

“I was so nervous for this,” Neri said. “My time coming into this was right on the bubble of making it (to the NCAA Championships). I didn't want to be that person that at the last minute finds out that he doesn't get to go. I talked to (Texas head coach) Eddie (Reese) about this, and I needed to take it out like that first one didn't mean anything.”

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

In swimming, sometimes you can be your best competitor.

This has certainly been the case through the first two days for the Texas women’s swimming and diving team at the Big 12 Championships.

Texas, the defending Big 12 champion, got off to a strong start at the championship meet on Wednesday. The Longhorns defeated the second-place team by more than 10 seconds, setting an early tone of dominance for the meet.  

The Longhorns carried the momentum into Thursday, flexing their muscles with an impressive victory in the 400 medley and setting a new Big 12 record. 

Among the stars of Thursday night was senior Rebecca Millard. The California native captured her third consecutive 50-yard freestyle victory at the Big 12 Championships.

“The Big 12 Championships are really fun,” Millard said. “It means sharpening up our races and working on the details, and the details are finally starting to get together.”

Of Texas’ four victories on Thursday night, perhaps none garnered a more resounding response from the crowd than Evie Pfeifer’s victory in the 500-yard freestyle. The freshman earned her first-career Big 12 title in the event, defeating teammate Quinn Carrozza.

“I really wanted to race Quinn. We train together everyday so I was excited for that,” Pfeifer said. “The 500 is where you swim until it hurts.”

Sophomore Alison Gibson led the diving team as the defending NCAA champion and set another conference record with a diving score of 356.25 points.

Meet finals will continue on Friday at 5 p.m. at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. The meet concludes on Saturday, with the Texas women looking to hoist yet another Big 12 Championship banner.