Drew Livingston

Diving trials started Sunday for membership on the U.S. Olympic team that will travel to London for the 2012 Olympic Games. Junior Maren Taylor, senior Drew Livingston and former Longhorn Troy Dumais competed in the first round of the trials in Federal Way, Washington.

Taylor, who had been inactive for the past year due to a dislocated elbow, made finals in the synchronized 3-meter springboard event Sunday afternoon. Taylor and her diving partner, future Longhorn Meghan Houston, posted a sixth place finish in prelims. They followed up with an eighth place finish in the semifinals, just enough to earn them a finals berth. They will compete in the finals on Thursday.

Taylor will also compete individually in the 3-meter springboard event today.

On Monday, both Livingston and Dumais also competed in the synchronized 3-meter springboard event. Livingston, who competed with former Olympian Chris Colwill, finished first in prelims with Dumais and his partner, Kristian Ipsen from Stanford, finishing second. Dumais and Ipsen then had a successful semifinal and will go into Saturday’s final round in first place, slightly edging Livingston and Colwill who are in second.

Dumais is joined at the Olympic Trials by older brothers Justin and Dwight Dumais. Both Justin and Dwight are former Olympians in the synchronized 3-meter event and are entering the Saturday’s final round in fourth place.

Livingston, along with all three of the Dumais brothers, will compete individually in the 3-meter springboard event on Wednesday.

Men's Swimming and Diving

Senior diver Drew Livingston was named Big 12 Diver of the Year over the weekend. Texas also swept the other four Big 12 awards gi

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

In a year that saw the Texas Men’s Swimming and Diving team earn many individual and team awards, it’s only fitting that the second ranked squad in the country claim a few more accolades at the season’s end. Texas won the Big 12 title in February and finished second at the National Championships last month.

Over the weekend, the Horns racked up a few more awards to add to a trophy case already bursting at the seams, as Texas claimed all five yearly Big 12 awards.

Head Coach Eddie Reese was named Coach of the Year, Matt Scoggin claimed Diving Coach of the Year honors, Jimmy Feigen was dubbed Swimmer of the Year, Drew Livingston was tabbed as Diver of the Year and Kip Darmody was crowned Newcomer of the Year. This is the fourth time since 2003 that Texas has claimed all five yearly awards.

Reese adds this year’s title to an already sterling resume, bringing in his seventh straight Coach of the Year honor and 10th overall during his tenure on the 40 Acres. Reese guided the Horns to their 16th consecutive Big 12 Title en route to a fifth consecutive first or second finish at the National Championships.

Matt Scoggin claimed his sixth Diving Coach of the year award in a season that saw senior divers Matt Cooper and Drew Livingston earn All-American honors and between them claim one National title, four top-four and six top-ten finishes at the NCAA Championships.

Senior Jimmy Feigen capped off what has been a prolific career at UT with his fourth consecutive Swimmer of the Year honor. The 24-time All-American earned national championships in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and the 400-meter freestyle relay at this year’s NCAA Championships. Feigen’s is the first swimmer in conference history to win Big 12 Swimmer of the Year four straight years.

Drew Livingston’s Diver of the Year Honor is the third of the senior’s career. Livingston won the National Championship in the 1-meter while earning three more All-American honors, enough to be named NCAA Diver of the Meet.

Freshman Kip Darmody is an emerging force for this Texas squad. He was a member of the National Champion 800-yard relay squad and earned All-American honors in the 100 backstroke. Darmody’s Newcomer of the Year honor extends an impressive streak for the Horns, as Texas has had a swimmer earn the title every year since 2003.

Printed on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 as: National runners-up sweep Big 12 awards

As the 2010 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships were drawing to a close, the Longhorns were in a tough fight for points to claim the top spot in the country. With the swimming events completed and UT’s prospects looking strong, the hopes of claiming the 10th national title in Texas history rested on the backs of two sophomore divers.

With this lofty goal hanging over their heads, Matt Cooper and Drew Livingston ascended to the platforms and looked to secure a victory for their team. “We didn’t really say anything to each other, but we knew that if we just make diving finals, our team would win the championship,” Livingston told The Daily Texan in February.

The two earned enough points, with Cooper finishing third and Livingston in seventh, to lock up the 2010 title for the team. Sophomores at the time, Cooper and Livingston are now finishing up stellar senior campaigns that have produced impressive results.

