Austin Surhoff

Photo Credit: Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

This week’s matchup against North Carolina will boast a familial atmosphere when freshman swimmer Jordan Surhoff and North Carolina sophomore Kendall Surhoff meet head to head in the Longhorns’ second competition of the year. The teams will meet in the pool for the first time of the sisters’ collegiate careers in what is sure to be a family affair. 

“I am just really excited to watch both of them,” said older brother and former Longhorn swimmer Austin Surhoff. “This will be the first time I get to watch either of them in a college dual meet, so I am very excited for the opportunity.”

Austin Surhoff swam for Texas from 2009-13, finishing his final year of eligibility last spring. He continues to train with the team, looking to be more competitive on the USA swimming scene, and intends to race in the Austin Grand Prix in January. 

While the Surhoffs’ allegiances are split — mother Polly is a former Tarheel swimmer herself — the home crowd is likely to give Jordan the advantage in fans.

“I will be cheering equally hard for both sisters when they are in the water,” insisted Austin Surhoff. 

Though it is uncertain whether the sisters will be pitted against one another in the same race, a sibling rivalry will undoubtedly permeate the ambiance of the competition. 

“It is really competitive, we both like to beat each other but it is also really fun,” said Jordan Surhoff when asked what it is like to race against her sister. 

In the Longhorns’ opening meet with Rice, Jordan Surhoff finished second in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, posting a solid performance in her collegiate debut. Kendall and her North Carolina teammates swept the Virginia Tech Invitational Meet, beating Virginia Tech, Radford, Liberty and James Madison by winning 12 of 19 events in the Tarheels’ first competition of the season.

Both Texas and North Carolina come into Thursday’s meet undefeated, upping the ante from sibling bragging rights to taking an unblemished record into the third week of the season. 

Despite the meet’s intrigue, Jordan Surhoff has remain focused through the week’s practices, working hard toward improvement. 

“I want to better my times and also do everything I can to help UT win,” Jordan Surhoff said. 

Senior All-American Lily Moldenhauer looks to build on her performance against Rice where she handily defeated the field in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke. Texas divers will get their first dual competition opportunity of the season on Thursday after the events were not included in last week’s meet.

“The Surhoffs never really get to be in the same place at the same time so it is pretty cool that we will all be here and I get to swim against my sister,” Jordan Surhoff said of the anticipated matchup.

The NCAA Championship meet currently being held in Indianapolis is the last for seniors Austin Surhoff and Michael McBroom, and they are motivated to make it count. In merely the first day, both Surhoff and McBroom accomplished times not only good enough for personal bests but also top-four individual finishes, putting the Longhorns in fifth after one day of events.

In the 500 freestyle, McBroom fell just short of first, taking second in 4:11.39. In addition to being a personal best, the time was good enough to make him the 11th-fastest performer all-time in the event and the third-fastest Longhorn.

Despite the impressive finish, head coach Eddie Reese appeared to have expected nothing less.

“Michael has done it right all year, and he has worked really hard,” Reese said. “He’s very determined to have a real good meet here and he will.”

Surhoff, the former event champion, finished the 200 individual medley in 1:42.63. The only other Longhorn to ever post a faster time in the event was Ricky Berens in 2009.

Top-six finishes in the 200 freestyle and 400 medley relays and freshman Cory Bowersox’s eighth-place one-meter diving finish added to the Longhorns’ total 99 points. In Day Two’s events, starting at 10 a.m., Texas looks to improve on its fifth-place standing.

Senior Dax Hill swims the breaststoke leg of the 200 IM event at the Big 12 Championships. Hill will be swimming in his third and final NCAA championships as the Longhorns, as the top-ranked team, look for their 11th national title this weekend in Indiana.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza | Daily Texan Staff

To earn an NCAA qualifying time, you obviously have to be fast. Usually, that speed comes from experience. The majority of swimmers at the NCAA championship meet are either junior or seniors. But every once in a while a freshman with enough raw talent comes around who give the veterans a run for their money.

Freshman Sam Lewis has emerged in the pool as a force to be reckoned with, especially in distance events. Thanks to a strong first season, people are starting to take note of Lewis’ potential.

“There were a bunch of no-names coming in to the Big 12 championship,” senior Dax Hill said. “And now everybody knows who Sam Lewis is.”

