Mark Anderson

Texas divers begin preliminary competitions in Iowa City, Iowa, on Monday as part of the NCAA Zone “D” Diving Meet.

Three men — sophomore Mark Anderson, junior Cory Bowersox and senior Will Chandler — will dive, with Anderson and Chandler competing in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform dives. Bowersox will compete in just the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. Chandler and Bowersox went 1-2 in the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the Big 12 Championships, and Anderson is the reigning Big 12 platform diving champion. 

The women are sending four divers to Iowa City, and each figures to have a shot to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Sophomore Murphy Bromberg, the Big 12 3-meter and platform diving champion, will attempt to qualify in all the events, along with juniors  Meghan Houston and Kristina Hoffmann. 

Senior Emma Ivory-Ganja, fresh off her win in the 1-meter event at the Big 12 Championships, will also compete in all three events.

The new zone meets allow divers to compete for a spot in the NCAA Championships in two weeks.

In order to qualify for the NCAA Championships, the Texas men must finish in the top four in their events, while the women must place in the top five.

Men's cross country

Texas men’s cross country closed its season with a No. 26 finish at the NCAA Championships this Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana. 

After securing one of just 31 spots at the championship, Texas struggled to run its best race.

All-American senior Craig Lutz fell around 4,000 meters into the race after getting bumped. Texas got caught behind the lead pack and struggled to gain any headway during the remainder of the competition.

“It was really disappointing [when] Lutz went down, but he got up and finished 51st,” said Brad Herbster, assistant coach for cross country/distance. “Was it what he wanted? No. But he didn’t quit. He very easily could have thrown in the towel and just said, ‘It’s not my day,’ but he kept fighting..”

Colorado won the men’s title, with Oklahoma State representing the Big 12 in ninth.

Regardless of the disappointing performance, Herbster said the race showed positive notes.

“They just kept fighting all the way through,” Herbster said. “Not a great performance, but they fought. That’s the one thing we can take away from this. They kept moving up, but it just wasn’t the Longhorns’ day today. We’re the No. 26 team in the country, but we’re a lot better than that.”

Men's swimming and diving

As the Texas Diving Invitational came to a close Saturday afternoon, the men’s swimming and diving team walked away with plenty to brag about.

On Thursday, the first day of the meet, the Big 12 Conference announced All-American sophomore Mark Anderson as the league’s Men’s Diver of the Week. Anderson, who received the title for the first time, lived up to the honor through the weekend competition.

Anderson was the only Longhorn competing in the platform event, and he was the only one Texas needed.

After the first round, Hawaii’s Amund Gismervik stood tall on the platform, boasting his lead in the event — but first place wasn’t his for long. Anderson climbed the stairs to the top of the platform and took his place for his second dive. Leaping off the concrete to perform his four-and-a-half somersaults almost flawlessly, Anderson garnered 77.7 points for the dive. Gismervik couldn’t do enough to catch up. Anderson finished with 441.75 points, securing victory in the event Saturday, the final day of the invitational.

While Anderson made a splash at the meet, junior Cory Bowersox and Gismervik competed in the invitational’s closest event, the 3-meter finals.

Gismervik took the lead halfway through the event, but Bowersox earned 91.2 points on a dive for a late spark to narrow Gismervik’s lead. Bowersox continued to gain ground, as the event came to a close, but his slow start came back to haunt him, as Gismervik won with 440.30 points — less than a point ahead of Bowersox’s 439.50.

Men’s diving will compete at the USA Diving Nationals next on Dec. 16.

Women's swimming and diving

Texas women’s swimming and diving swept the Texas Diving Invitational this past weekend at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center.

The Longhorns continued to win by large margins against strong teams, such as Cal and Arizona State, which were also present in every round of finals for the 3-meter, 1-meter and platform dives.

Senior All-American Emma Ivory-Ganja placed first in a 1-2 Texas finish Thursday in the 3-meter dive with 395.40 points — a new personal best. Junior Meghan Houston placed behind Ivory-Ganja by a 57.5-point difference.

