Joe Jamail Texas

Exercise-science freshman Hannah Lerner, serves as the lifeguard at the Texas Swimming Center. Although the world-class swimmers and divers she watches don’t often need her help, Lerner finds excitement in the job.
Photo Credit: Graeme Hamilton | Daily Texan Staff

Texas swimming center lifeguard Hannah Lerner has never taken an official swimming lesson in her life — but the exercise-science freshman and her co-workers are tasked with protecting the world-class swimmers at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

Most of the athletes who swim and dive under Lerner’s watchful gaze are part of the 11-time NCAA National Champion Texas men’s swimming and diving team or the nine-time champion women’s team. Professional swimmers and Olympians also use the facility.

Lerner said it’s easy to feel unnecessary on the stand.

“They’re probably like, ‘You can go home,’” Lerner said.

So what do they do?

“At my old pool, it’s mostly kids, so a lot of it is, ‘Hey don’t push them in, stop running, don’t throw rocks at that bees’ nest,’” said lifeguard Liam Lockwood, who is also on the men’s swimming team. “But here at the swim center, all the groups are organized and here to do training.”

Lifeguarding at the TSC is by no means the sexy or exciting job that it is in movies. Guards spend much of their time setting up for meets, moving lane lines, scrubbing deck mats and wiping down appliances.

“Some people call us the pool janitors,” Lerner said.

Lerner, Lockwood and Casey Shomaker, head lifeguard and biochemistry senior,  have never had to save someone from the pool at the TSC. Shomaker says that although they have been fortunate to never have an emergency, there’s always the chance that something could go wrong — especially at practice.

In practice, teams and athletes often do hypoxic, or breath-control, training. The exercise usually requires athletes to limit their breathing during strokes, which can potentially cause athletes to pass out. But the most dangerous culprit is the diving board.

“Off the 10-meter, smacking is equivalent to hitting concrete,” Shomaker said.

Most of the time, it’s not a smack against the water but a smack into the board that sparks a response from the guards.

Lockwood, who tries to avoid the awkward moments when he has to watch over his teammates, remembers being off-duty at a college meet where he heard a deafening bang.

“I was like, ‘Did some sort of machinery explode or something?’” Lockwood said. “I turned around and saw the board was way in the air, and I was like, ‘Oh crap. Somebody hit the board really, really hard.’”

But before Lockwood had even finished turning around, his on duty co-workers had already jumped off their stands to respond.

“It was cool to see them respond so fast,” Lockwood said. “It made me really proud.”

Although active response situations are rare and sitting on a stand watching people swim back and forth can be dull, the lifeguards have their fair share of excitement.

“Michael Phelps was just here a few weeks ago,” Lerner said. “He was standing by the lifeguard stand for a long time, and I was just like this is so cool.”

For the ninth time in conference history, the 10-time NCAA champion Texas (9–1) will host the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships.

The regular season is over, and the Big 12 Championships will be nothing out of the ordinary for the No. 2 Longhorns. In the past 37 years, head coach Eddie Reese has led Texas to 35 consecutive conference titles. Since the Big 12 Conference was formed in 1996, the Longhorns have won all 18 championships.

However, it won’t be a traditional Big 12 Conference. Only TCU, Texas and West Virginia sponsor men’s swimming and diving teams. Since the pickings are so slim, it is shaping up to be a race for second place.

Five Longhorns — freshman Joseph Schooling, sophomores Clark Smith, Will Licon and Jack Conger, and junior John Murray — finished the regular season with some of the nation’s top times in individual events. 

The 100-yard butterfly will be absolutely no contest as four Longhorns were ranked among the country’s top 17 in the event this season.

The Longhorns held the No. 1 position in the CSCAA NCAA rankings for the previous two poll releases but recently dropped down to the number two spot behind Florida. Meanwhile, neither the Horned Frogs nor the Mountaineers are ranked in the top 25, and neither school has even received votes to be placed there.

Prelims begin at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Wednesday and the meet continues into Saturday night.

Men's tennis

No. 9 men’s tennis continued its undefeated season this weekend with two convincing victories over No. 62 Washington and Rice. The Longhorns began the weekend’s play by defeating Washington 6–1 in matches highlighted by strong doubles play, especially from sophomore George Goldhoff. Goldhoff, the ITA Texas Region Rookie of the Year, returned from injury Friday and won both the No. 2 doubles and No. 5 singles matches. 

“It was nice to see George out there get two wins — that added to our team’s overall effort,” head coach Michael Center said. “He brought a lot of energy and fire to the match tonight. It was contagious.”