After receiving high praise from distinguished head coach Eddie Reese at the Big 12 championship, Lewis is looking to earn more distinction at the NCAA championships.

“He did a great job,” Reese said of Lewis’s 500-yard freestyle performance, which earned him an NCAA qualification. “It’s tough to be out there with guys that have more experience who went out like they went out.”

It’s only going to get tougher for Lewis as he faces more intense competition in not only the 500, but also the 1,650 and 200 national freestyle events. But Reese doesn’t appear to have any concerns with Lewis’s coming performance at nationals. 

“He’s gonna make me famous,” Reese said.

With the recognition earned from winning the Big 12 Championship’s Newcomer of the Meet, all eyes will be on Lewis for his first highly anticipated NCAA championship appearance.

Just as high hopes are set for Lewis’ first national championship berth, high expectations are set for seniors Michael McBroom, Dax Hill and Austin Surhoff.

Unlike Lewis, Hill did not qualify until his sophomore year. One year later, he secured the NCAA title in the 200 freestyle, becoming the first African-American at Texas to win a men’s NCAA individual swimming title. Hill is favored again this year for the event and is likely to place among the top in the 100 freestyle as well.

McBroom has qualified for NCAA Championships all four years of his collegiate career, three of which were completed as a Longhorn. McBroom transferred to Texas his sophomore season and, in the same season, set the school record and won the NCAA title in the 1,650 freestyle.

“I’m excited for NCAA, I’m looking forward to it,” McBroom said. “Hopefully I’ve still got more time to shave off.”

McBroom has since set the NCAA record in the 1,000 freestyle. He holds the nation’s fastest time in the 1,650 freestyle and is clearly favored for the event.

As a freshman, Surhoff was the Longhorn’s top individual point scorer and helped lead the Longhorns to win their 10th NCAA team title. This season, Surhoff earned NCAA qualifying marks in the 200, which he has previously won, and 400
individual medleys.

“There’s gonna be about three people that are the ones to beat at nationals and he’s gonna be one of those three,” Reese said of Surhoff.

The seven swimmers set to join Hill, Surhoff, McBroom and Lewis are juniors Charlie Moore, Patrick Murphy and Caleb Weir; sophomores Tripp Cooper, Kip Darmody, Jake Ritter and Clay Youngquist. Divers redshirt sophomore Will Chandler and freshman Cory Bowersox will attend in the attempt to earn titles as well.

“We all are learning from each other and I think that’s the biggest thing that’s different from last year,” Hill commented. “Everybody knows they have more to give.”

No. 1 Texas has significant potential to take its 11th national title in Indianapolis. Texas has finished no worse than second at the last five NCAA Championship meets and looks to continue the tradition starting Thursday.

Men's Swimming and Diving

No. 7 Texas delivered on high expectations Friday, completely washing out Big 12 Conference rival TCU in 11 of 12 events, leading to a 133-88 victory.

Seniors Austin Surhoff and Dax Hill, sophomore Tripp Cooper and junior Charlie Moore set the tone for victory with a 1:31.77 win in the 200-yard medley relay. Sophomore Jake Ritter extended that tone as he led a one-two Texas finish in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:41.30.

Hill additionally led the 50 freestyle with a winning time of 20.83 seconds, and Surhoff, a former NCAA champion in the 200 individual medley, easily took that event with a time of 1:50.11.

Enhancing the Longhorn victory, both freshman Cory Bowersox and sophomore Will Chandler led a one-two-three-four Texas diving finish. Bowersox tallied 359.63 points in the one-meter event and Chandler 432.53 points in the three-meter.

Texas concluded the meet with wins in the last two events, however a Longhorn victory was eminent, so Texas completed the events as exhibitions.

The Longhorns will continue with their dual-meet schedule on Feb. 1, at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center when they host Arizona and SMU.

On the plane ride back to Austin from the NCAA championships in Ohio last year, Texas was not sitting back and enjoying its victory.

Instead, the Longhorns were planning how they were going to defend their title.

“We were coming back early morning on Monday and they were trying to figure out how they could equal their points total without getting anybody new on the team, without the incoming freshmen,” said Texas coach Eddie Reese.

They worked harder and got faster.

