The first two days of the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Trials in Indianapolis have been fruitful for both current and former Longhorns alike. The ultimate goal of the World Trials is to qualify for the 2013 FINA World Championships, which are to be held in Barcelona, Spain from July 19 to August 4.
Former Longhorns Jimmy Feigen (2009-12) and Michael McBroom (2011-13) both earned a trip to Barcelona with a pair of runner-up finishes on the first day. Ricky Berens also has eyes turned towards the Worlds. He’s turned in two top-five finishes in as many days.
Feigen, a San Antonio native, finished second in the 100 meter freestyle to the gold medalist in the event at the London Olympics, Nathan Adrian. The field features seven Olympians. Feigen finished in 48.24 seconds, pushing him to eighth in the world, beating his lifetime best of 48.46 from the tech-suited 2009 US National Championships. He had the fasted closing 50, a 25.12 time to push past Anthony Ervin for second place. Feigen became an Olympian in 2012, winning the silver medal as part of the 4x100 meter freestyle relay. He participated in the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships last fall in Istanbul, Turkey and also won NCAA titles in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle categories in his final year at Texas.
“Winning a gold medal [at the Olympics] is the pinnacle of swimming achievement, but right behind that is winning a gold medal at the World Championships,” Feigen said about preparing for Barcelona.
McBroom clinched his trip to Worlds with a second place finish in the 1500 meter freestyle, posting a time of 14:59.12, with London Olympian Connor Jaeger taking first. It was McBroom’s first time to finish under the 15-minute mark and he now ranks seventh in the world this year. McBroom competed with Feigen at the 2012 Short Course Worlds in Istanbul, where he placed 10th in the 1500 meter freestyle. He added more accolades to his resume in March at the 2013 NCAA Championships with two second place finishes in the 500 and 1650 yard freestyle events.
Two-time Olympian and former Longhorn Berens finished fifth in the 100 meter freestyle on the first day, behind Feigen with a time of 48.68. His second fifth place finish came on the second day, in the 200-meter freestyle. Former Longhorn Michael Klueh took seventh in that same final.
Though Berens’ eligibility to compete at the World Championships next month remains unconfirmed, the two finishes he’s posted may still earn him a spot on Team USA’s freestyle relay roster; finishing fifth in both the 200-meter and 100-meter events improves his chances. Junior Clay Youngquist won the 200-meter freestyle consolation final and former Longhorns Austin Surhoff and Dax Hill finished fourth and sixth respectively.
Texas signee and Maryland native Jack Conger also had a top-five finish in the 200-meter backstroke championship final with a time of 1:56.82. The national high school record holder in the 500-yard backstroke, Conger was a finalist in the 100-meter and 200-meter events at the 2012 Olympic trials.