On Sunday, Rice traveled to Austin and the Longhorns took care of the Owls in easy fashion, getting out to a fast start and never looking back. The Longhorns gained control of the match early, with All-American senior Søren Hess-Olesen’s dominant 6–1, 6–2 victory.

The Longhorns now look ahead to next weekend’s ITA National Indoor Championships in Chicago. If the Longhorns can keep their momentum going and have a quality showing at the championships, they will prove to be one of the preeminent programs in the nation.

Women's swimming and diving

The Texas women’s swimming and diving team continued its string of dominant performances Friday, winning 13-of-15 events to handily defeat TCU at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. 

A bevy of seniors kick-started Texas’ success early on Senior Day, as Sarah Denninghoff, Gretchen Jaques, Kelsey LeNeave and Emily Rose Williams pulled out a win in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:41.81. Jaques notched an individual win in the 100-yard breaststroke, in which Texas went 1-2-3 with sophomore Jordan Surhoff and senior Skylar Smith taking second and third, respectively. Freshman Mimi Schneider turned in the No. 21 time in the country in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.32. Fellow freshman Rebecca Millard led a strong group of Longhorns in the 100-yard freestyle, winning with a time of 50.57 seconds in a race that saw four Longhorns finish in first through fourth place. Sophomore Madisyn Cox wasn’t able to match her three-win outing against Arizona/SMU, but she still competed well, finishing second in both the 200-yard butterfly and 100-yard free. 

In addition to her contributions on the 200-yard medley, LeNeave earned two individual wins in the 200-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle. Texas’ divers dominated as well, taking the top four spots in both the one-meter and three-meter boards, with junior Meghan Houston winning the one-meter board and senior Emma Ivory-Ganja taking the three-meter board. 

The Longhorns have a break until their next competition, when they host the Big 12 Championships from Feb. 25-28.

Track and field

After picking up three wins in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and one in South Bend, Indiana, the Longhorn track and field team returns to Austin with heads held high.

At the Meyo Invitational on the campus of Notre Dame, sophomore Sandie Raines represented Texas, winning the 3,000-meter race with a time of 9:15.73. Fellow 3,000-meter runner, senior Craig Lutz, recorded a time of 8:01.71, placing second in the men’s section of the race. These two times rank sixth and fifth on their respective all-time lists at Texas and put the runners in position to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

In New Mexico, the Longhorns’ men’s and women’s teams swept the 60-meter finals, and, in the process, set top-12 NCAA times. Sophomore Senoj-Jay Givans set the pace with a time of 6.62 seconds — the 12th best time in the NCAA after altitude adjustment. In the women’s bracket, junior Morolake Akinosun set the fourth best time in the NCAA after altitude adjustment this season with a mark of 7.20 seconds.

Jumping past the field, senior hurdler Morgan Snow finished with a time of 8.13 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles en route to picking up the win for Texas. Her time puts her second on the NCAA season leaderboard and was just .02 slower than her personal best.

Finally, junior Courtney Okolo, a Bowerman Award finalist, took home a time of 51.35 seconds in the 400 meters — the best college mark this season by almost half a second. Sophomore Kendall Baisden finished immediately behind her with a time of 52.91 seconds in the event.

This weekend, the Longhorns will split up again, this time between the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the Husky Classic in Seattle.

Men's swimming

Last weekend, sophomore Jack Conger dove into the national spotlight as he set a school record in the 200-yard butterfly. 

Conger’s time of 1:40.34 put him ahead of the previous record holder, freshman teammate Joseph Schooling, and simultaneously earned him the title of NCAA’s fourth best performer ever in the event. 

Conger kept his reaction simple.

“It was really nice,” he said.

Head coach Eddie Reese was more visibly excited.

“It was totally surprising to all of us,” Reese said. “He got out there real strong, and his last three 50’s were 25.9, 25.9, 26 flat.  You just don’t see that in butterfly.”

Conger, usually a backstroke specialist, appreciated being recognized for accomplishments in another field.

“The last few days leading up to the meet, we were really narrowed in on one or two events to focus on, and the 200 fly was that for me,” he said. “It’s not necessarily an off event, but it’s something besides backstroke, which is nice to do to get my mind off of something I enjoy and love doing so much.”

Conger will try to continue his success this weekend as the No. 1 ranked Longhorns face off against TCU at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in their Senior Day contest. 

The last time these two schools faced off was in 2013, when the Longhorns had a decisive 133-88 win in Fort Worth.