The Longhorns are ranked No. 4 in the nation, but the team is very different from last year. Last year’s senior class included two Olympians, Ricky Berens and Dave Walters.

“We’re a totally different team when you graduate people every year,” Reese said. “It’s almost like there’s no defending champion. The only defending champion is the name.”

Reese believes the team’s depth will help them this weekend at the University of Minnesota.

“Normally if you get one person in the top eight, you’ve done well,” Reese said. “But we’ve got a couple of events — we could get three or four in the top eight.”

Last year, as a freshman, Austin Surhoff led the Longhorns with 40 points and is the tournament’s defending 200 individual medley champion. He, along with the rest of the sophomores, look to prove themselves to the upperclassmen.

“You can’t aim for points in this meet,” Reese said. “But I do believe that Austin will score more points this year than he did last year.”

Nick D’Innocenzo, who did not score any points at last year’s NCAA meet, is the top seed in the 200 breaststroke, ranks eighth nationally in the 200 individual medley and sixth in the 400 individual medley.

“They know what they did last and they know how to get better,” Reese said. “Nick has just done a great job. He’s working hard. Every time he has a good time, somebody says, ‘Well Nick has worked for that,’ and he has.”

Although he did not qualify the meet last year, Dax Hill is prepared to prove himself and has the fourth fastest time in the 200 freestyle and is ranked 11th in the 100 freestyle.

Sophomores Cole Cragin and Michael McBroom will also be competing.

The sophomores are bound to make an impact, but soon-to-be four-time NCAA championship participants Bryan Collins and Scott Spann look to end their college careers with a second national title. Spann is a three-time runner-up for the breaststroke events in the NCAA championships.

“We’re not the same team that won it last year,” Reese said. “The goal every year is to work harder and go faster. If everybody goes faster, then you will do well.”

As a freshman, Austin Surhoff was Texas’ only individual winner and the top points scorer in the NCAA Championships, where the Longhorns captured their 10th NCAA title. After such a successful season, Surhoff looks to the future.

“I don’t want to be just a flash in the pan,” Surhoff said. “I want to be an impact swimmer in the NCAA for all four years that I am here. I feel like the pressure is on now so I have to respond to the pressure and keep getting better.”

He said that at the NCAA finals last year, he focused on finishing strong individually. But the promise of team success is what motivates him this year. Doing his best as part of them team will hopefully propel them to a championship.

A Maryland native, Surhoff’s parents come from athletic backgrounds — his dad, B.J., was a major league baseball player for 19 years and his mom, Polly, swam for the University of North Carolina.

“A lot of their philosophies and values were instilled by their athletic accomplishments,” Surhoff said. “A lot of their values came from their athletics so I had athletics-based values very early when I was a kid and I think that helped me. Being mentally prepared for swimming, I think that’s what they helped the most with.”

Surhoff says he misses his family as well as Baltimore Ravens football games, but being in Austin has made him a little less homesick. While visiting colleges, he felt Austin was a good fit for him because of the quality of the coaching staff and the University overall, he said.

He said that his teammates push him to do better both in and out of the pool.

“My roommate Cole Cragin — he is the one who keeps me in line and tells me when I’m being a doofus and stuff like that,” Surhoff said. “Guys like Bryan Collins are guys who push me to do better in practice. Last year, and this year even though he isn’t on the team, Ricky Berens pushed me a lot, too.”

Surhoff also said that head coach Eddie Reese is his coach and mentor.

“He knows everything that I need in the sport of swimming,” Surhoff said. “He sees a lot more in me than I could ever see
in myself.”

He has learned much since coming to Texas, and the coaching staff has helped him get better and become an NCAA champion.

“It took the base that I had in high school,” Surhoff said. “Everything was built up in high school and Texas took that rough product and polished it down to an NCAA champion my freshman year and hopefully more as I continue.”

Reese said that he is impressed by Surhoff’s leadership qualities and levelheadedness. But he said he expects the young swimmer to continue to improve.

“He had a great year last year and I’ve known he was real good all along and now he knows he’s real good,” Reese said. “He is going to be very difficult to beat.”

Looking ahead, Surhoff has ambitions to make it to the Olympics.

