Samantha Tucker

Photo Credit: Andrea Kurth | Daily Texan Staff

The NCAA Championships will begin Thursday and run through Saturday night at the University of Minnesota’s aquatic center. Nine swimmers and three divers will represent the No. 6 Longhorns. Along with those individuals, all five of Texas’ relay teams qualified for the championships.  

The Longhorns are well acquainted with the NCAA Championships, having won seven in their history, in addition to three second place finishes, and reaching a meet-record 746 points in 1991. As if that isn’t enough, the Longhorns will be led by senior All-Americans Ellen Lobb, Samantha Tucker and Lily Moldenhauer, making their fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships.  

Diving coach Matt Scoggin, in his 20th year, also has his share of experience heading into the championships. Senior diver Maren Taylor is making her fourth appearance, while UCLA transfer Emma Ivory-Ganja, a junior diver, and freshman diver Murphy Bromberg will be making their first appearances at the championships.

Lobb is seeded 12th in the 50 freestyle and 35th in the 100 freetyle. On top of that, she is seeded 29th in the 100 butterfly. Moldenhauer, the Texas record holder, is seeded seventh in the 100 backstroke. She is seeded 12th in the 100 butterfly. Tucker is seeded 16th in the 200 freestyle.

The Longhorns also have three junior swimmers, Gretchen Jaques, Kelsey LeNeave and Kaitlin Pawlowicz, who are each making their third consecutive appearance. The two freshmen swimmers, Madisyn Cox and Tasija Karosas, are making their championship debuts. Even without much experience at a meet of this magnitude, Cox ranks 10th nationally in the 200 individual medley, and Karosas is seeded 11th in the 200 backstroke.

The Longhorns are not the favorite to win the meet, as head coach Carol Capitani’s alma-mater and previous employer, California and Georgia, come in ranked No. 1 and 2. But the team’s experience will help it. 

Men's swimming and diving

Fourth-ranked Texas traveled to Bloomington, Ind. on Friday and split wins against Indiana and Michigan for the second year in a row. 

The Longhorns cruised past the ninth-ranked Hoosiers with a 108-point victory, but fell short against No. 1 Michigan with a score of 166-134.

Texas began the meet strong with a one-two finish in the one-meter diving event. In another strong performance, freshman Michael Hixon claimed the event with 373.25 points while freshman Mark Anderson secured second.

Freshman Jack Conger took home first in all the backstroke events. Conger started by taking the 100-yard backstroke in 48.36 before winning the 200-yard distance in 1:45.13. Conger would then go on to capture his third win of the night in the 100-yard butterfly. Texas also saw great performances from junior Clay Youngquist, who notched wins in the 100 and 200-yard freestyle.

The Longhorn distance swimmers were headlined by sophomore Sam Lewis. Lewis put together a strong swim in the 1,000 and finished in 9:09.92.

The Longhorns will resume the regular season Nov. 8 when they take on Virginia, Penn State and West Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

Women's swimming and diving

Texas looked dominant in its wins against Indiana and Michigan in a double-dual meet Friday, beating the latter by a 210-90 margin.

Longhorn divers swept the three-meter event to open competition, with junior Emma Ivory-Ganja picking up her second win in as many weeks.

Senior Samantha Tucker won the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:47.43, earning Texas’ first individual swimming victory of the day. 

Freshman Tasija Karosas finished first in the 200-yard backstroke for the third time this season, besting her two previous times with a mark of 1:56.74.

Texas concluded the meet with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay, posting its best time of the season in 3:21.06.   

Up next the Longhorns will face Penn State, Virginia and West Virginia in a meet in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 8.  

Men's tennis

Texas juniors Adrien Berkowicz and Clement Homs played some of the best tennis of their young Longhorns careers this weekend, when they both advanced to the finals of their respective draws at the UT Invitational.

Berkowicz advanced to the finals in the A draw where he defeated Cutura (6-7, 6-3, 6-1) to claim the UT Invitational singles A draw title while Homs advanced to the finals of the B draw before falling to Texas Tech’s Jolan Cailleau in straight sets (6-3, 6-1).

Senior Sudanwa Sitaram, No. 93 in the nation, was also in the B draw falling to Cailleau (6-0, 6-3) in the quarterfinals. In the singles A draw, freshman George Goldhoff advanced to the semifinals before falling to Tyler Junior College’s Mate Cutura (7-6[7-4], 7-6[7-4]).

In doubles Cutura/James Martell defeated Goldhoff/Jacoby Lewis (8-3) in the round of 16. Berkowicz/Homs fell to TCU’s Andres Alfonzo/Trey Daniel (8-6) in the doubles quarterfinal.

Texas finishes fall tournament play 65-39 in singles.

Rowing

Both varsity and novice squads collected wins over the weekend at Austin Rowing Club’s 29th annual Head of the Colorado.

Texas’ varsity boat won the five-entry open eights race, sweeping the competition. The Longhorns crossed the finish line in 18:19.9, more than a minute and a half before second-place LSU Rowing Club.

Texas also claimed a win in the novice-2 eights race with a time of 21:25.2. The Longhorns finished ahead of Oklahoma by more than 30 seconds.

On Sunday, Texas’ varsity raced in New Jersey in the three-mile Princeton Chase. Two Longhorn boats competed in the 52-entry women’s varsity eight, finishing 27th and 28th. Texas’ A boat crossed the finish line with a time of 16:06.36 and Texas’ B boat just behind, with a time of 16:10.47.