Men's tennis

Following their hard fought 4-2 victory against the SMU Mustangs on Saturday, the undefeated Texas men’s tennis team will face two ranked opponents this weekend.

Friday, the No. 62 Washington Huskies are coming to Austin, and Sunday, the Longhorns will face off against the No. 75 Rice Owls at the Weller Indoor Tennis Center. 

The Huskies, the tougher of the two matchups, are currently undefeated with three consecutive shutout victories. Meanwhile, the Owls are recovering from three straight losses, two of which came against unranked opponents Old Dominion and Mississippi State. 

The Longhorns come into the weekend on the back of very strong singles play, especially from senior All-Americans Søren Hess-Olesen and Lloyd Glasspool. Texas boasts one of the most experienced rosters in the Big 12, with five seniors and seven upperclassmen in all.

However, the Longhorns’ toughest test this season will come in Chicago at the ITA National Indoor Championship next weekend. If Texas can win both matches to sweep the weekend, it looks to continue its strong momentum heading into the ITA contest on Feb. 13.

Track and field

Coming off the heels of a strong weekend, Texas’ track and field will split up once again this weekend.

The Longhorns’ distance runners will travel to South Bend, Indiana, for the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame. The meet, known for attracting some of the top talent in the country, will provide a mid-season test for Texas.

Meanwhile, the rest of Texas’ team will head out west to the New Mexico Collegiate Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

In the sprints, junior and Bowerman hopeful Courtney Okolo will be running her first 400 meters of the year, looking to gear up for the outdoor season.

This weekend also provides junior Kaitlin Petrillose, who joins Okolo on the Bowerman preseason watch list, another stepping stone on her quest to once again gain recognition as the NCAA Indoor Pole Vault champion. The Albuquerque Convention Center, home to the New Mexico Collegiate Classic, has provided four of the top-20 marks for pole vault this season, giving Petrillose an opportunity at setting her season-high mark.

Junior Ryan Crouser, No. 1 shot-putter in the world, also looks to continue his success this weekend coming off a world-leading mark of 20.95 meters (68–9.00) at the UW Invitational. 

Texas currently ranks No. 11 in the country on the men’s side and No. 7 on the women’s.

Women's swimming and diving

No. 6 ranked Texas women’s swimming and diving team will host TCU Friday in its final meet until the Big 12 Championships at the end of the month.

All-American sophomore swimmer Madisyn Cox will look to continue her stellar 2015, coming off a three-win outing in a dual-meet against Arizona and SMU last week. Cox’s accomplishments were enough to claim honors as the Big 12 Conference’s Swimmer of the Week, her first such recognition as a Longhorn.

Senior swimmer Gretchen Jaques expects to continue her success as the nation’s No. 2 swimmer in the 100-yard breaststroke.

In the diving events, platform diving duo senior Emma Ivory-Ganja and sophomore Murphy Bromberg hope to build on their performance from the dual meet last week, where they placed first and second, respectively.

Today’s home meet will serve as Senior Day for Texas, and the Longhorns will honor eight graduating seniors. 

The meet begins at 4 p.m. at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

Men's swimming and diving

Each year, the Texas men’s swimming and diving team quietly climbs their way to the top — and this year should be no different.

The Longhorns have comfortably retained the No. 1 national spot since Dec. 11 and will look to protect their rank in this weekend’s double-dual meet against No. 14 Arizona and SMU.

In their last meeting with SMU, almost exactly two years ago, the Longhorns cruised past the Mustangs by a 76-point margin. And about one year later, Texas handed the Wildcats a defeat 194-153.

Four Longhorns — John Murray, Clark Smith, Will Licon and Joseph Schooling — hold the country’s top times in five individual events. Texas also holds the nation’s fastest times in the 200-medley relay and 200-freestyle relay.

Most impressively, and most recently, two Longhorns earned international recognition. Sophomore Jack Conger secured the world’s best time in the 100-butterfly at the USA Swimming Arena Pro Swim Series with senior Tripp Cooper coming in a touch behind him with the world’s second best time in the event.

Texas takes to the water at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center for this weekend’s meet at 5 p.m. on Friday and continuing into Saturday afternoon.

Men's tennis

Following back-to-back home victories to start the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, the Texas men’s tennis team will attempt to bring home its fifth straight victory Saturday.

The Longhorns travel to Dallas this weekend to take on undefeated Southern Methodist University at the SMU Tennis Complex. Both teams are undefeated so far this season. However, Texas remains ranked No. 9 in the nation, while SMU is currently unranked.