Cooper claimed victories in the 1-meter dual against both SMU and Auburn and earned the top spot in the 3-meter against Georgia. Livingston came on strong at the end of the season at the Big 12 Championships, claiming titles in both the 1-meter and the platform competitions.

Starting Thursday at the Zone ‘D’ Diving Championship, the two seniors, joined by fellow Longhorns freshman Ryan Anthony and sophomore Will McCraney, will embark upon a path to qualify for the NCAA championships and put themselves in positions to help No. 2 Texas earn another national title.

The Zone ‘D’ meet will take place in Iowa City, Iowa and is one of five zone meets around the country occurring this weekend. These zone meets provide opportunities for divers to post qualifying scores for the NCAA Championships, occurring March 22-24. Participants in each zone attend the designated meet for their geographical region in the country.

Each zone is allotted a certain number of qualification spots for the NCAA championships. Zone ‘D’ is the largest in the country and has nine spots available for men. By bringing in four divers, Texas has good odds of sending qualifiers to the NCAAs. However, the quest won’t be an easy one. Competing against the Longhorns for these spots include divers from No. 25 Missouri, No. 18 Texas A&M, No. 16 Minnesota, No 14. Iowa and several other universities.

If the Texas men’s team is to win its 11th national title, it will need strong performances from its divers this weekend to do so. One has to feel that these men are up to the challenge.
 

Men's Diving

Senior diver Drew Livingston dives during a practice in February.Livingston is a four-time All American and also owns an NCAA title.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

As the 2010 NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships were drawing to a close, the Longhorns were in a tough fight for points to claim the top spot in the country.

With the swimming events completed and UT’s prospects looking strong as the meet drew to a close, the hopes of claiming the 10th national title in Texas history rested on the backs of two sophomore divers.

With this lofty goal hanging over their heads, Matt Cooper and Drew Livingston ascended to the platforms and looked to secure a victory for their team.

“We didn’t really say anything to each other, but we knew that if we just [made] diving finals, our team would win the championship,” Livingston said.

The two earned enough points, with Cooper finishing third and Livingston in seventh to lock up the 2010 title for the team. Sophomores at the time, Cooper and Livingston are now finishing up stellar senior campaigns that have produced impressive results.

Cooper claimed victories in the 1-meter dual against both SMU and Auburn and earned the top spot in the 3-meter against Georgia. Livingston came on strong at the end of the season at the Big 12 Championships, claiming titles in both the 1-meter and the platform competitions.

Starting Thursday at the Zone D Diving Championship, the two seniors, joined by fellow Longhorn freshman Ryan Anthony and sophomore Will McCraney, will embark upon a path to qualify for the NCAA championships and put themselves in positions to help No. 2 Texas earn another national title.

The Zone D meet will take place in Iowa City, Iowa, and is one of five zone meets around the country occurring this weekend. These zone meets provide opportunities for divers to post qualifying scores for the NCAA championships, occurring March 22-24. Participants in each zone attend the designated meet for their respective geographical region. Each zone is allotted a certain number of qualification spots for the NCAA championships. Zone D is the largest in the country and has nine spots available for men. By bringing in four divers, Texas has good odds of sending qualifiers to the NCAAs. However, the quest won’t be an easy one. Competing against the Horns for these spots include divers from No. 25 Missouri, No. 18 Texas A&M, No. 16 Minnesota, No 14. Iowa and several other universities.

If Texas is to win its 11th national title, it will need strong performances from its divers this weekend.

Printed on Thursday, March 8, 2012 as: Divers in search of 12th title, begin preparation for Zone D

Texas moved a step closer towards extending its 15-year reign as conference champion of the Big 12 on Wednesday.

The conference championships, held in Columbia, Mo. started yesterday and will finish on Saturday. Competing for the men’s championship are the three schools sponsoring swimming programs in the Big 12: No. 2 Texas, No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 25 Missouri. Texas has won every Big 12 championship in history and will look to extend the streak to 16-straight over the course of the four-day championship.

In the first event of the evening, the 200-yard medley relay “A-Heat,” the Longhorns started things off on a good note. The Texas A-Relay team, composed of Cole Cragin, Eric Friedland, Neil Caskey and Jimmy Feigen captured the title for the Longhorns. In a fantastic finish on the anchor leg of the event, Feigen, who entered the pool trailing the field, stormed ahead of an A&M swimmer and cemented the Texas victory with a final team time of 1:25.02. This performance was nothing new for Feigen, a senior from San Antonio, who’s won 13 conference titles in his Longhorn career.

