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.