Last season, the Longhorns cruised past the Mustangs in their season opener, winning by a score of 7 — 0. Junior Søren Hess-Olesen produced a strong performance — one of many from Texas during the match.

Hess-Olesen, a two-time All-American and reigning Big 12 Player of the Year, has been the catalyst for the Longhorns again this season. He has won his last six matches, including back-to-back straight set victories against No. 46 Minnesota and No. 33 Florida State.

Following Saturday’s match, Texas will have two more home matches before heading to Chicago for the ITA National Indoor Championship on Feb. 13.

Women's tennis

After a shutout loss to Vanderbilt Sunday, No. 23 Texas women’s tennis (1–1) looks to redeem itself this weekend against Rice (1–2).

The match will be the first home contest for the Longhorns this season at the Weller Indoor Tennis Center.

Both teams started the season at the ITA Kick-off Weekend event last weekend, but neither team advanced to the National Women’s Team Indoor Championship in February.

The Longhorns defeated DePaul 4–3 before losing to Vanderbilt, earning them a second place finish in the four-team tournament. Rice travelled to Illinois but lost both matches and placed fourth.

Texas is the third of six consecutive top-40 opponents the Owls play this season, and Rice has yet to defeat a ranked team on the road.

At the top of the lineup for Rice is senior Natalie Beazant, who was ranked No. 24 in the preseason singles rankings. Two-time All-American sophomore Breaunna Addison will lead the lineup for the Longhorns.

Track and field

Texas will split up to compete in the Howie Ryan Invitational and the UW Invitational this weekend.

The Longhorns are sending a small group — most of whom are sprinters — to the Howie Ryan Invitational in Houston, hosted by the University of Houston. 

The Howie Ryan Invitational will feature top-25 talent in the men’s and women’s hurdles. On the women’s side, junior Mobolaji Adeokun currently ranks No. 24 in the country with a time of 8.42 seconds. Sophomore Spencer Dunkerely-Offor ranked No. 31 this season with a time of 7.95 will compete in the men’s hurdles.  He will face off against Houston’s Isaac Williams, who is ranked No. 1 in the country with a time of 7.72.

Texas will send its pole vaulters and throwers to Seattle for the UW Invitational, hosted by the University of Washington.

Junior All-American pole vaulter Reese Watson will have his hands full as he goes up against some of the best pole vaulters in the country. Three athletes who are currently in the top 10 will compete in the men’s pole vault.

Junior pole vaulter Kaitlin Petrillose, the defending NCAA champion, is currently ranked No. 9. Petrillose will compete against University of Washington’s Diamara Planell Cruz, who is ranked No. 22.


Texas softball will finish off its fall season Friday when it travels to San Marcos to take on Texas State. The Longhorns will look to continue their dominant play, as they have outscored opponents 43-5 throughout their four games.

Although the offense has produced over 10 runs per game, the pitching has been equally impressive, striking out 46 batters.

Sophomore infielder Kelli Hanzel and freshman outfielder Alyssa Angel have also made their presences felt early. Hanzel has been on a torrid pace throughout the fall, going 5-for-6 with four RBIs. She had her best game of the fall against St. Edward’s, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs.

Situational play was used in Texas’ last outing against St. Edward’s, and the Longhorns may resort to it again versus Texas State.

—Aaron Torres

Women's Soccer

The women’s soccer team will play a semi-final match against No. 9 West Virginia on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Kansas City, Missouri, after advancing on penalty kicks against No. 10 Texas Tech in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 tournament.

Texas dropped a 2-0 home contest to West Virginia back in September that started an eight-game Mountaineer winning streak that shows no signs of stopping.

A confident Texas team will not be able to rely on stout defense alone to upset the top-seeded team in the Big 12 tournament. The West Virginia offensive machine is averaging 2.37 goals per game, and four Mountaineers have at least five goals on the season.

Fortunately for the Longhorns, junior midfielder Chantale Campbell has played her best soccer in the Big 12 Championship, notching five points over her career in the tournament, including a crucial penalty kick against Texas Tech on Wednesday. 

—Daniel Clay

Women's Swimming and Diving

The long-standing tradition of competing against the Aggies may have come to a close in football, but, Friday, the rivalry will be reignited in the pool. The No. 2 Texas women’s swimming and diving team will host Texas A&M at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Friday at 4 p.m.

The last time these two teams met in College Station in 2013, the Aggies trailed Texas at the start of the final event but pulled ahead to barely secure a 152-148 win. This time around, both teams enter into this Texas showdown undefeated — Texas (5-0) and Texas A&M (3-0) — as a result of two victorious Halloween weekend outings.