Up next for the Longhorn men was the 1-meter springboard diving competition. Senior diver Drew Livingston, who captured the title in 2010 as a sophomore, was looking to reclaim the event. Fellow senior and teammate Matt Cooper was also vying for the top spot in the field of eight divers. But in the end, it was Livingston who claimed the victory while Cooper finished in fourth place. This is Livingston’s second career Big 12 title.

In the final event of the evening, the 800-yard freestyle relay, the Longhorns looked to finish the first day of the championship in style. First into the pool for the Longhorn’s A-relay team was Dax Hill. Hill, a junior from Round Rock, faced stiff competition for much of his leg of the relay. After a tough battle for the lead, Hill pulled away, able to keep an approaching Aggie swimmer at bay, en route to finishing ahead of the rest of the field of a full body length. From that point on, Texas held onto a commanding lead and never relinquished it. The relay squad ended up finishing with a final time of 6:19.28, the fastest in the country this season.

The championship continues on Thursday with four events on the docket. With Texas’ victories on Wednesday, the Longhorns are putting themselves in a fantastic position to finish at the top of the conference once again and take the team’s winning streak into its 16th year.

Seniors Matt Cooper and Drew Livingston were important factors in TexasÂ’ NCAA championship in 2010. The two divers have become very close since they began their careers at Texas and hope to finish their senior year at Texas with another national championship.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

On the final day of the 2010 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, Drew Livingston and Matt Cooper watched as their teammates swam their hardest to give Texas a lead at the end of the meet. The team rallied on the meet’s final day to pull ahead of California.

The diving duo took the platform with the confidence that their team had done their part. Now, it was their turn.

“We didn’t really say anything to each other, but we knew that if we just make diving finals, our team would win the championship,” Livingston said.

He and Cooper, who were both sophomores at the time, came through with flying (or should I say diving) colors and made the diving finals. They eventually clinched the team’s national championship with Cooper finishing third and Livingston seventh.

Now, they are seniors and itching for a second championship ring.

“I sit back and daydream about what we can really do, and I think we’d both like to have lofty goals,” Cooper said. “I think we can final all three boards, if not better. I think that we can take home that number one trophy, and I think Drew and I can definitely be a big part of that as far as scoring goes.”

Last year, Cooper took the year off from diving. Feeling burnt out, he needed time to determine how committed he was to the sport. But now he is back and better than ever. This season, he has qualified for the Olympic Trials in both the 3-meter and 10-meter event. Livingston has qualified as well.

The two divers, who knew each other before coming to Texas, have solidified their friendship. But that friendship has not diminished their competitive natures.

“We’re just as likely to joke around and laugh all practice as we are to have a contest mid-practice,” Livingston said. “That’s really good because to be the best, you have to beat the best. To have one of the best with you at practice every day, it’s really helpful, and we feed off of it.”

Livingston believes that if he had gone to a school where he trained without people like Cooper and his coaches to push him, he would not be where he is today.

Even away from the pool they love to compete.

“During break when we weren’t practicing diving, we used to go play golf two or three times a week,” Cooper said. “We would go out and use our per diem money and play a few rounds. But now our per diem money is kind of running down. We’ll probably start playing more after NCAAs.”

Cooper played golf when he was younger, but Livingston is still new to the sport.

“I think Cooper is the better golfer, but I’m the better competitor,” Livingston said. “So I take advantage of that sometimes. We can both hold our own.”

Now that Cooper is back, the dual threat on the boards could be exactly what Texas needs to push them to a second national championship in three years.

“It’s really sweet, not just to train with Drew, but I know that if I’m not having my best day, he will be there and vice versa,” Cooper said.

Winning the national title is all they think about. Although Olympic Trials are looming in June, they are enjoying and focusing on their final season as Longhorns.

“I imagined coming to Texas and leaving with a championship,” Livingston said. “I’ve already got one, so why not get one more before I leave?”

Printed on Friday, February 3, 2012 as: Divers team up for championship

Men's Swiming & Diving

Drew Livingston is ready to lead the divers this weekend in their pursuit of qualifying for the NCAA championship meet.

 Livingston, a junior, won the NCAA one-meter diving title as a freshman and finished third in the event last year. He hopes to be a leader for his freshman teammates, Will McCraney and Will Chandler.

“I’m not a very vocal person. I hope my actions kind of speak for themselves,” Livingston said. “I definitely feel like I’m kind of the one who everyone is looking toward for advice and setting an example for everybody.”

