Texas comes up short in final meet

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Women's Swimming and Diving

California proved too much for the Longhorns to handle at the NCAA Championships and the Golden Bears took home first place for the second time in as many years. It was Cal's third title in four years.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Texas finished in ninth place at this year’s NCAA Championships in Auburn, Ala., as California won its second title
in a row.

Texas has finished in the top 10 in 11 of its past 13 seasons and capped off this year’s championships with 201 points and 20 All-America honors.

Swimmers Bethany Adams, Kelsey Amundsen, Karlee Bispo, Kelsey LeNeave, Ellen Lobb, Lily Moldenhauer, Katie Riefenstahl, Laura Sogar, Samantha Tucker and diver Diana Wilcox were all recognized for top 16 performances.

The Longhorns kicked off the meet on a strong note by breaking a school record in the 200 freestyle relay. Bispo, Adams, Lobb and Amundsen combined for a 1:27.65, outdoing the previous record of 1:28.06 set at last year’s NCAA Championships.

Senior Bispo finished a strong last season with 47 points at the end of the three-day meet, making her the seventh highest individual scorer at the championships. Bispo broke school records in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay.

Bispo’s second place finish in Thursday’s 200 freestyle race was a mere second behind Georgia’s Megan Romano, who broke the NCAA record with a time of 1:41.21.

Junior Laura Sogar placed in the top eight in both breaststroke events this weekend and said the chemistry of the team provided moments of lightheartedness in what could have been a stressful atmosphere.

“Any time I am with my teammates I have a good time,” Sogar said. “It was a good competition and we had some good swims. It was a lot of fun and a great experience.”

Bispo, Amundsen, Adams and Tucker earned sixth place in the 400 freestyle relay, clocking in at 3:14.41.

In the last race of her career as a Longhorn, senior Katie Riefenstahl swam for eighth place in the 200 backstroke consolation B final, earning one point for the team.

“I didn’t do what I wanted to do but at the end of the day what places I get in swimming don’t mean as much as the experience I have gotten from swimming and going to school at Texas,” Riefenstahl said. “I have so much more waiting for me and am excited for what is next.”

Diana Wilcox also picked up a team point in the platform diving consolation finals, tallying a score of 232.8 for eighth place.

“I had a really good experience and learned a lot about myself and competing,” Wilcox said of her experience at the NCAA Championships. “I improved on some things and look forward to being better in the future.”

The meet capped off a tough but rewarding season, complete with the expected highs and lows but marked by determination and team dedication.

“It was fun to battle and the team fought hard,” head coach Kim Brackin said. “I thought the team performed extremely well in an incredibly fast meet.”