“Everybody that comes here [UT] wants to be an Olympian,” he said. “That is the ultimate long-term goal — to represent the United States in the Olympics.”

The Longhorns have garnered 43 individual NCAA swimming titles

Junior Matt Cooper will be one of 19 Longhorns competing at the NCAA championships.

Photo Credit: Bobby Longoria | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns have a knack for winning swimming national championships — nine to be exact, with three in the past decade (2000, 2001, 2002).

Under the guidance of eight-time NCAA Coach of the Year Eddie Reese, the No. 2 Longhorns (6-1) traveled to Columbus, Ohio on Monday in an attempt to secure a 10th NCAA championship at Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Competition begins Friday and finals end Sunday evening.

The team has finished in second place at the championships on eight occasions, including last season, with Reese leading Texas to top-three NCAA finishes in 24 of his previous 31 seasons.

On top of that, the Longhorns have accumulated 43 NCAA individual swimming titles, 35 NCAA relay titles and 16 NCAA diving crowns with Reese at the helm.

Texas will look to add to those marks after a promising regular season, the only defeat coming from the then-No. 2 Arizona Wildcats, who currently occupy the top spot.

The Longhorns claimed their 14th consecutive Big 12 championship meet and Reese’s 30th successive conference title at Texas.

Last week’s Zone Diving Championships, an NCAA-qualifying meet for divers, saw 2009 NCAA 1-meter champion and sophomore Drew Livingston and junior Matt Cooper qualify for the national championships.

The two divers will complete a 19-man squad, consisting of Olympians Ricky Berens and David Walters as well as freshman Big 12 champion Austin Surhoff. Texas is sending the largest contingent of swimmers and divers with Arizona, Auburn, California and Ohio State bringing 18 each.

Assistant coach Kris Kubik believes Texas’ progress this season comes on the back of the positive influence the seniors had on their teammates and that the team is fully capable of bringing home a national championship.

“We’ve had phenomenal senior leadership from each of our seniors the entire year, not only in practicing and racing but in giving advice to our younger swimmers,” Kubik said. “So it has been a very pleasant year thus far, and as far as any surprises are concerned, I think ideally the whole team will be a surprise because I think we’re ready to do something very special.”

Other than the experienced duo of Berens and Walters, the Longhorns have several NCAA veterans among them. Senior Hill Taylor is making his fourth straight appearance, and for senior Peter Jameson and juniors Scott Spann and Bryan Collins, it will be their third.

Sophomore Jimmy Feigen, making his second trip to the championships, will be reunited with his nemesis, California’s Nathan Adrian. As a freshman, Feigen came in second to Adrian at the NCAAs in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, the Longhorn’s favored competitions. This time, Feigen is swimming with a year of experience under his belt and with more confidence, qualifying at the conference championships for the 50 freestyle with an NCAA “A Cut” of 19.34 and also winning the 100.

Texas’ first-timers include junior Jim Robertson and freshmen Surhoff, Nick D’Innocenzo and Cole Cragin.
Surhoff will the be one to watch this week after he was named Big 12 Conference Championship Newcomer of the Meet, winning the 200 backstroke, 200 individual medley and placing second in the 400 individual medley.

Robertson is part of a trio of Longhorns competing in the 500 freestyle. He will be led by sophomore Jackson Wilcox and junior Scott Jostes.

Jostes has recently made a name for himself by setting records. In 2009, he was the NCAA champion and record holder in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 6:10.06. He is also an American record holder in the 200 freestyle and 200 and 800 medley relays.

“Scott had an outstanding year last year and got a taste of the competition at the NCAA level,” Kubik said. “So we fully expect for him to be a big contributing factor for points at the NCAAs this year, not only in his individual events but also on relays.”

He is also swimming in the 200 and 100 freestyle, lining up against teammate Feigen in the latter.

Texas did not have much success in the backstroke competitions at last year’s meet with 2009 All-American Taylor finishing third and sixth in the 100 and 200 events, respectively. The senior will be the lone Longhorn in the 100 backstroke and will also take part in the 100 butterfly alongside sophomore Neil Caskey. This year, Surhoff will be accompanied by Collins and sophomore Hayes Johnson in the 200 backstroke, without the experienced Taylor. offers live video streaming of each day’s sessions except Sunday’s finals, which will be aired by