On Friday, Houston was back on the board in the finals. After trailing for the first three rounds, she came in first with 304.25 points, a slim 6-point advantage over University of Houston’s Danielle Shedd’s 298.25 points. This was the closest event of the weekend, as the top-three 1-meter finalists all scored within 10 points of each other.

The final day of diving resulted in another 1-2 Texas win, wrapping up the invitational with three straight victories for the Longhorns. Sophomore All-American Murphy Bromburg gained a large margin over competitors with her third, fourth and fifth dives, earning 80-plus points each. Bromburg stole the platform with 360.70 points, a 50.20 lead over second place winner Ivory-Ganja.

Ivory-Ganja earned honors as Big 12 Diver of the Week this past Thursday.

The diving season will continue Dec. 16-21 at the USA Diving Winter Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

Men's Diving

This season, the Texas men’s diving team boasts three Team USA athletes — sophomore Mark Anderson, junior Cory Bowersox and senior Will Chandler. The three, along with junior Sean O’Brien, have not hit the water for a competition since Oct. 25. However, they will be working out the rust this weekend as they splash into the third annual Texas Diving Invitational, hosted by Texas.

The meet will take place at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Thursday at 11 a.m. and wrap up Saturday evening. The meet will include performances on all three boards, which include the one-meter, three-meter and platform.

For Saturday, Bowersox is expected to dominate the one-meter springboard. Last May, he secured his second consecutive All-American recognition in the event and took bronze in the same event for the U.S. at the FINA Diving Guanajuato Grand Prix.

Chandler will likely handle his competition on the three-meter. At the Big 12 Championships last season, he took second in the event. This year, he made another second place finish against A&M from nearly 10 feet up.

Anderson will mostly take care of the platform. Last spring, at the NCAA Championships, he received his first All-American honor in the event and placed seventh for Team USA in the event last month.

Rachel Wenzlaff

Women's Diving

This weekend the Texas women’s diving team hosts eight teams in the third annual Texas Diving Invitational. Competition will be featured on all three boards: three-meter, one-meter and platform. This three-day meet will take place at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center starting Thursday at 11 a.m.

Of the 29 women diving this weekend, 28 of them will be competing in the three-meter and one-meter prelims that will take place Thursday and Friday. Each diver must complete six dives in the preliminaries and perform no repeat dives. Eight women from each of the two events will move onto the finals, which will take place on the same day, following the events’ preliminary rounds.

The final day of the invitational divers will be competing on the platform. There will be no prelims, just finals. Nineteen women will complete five dives on this final board in the invitational. Diving order will not be based on the previous days scores, but will instead be randomized.

The following schools will be represented on the board: Arizona State, Wyoming, California, Houston, TCU, Hawaii, Kansas and Louisiana State.

Divers to look out for this weekend are senior, three-time All-American, Emma Ivory-Ganja, juniors Meghan Houston and Kristina Hoffman, and sophomore Murphy Bromberg. Houston, Bromburg and Ivory-Ganja all claimed an event last year at this invitational.

The finals will be streamed live each day on the Longhorn Network.

Samantha Halbach

 

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.

Texas junior Will Chandler and freshman Mark Anderson finished in second and third place in the platform diving finals to conclude the UT Diving Invitational. Texas had four Longhorns competing in the 16-man event.

Chandler took second with a score of 418.40 points while Anderson placed third with 413.65 points. First place in the event went to Hawaii’s Amund Gismervik with a score of 444.75 points. 

Chandler’s best dive came in the fifth round. A back three-and-a-half somersault that earned him a meet-best 84.15 points. 

Freshman Michael Hiixon, who claimed the one-meter and three-meter events, finished in sixth place with 352.25 points. Junior Ryan Anthony placed eighth with 302.10 points.

The men will be back on the boards in mid-December at the USA Diving Winter National Championships in Austin. The Texas swimmers host the Texas Invitational from Dec. 5-7 at the Texas Swimming Center.