Texas defeated No. 1 Cal by a 161-139 margin and No. 4 Stanford by a narrower 156-144 win to move up to No. 2 — the highest for Texas under third-year head coach Carol Capitani. No. 9 Texas A&M took first in 12 of 13 events this past weekend against the University of Houston (140-95) and the University of North Texas (140-86).

The grueling grind will continue for the Longhorns Friday as they look to keep the streak going against an Aggie team that is yet to go against a top-10 team this year. 

—Samantha Halbach


With two diving titles and a collection of other top-10 finishes, Texas finished second at the NCAA Championships. Among the Longhorns’ strong performers was the 400-yard freestyle relay team that secured the ninth-fastest time in program history.






Photo Credit: Jenna VonHofe | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns grabbed three individual All-American finishes and an All-American relay to finish second this weekend while hosting the NCAA Division I Championships. Competing at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Texas scored 417.5 points, trailing title-winner California’s 468.5.

This marks the 11th NCAA runner-up finish for head coach Eddie Reese, who has won 10 NCAA titles in his 36 years here. Reese said ninth-place finishes hurt the team.

“We lived and died by our ninths,” Reese said. “We’re from The University of Texas, so we expect to be battling for top three year in and year out and have a legitimate shot for first. We did.” 

Freshman diver Michael Hixon swept the springboard diving events to secure two NCAA titles and Diver of the Meet honors. 

“Having my boys right there, right beside the three-meter, that was unbelievable,” Hixon said. “I kind of went a little crazy after my last dive, probably a little bit too much.”

Hixon finished out his meet with a seventh-place finish in the platform diving event with a score of 366.35.

Diving coach Matt Scoggin reclaimed his 2012 title as the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Diving Coach of the Year. Scoggin attributed Hixon’s early success to his work ethic and dedication. 

“It’s infectious,” Scoggin said. “He shows up early, stays late. Sometimes I have to tell him, ‘Look, you’re done. You need to get out of here.’”

Hixon’s spirit translated to the swimmers. Sophomore freestyler John Murray clocked in at 42.43 for fifth in the 100-yard freestyle championship, and sophomore swimmer Matt Ellis placed seventh in the consolation final with 42.98.

Beating his own personal best and notching third on the all-time Texas board, junior swimmer Kip Darmody finished sixth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:40.18. Freshman swimmer Jack Conger’s 1:40.73 time put him in eighth place, giving the Longhorns 11 overall points.

The Longhorns ended the night with a fourth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the ninth-fastest time at UT. Ellis, Murray, Conger and senior swimmer Caleb Weir lapped at 43.07, 42.11, 43.06 and 42.70, respectively.

Scoggin said he’s optimistic about placing second with such a young team this year.

“It’s awesome to see young men have the guts to know how great they’re going to do before they even do it,” Scoggin said. “We feel very fortunate.”

Men’s swimming and diving perform well on first day of NCAA Championships

Sophomores Matt Ellis and John Murray as well as juniors Tripp Cooper and Kip Darmody represented Texas in the 200-yard freestyle relay, placing second with 1:15.53 just behind California on the first day of the 2014 NCAA Division I Championships. The event goes until Saturday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

Freshman Jack Conger came in fifth with 4:14.34 in the 500-yard freestyle. The Longhorns had a break during event three, as no swimmers qualified for the 200-yard IM championship final the team moved down to fourth overall.

Murray finished sixth in the 50-yard freestyle with 19.11, followed by Ellis who came in eighth with 19.20.

Texas picked up the pace towards the end of the night with the 1-meter diving championship. Freshman diver Michael Hixon took the title with 443.5 points, making him the first UT freshman diver to win an NCAA championship since 2009. The Longhorns ended the night with a third place finish in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:04.79. The NCAA Championships continue Friday with the 200 medley relay at 11 a.m.

— Courtney Norris


Men’s tennis begin conference play against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State

Following a full sweep of Tulsa last weekend, the Longhorns will continue their five-game home stand — their last of the year — against No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 21 Oklahoma State this weekend.

The weekend matchups begin Big 12 play for No. 11 Texas which boasts a 16-3 record up to this point in the season. The Longhorns are 8-0 at home and are currently on a three-match win streak.