Livingston hopes to earn his spot in the meet on the first day of competition and then be there for his teammates the rest of the weekend.

“On every dive, I really just want to see them have a consistent, competitive attitude,” Livingston said. “I want to see at least one of them make a spot. But if that doesn’t happen, I want to see them have the best meet they’ve had in the season up to this point.”

Although Drew Livingston recalls throwing a metal toy at his sister’s face when he was a kid, that violence does not define their relationship.

Jessica Livingston, who graduated from UT in 2008, and Drew have both been recognized as all-American divers at Texas. Jessica Livingston was the 2007 NCAA platform diving champion, and Drew Livingston was the 2009 NCAA 1-meter diving champion.

Drew Livingston began diving when he was 6 years old because his mother brought him along to take Jessica to the pool.

“At the time, my sister was 10 and she had been doing gymnastics and started diving,” Drew Livingston said. “I was the little kid who got dragged to the pool and had to watch her and not do anything. I started taking lessons, and I just stuck with it ever since then.”

Although most older siblings would be upset that their little brother was copying them, Jessica Livingston was glad to have her brother in the same sport.

“He did pretty much every sport available,” she said. “He tried baseball, basketball and soccer. My parents asked him if he wanted to try diving and he ended up really liking it, and he eventually began excelling well beyond what I have done.”

Drew Livingston always appreciated her help on the mental side of swimming.

“It was cool having an older sibling who had been through everything that I was going through,” he said. “Whenever I had a bad meet, she would tell me how I should feel and how to get over it.”

Although their parents Robert and Janine Livingston did not dive, they were very supportive of both Drew and Jessica.

“I can’t thank them enough for driving me to practice every day when I was younger, paying for all the trips and sacrificing vacations so we could go to diving meets,” Drew Livingston said.

Their parents let them try various activities and told them that they could choose whatever sport they wanted. In addition, they helped both kids get through tough times.

“It is really hard when you are younger because it is tough to get motivated because you don’t have that internal drive that you eventually get when you are older,” Jessica Livingston said.

Both Jessica and Drew Livingston’s parents were ecstatic when Drew told them about his decision to go to Texas. Drew told Jessica his decision by sending her an e-mail with a picture of himself wearing UT gear.

“I was thrilled. I knew that he always liked UT, but you never know where someone is going to end up eventually going to college,” Jessica Livingston said. “He was looking at a bunch of really good schools.”

After his coach, she was the first person he told about his decision.

“She was just yelling through the phone,” Drew Livingston said. “That was probably the happiest part of the whole recruiting process — hearing how excited she was.”

Jessica Livingston introduced him to Texas, and seeing her at practice every day made him feel more comfortable.

“It was nice because we used to dive together before my high school days, so it was kind of cool to have that connection for one more year before she retired,” Drew Livingston said.

The siblings, the only ones in their family, have always gotten along and the incident with the metal toy was the only time Drew can remember them fighting. Jessica Livingston is currently an assistant coach at Alabama and is getting her MBA there. The two got to see each other at Thanksgiving last weekend.

“We don’t get to see each other as much as we used to, and it was really cool having the whole family back together for Thanksgiving,” Drew Livingston said. 

Diver Drew Livingston and swimmer Jackson Wilcox both collected two wins each on Friday in the Longhorns’ victories over Indiana and Michigan.

Texas defeated Michigan 160-140 and Indiana 181-119.

Wilcox and Michael McBroom finished one-two in both the 1000 and 500 freestyle races.

Cole Cragin won the 100 backstroke while Dax Hill was victorious in the 100 freestyle.

Livingston set a pool record at Indiana’s Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center with a score of 405.70 points in the 1-meter event and he also won the 3-meter event.

“He knows he can do so much better than that,” diving coach Matt Scoggin said. “That’s a positive sign in the right direction, to dive as well as he did.”

The 200 breaststroke helped the team take the lead with a one-two-three finish with Nick D’Innocenzo, Eric Friedland and Scott Spann.

Although the team won, head coach Eddie Reese sees room for improvement.

“We seemed to get better in the races at the 200-yard distances,” Reese said. “We weren’t very good in the 50s; like in the 200 medley relay. Otherwise, we’re right where we need to be this time of year.”

Reese was impressed with D’Innocenzo’s performance and the distance swimmers.

“Jackson Wilcox, Michael McBroom and Jim Robertson all did a really good job with their heavy load in the distance events, though we didn’t sprint well at all today,” Reese said.