The Longhorns also competed in the women’s varsity fours. Texas’ A boat finished 14th in 17:50.73 just behind Rutgers and Cornell. Following was Texas’ B boat in 27th place with a time of 18:32.37. 

Overall, women’s rowing found success in its regattas over the weekend. The teams prepare to wrap up their fall season this weekend in Tennessee at the Head of the Hooch.

Women's golf

The Alamo Invitational in San Antonio began Sunday for the women’s golf team, as it ended the first round in 14th place with a score of 7-over-par 295. 

Junior Bertine Strauss led the team and ended her day at 4-over-par 76. Freshman Julia Beck was in the No. 2 spot and finished with a score of 2-over–par 74. 

Sophomore Tezira Abe finished the best for Texas with an even-par 72, while sophomore Natalie Karcher finished with a score of 2-over-par 74. Abe ended tied for 27th, and then Beck and Karcher tied for 49th on the overall leader board. Oklahoma, ranked No. 5 in the NCAA before the event, took first place in Sunday’s round with a score of 10-under-par 350. 

Freshman Sara Scarlett, competing as an individual, and Anne Hakula in position five also participated in the event for Texas, ending the first round with scores of 10-over-par 82 and 3-over-par 75 respectively. 

The second round will begin Monday at the Briggs Ranch Golf Course. 

Texas swimmer, diver earn Big 12 Honors

Senior swimmer Samantha Tucker and junior diver Emma Ivory-Ganja earned conference player of the week honors Wednesday for their performances against Texas A&M and North Carolina last week.

Tucker was named Big 12 Swimmer of the Week after claiming the 200-yard freestyle against the Aggies with a time of 1:47:95, a time which was good enough for 10th-best in college swimming this season. In the Longhorns’ victory over North Carolina, Tucker was runner-up in both the 50-yard and 200-yard freestyle events. 

Ivory-Ganja, who is a transferred to UT from UCLA, notched Big 12 Diver of the Week honors by winning the three-meter diving event against Texas A&M. The junior also tallied individual runner-up finishes in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events against the Tar Heels. 

The awards were the first conference player of the week honors for both Tucker and Ivory-Ganja in their careers.  

Texas Baseball has No. 2 recruiting class

Baseball America announced Tuesday the Texas baseball Class of 2013 was the second best in the nation, trailing only the Florida Gators. The rankings rate classes based on the players who are attending campus in the fall. 

Just like the Gators and South Carolina, Texas tallied five recruits ranked in the Baseball America 500: right-handed pitcher Lukas Schiraldi (No. 162), infielder Andy McGuire (No. 198), catcher Tres Barrera (No. 200), infielder Bret Boswell (No. 221) and right-handed pitcher Blake Goins (No. 256).

The Longhorns have 13 total recruits joining the team this season, five of which were drafted in the most recent MLB Draft but deferred to play
college baseball. 

This is the 12th time in the last 14 years that Texas brought in a Top-12 ranked class. 

Women's Swimming & Diving

After four days of trailing behind Texas A&M in the lanes and on the boards, Texas placed second in the Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo.

The Longhorns arrived in Missouri to start racing on Wednesday, ending the day a mere two points behind A&M. Karlee Bispo, Katie Riefenstahl, Leah Gingrich and Samantha Tucker nabbed first place in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:04.09. Tucker’s sweeping finish as the final leg helped UT steal the race by over three seconds.

Bispo scored UT’s first individual title at the meet on Thursday with a win in the 200 IM, finishing with a time of 1:56.05. Sophomore Ellen Lobb won the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.56, while Kelsey Amundsen, last years’ winner, followed in second place with a time of 22.71.

By Friday, Texas clung on to second place but couldn’t quite pass A&M. Lily Moldenhauer, Laura Sogar, Lobb and Bispo combined for second place in the 400 medley relay, their time just below the NCAA qualifying standard.

Strong performances popped up throughout the day, as Moldenhauer placed third in the 100 butterfly and second in the 100 backstroke, while Sogar swam her quickest 100 breaststroke race of the season with a time of 1:00.31.

Two Texas divers competed in the 3-meter competition on Friday. Shelby Cullinan placed fourth with 335.75 points and Diana Wilcox took seventh with 311.75 points.

On the final day of the meet, Sogar nabbed her first NCAA qualifying standard with a 2:08.36 in the 200 breaststroke. Gretchen Jacques swam her fastest time of the season for fourth place, a 2:13.65.

Wilcox placed second in the platform diving competition with 298.30 points, and Cullinan took third with 282.60 points.

Bispo, Tucker and Amundsen dominated the 100 freestyle race with times under 50.00, placing second, third and fourth.

Freshman Kelsey LeNeave swam her season best in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:16.41 and placed second overall. Another freshman swimmer, Kaitlin Pawlowicz, followed close behind in fourth place with a time of 16:27.87.

The Longhorns finished strong with a win in the last event, the 400 freestyle relay, a race Texas has claimed three of the last four years, with swimmers Bispo, Amundsen, Hooper and Tucker finishing with a 3:16.42.

Texas finished the meet with 873 points, second to rival A&M’s 1,019 points.

On Thursday, swimmers will have another shot at achieving NCAA qualifying marks during the All-American Invitational, which runs through Saturday.