Junior Soren Hess-Oleson enters this weekend leading the Longhorns with an 11-2 record in singles play and is currently ranked No. 21 in singles play. Along with junior Lloyd Glasspool, Hess-Oleson is also part of the No. 13 doubles team which has accounted for all eight of Texas’ wins over nationally ranked doubles opponents this season. 

The Sooners and Cowboys possess a combined five players in the top 100 in singles play this season which should make the Longhorns first shot at conference play a real test. 

Texas will play Oklahoma on Friday at 6 p.m. and Oklahoma State Sunday at 1 p.m.

—Matt Warden

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Texas will host the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship for the first time since 2003 from Thursday to Saturday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. 

Head coach Eddie Reese has led the Longhorns to 10 NCAA titles in his 36 years as head coach, and if Texas finishes in first place this weekend, Reese will be tied with former Ohio State coach Mike Peppe for the NCAA record of 11 titles. 

The men’s No. 6 team has qualified four divers and shares the lead with California with 16 swimmers attending the championship. 

Reese has trained his athletes rigorously since September to prepare for the most important meet of the season. This is the weekend their hard work will potentially pay off.

“To make this meet is a great statement,” Reese said. “A great commitment.” 

Freshman diver Mark Anderson qualified at the NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Meet in Minneapolis earlier this month, finishing first with 840.6 points, despite having been out of platform diving for weeks because of an ear condition. 

After undergoing a corrective operation, Anderson is now required to wear a polo cap when he competes, but that isn’t holding him back. 

After qualifying for his first NCAA Championship, Anderson’s teammates shared a photo via Instagram of Reese and all the swimmers wearing identical caps. 

Diving coach Matt Scoggin has been impressed with Anderson’s perseverance this season. 

“He had a great ability to stay cool and calm and focus on what makes the dive work at a very crucial moment,” Scoggin said. 

In its seven times hosting the NCAA Championship, Texas has won three of the titles. Junior diver Will Chandler considers home-pool advantage to help the team.

“We are very comfortable here,” Chandler said. “The guys are starting on their own blocks.” 

Michigan took the 2013 NCAA Championship title, followed by California and Arizona, and Texas finished in fifth place. This year, 20 determined Longhorns are hoping to keep the title at home. 

“You will see a bunch of kids that have got a great shot to make the Olympics in 2016,” Reese said. 

The competition kicks off at 11 a.m. Thursday, with the preliminary rounds and finals to follow at 7 p.m. 

Sophomore Matt Ellis led the Longhorns in the 100 freestyle Saturday, finishing at 43.03 good for runner-up. Ellis' finish helped propel the Longhorns to their 35th consecutive Big 12 Championship, a title no other team has held in Big 12 history. 

Photo Credit: Andrea Kurth | Daily Texan Staff

No. 8 Texas won its 35th consecutive conference championship with 1,071 points this weekend at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. In addition to finishing first, Texas dominated the competition with six event wins and several NCAA-qualifying times.

Even though the men’s team has won the Big 12 title every year since the championship was founded in 1996, head coach Eddie Reese said winning doesn’t gets old.

“You get a new group, and you send your most experienced group,” Reese said. “If you ever forget to do the simple things then you have to stay on that.”

Saturday’s finals kicked off with men’s platform diving. Freshman diver Mark Anderson opened the night well over 100 points ahead of competitors. Anderson said mental imagery helped him prepare.

“[Imagining actions outside the water] definitely helped,” Anderson said. “I felt like when I got back in, I didn’t worry as much because I had it played out in my head.”

After freshman swimmer Jack Conger claimed the 100 butterfly in an NCAA automatic cut 45.56, Conger notched his second victory and automatic berth with a 1:40.56 finish in the 200 backstroke. The success merited Conger recognition as the Men’s Newcomer of the Meet.

“It’s not about the time right now — it’s about placing and doing your part of the team,” Conger said. “The NCAAs are on our mind, you know. I hope I can get up there a few more times. We’ll see.” 

Longhorn Big 12 title winners of the weekend include freshman Will Licon for his performance in the 200 breaststroke, sophomore Sam Lewis for the 1,650 freestyle and sophomore breaststroke swimmer Imri Ganiel for the 100 breaststroke. Junior breaststroke swimmer Matt Korman finished with the event’s fastest 100 breaststroke time in the consolation final at 53.35. As Texas finished the night swimming the 400 freestyle relay with an NCAA qualifying cut, Reese applauded his team’s efforts.

“We were a little low on our enthusiasm,” Reese said. “But we got it together last night and were a lot better this morning. Tonight we were as good as I could have hoped.”

The NCAA Championships will be held March 27–29 in Austin.