Michael McBroom

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.

Sophomore Will Chandler dives at the Big 12 Championships earlier this year. He earned All-American honors for the first time in his career with a fifth-place finish in the platform event.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Despite earning five individual All-America finishes and recording one All-America relay at the NCAA Championships, Texas fell short of gaining the national title. Michigan captured the team title with 480 points, California was the runner-up, Arizona took third and USC placed fourth with 289 points, just one point ahead of Texas.

Although Texas didn’t achieve the ultimate victory of winning the team title, the meet was filled with small victories.

The Longhorns’ fifth-place standing was enough to give 35-year head coach Eddie Reese his 33rd top-five NCAA Championship finish at Texas.

Senior Michael McBroom finished second in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 14:32.75 to set a new school record. His second-place standing was the highest Longhorn placing at the meet. McBroom finished his career at Texas with the top-three 1,650-yard freestyle performances in school history.

“He swam a totally different stroke than he swam when he won the mile at the conference meet and when he broke the NCAA record in the 1,000 (freestyle),” Reese commented. “He was just trying to go too hard. You just can’t do that in this sport, it’ll catch up with you.”

Senior Dax Hill took fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 42.40, marking his second national top-five finish in the event. Hill finished his Texas career as the fourth-fastest Longhorn in the event.

Despite qualifying for the 200-yard backstroke in sixth place, senior Austin Surhoff, the second-fastest Longhorn ever in the event, took eighth in the finals in 1:41.89.

Redshirt sophomore diver Will Chandler achieved his first All-America finish and placed fifth in the platform event with 400.25 points. 

“A year ago today, he made the decision to have major surgery,” head diving coach Matt Scoggin said in reference to the operation Chandler had to treat his Crohn’s disease. “He had another tough situation to overcome here. He had a poor showing yesterday and a poor showing the day before on the one-meter. He had the mental toughness to start all over and get up and go to bat again with the belief that he could still do it.”

The meet concludes the men’s swimming and diving season, but the Longhorns are already looking forward to next year.

“The seniors did a great job, and we’re going to miss them,” Reese said. “They left us in real good position with their spirit and direction. They did a great job of taking care of people all year.”

The NCAA Championship meet currently being held in Indianapolis is the last for seniors Austin Surhoff and Michael McBroom, and they are motivated to make it count. In merely the first day, both Surhoff and McBroom accomplished times not only good enough for personal bests but also top-four individual finishes, putting the Longhorns in fifth after one day of events.

In the 500 freestyle, McBroom fell just short of first, taking second in 4:11.39. In addition to being a personal best, the time was good enough to make him the 11th-fastest performer all-time in the event and the third-fastest Longhorn.

Despite the impressive finish, head coach Eddie Reese appeared to have expected nothing less.

“Michael has done it right all year, and he has worked really hard,” Reese said. “He’s very determined to have a real good meet here and he will.”

Surhoff, the former event champion, finished the 200 individual medley in 1:42.63. The only other Longhorn to ever post a faster time in the event was Ricky Berens in 2009.

Top-six finishes in the 200 freestyle and 400 medley relays and freshman Cory Bowersox’s eighth-place one-meter diving finish added to the Longhorns’ total 99 points. In Day Two’s events, starting at 10 a.m., Texas looks to improve on its fifth-place standing.

Senior Dax Hill swims the breaststoke leg of the 200 IM event at the Big 12 Championships. Hill will be swimming in his third and final NCAA championships as the Longhorns, as the top-ranked team, look for their 11th national title this weekend in Indiana.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza | Daily Texan Staff

To earn an NCAA qualifying time, you obviously have to be fast. Usually, that speed comes from experience. The majority of swimmers at the NCAA championship meet are either junior or seniors. But every once in a while a freshman with enough raw talent comes around who give the veterans a run for their money.

Freshman Sam Lewis has emerged in the pool as a force to be reckoned with, especially in distance events. Thanks to a strong first season, people are starting to take note of Lewis’ potential.

“There were a bunch of no-names coming in to the Big 12 championship,” senior Dax Hill said. “And now everybody knows who Sam Lewis is.”

After receiving high praise from distinguished head coach Eddie Reese at the Big 12 championship, Lewis is looking to earn more distinction at the NCAA championships.

“He did a great job,” Reese said of Lewis’s 500-yard freestyle performance, which earned him an NCAA qualification. “It’s tough to be out there with guys that have more experience who went out like they went out.”

It’s only going to get tougher for Lewis as he faces more intense competition in not only the 500, but also the 1,650 and 200 national freestyle events. But Reese doesn’t appear to have any concerns with Lewis’s coming performance at nationals. 

“He’s gonna make me famous,” Reese said.

With the recognition earned from winning the Big 12 Championship’s Newcomer of the Meet, all eyes will be on Lewis for his first highly anticipated NCAA championship appearance.

Just as high hopes are set for Lewis’ first national championship berth, high expectations are set for seniors Michael McBroom, Dax Hill and Austin Surhoff.

Unlike Lewis, Hill did not qualify until his sophomore year. One year later, he secured the NCAA title in the 200 freestyle, becoming the first African-American at Texas to win a men’s NCAA individual swimming title. Hill is favored again this year for the event and is likely to place among the top in the 100 freestyle as well.

McBroom has qualified for NCAA Championships all four years of his collegiate career, three of which were completed as a Longhorn. McBroom transferred to Texas his sophomore season and, in the same season, set the school record and won the NCAA title in the 1,650 freestyle.

“I’m excited for NCAA, I’m looking forward to it,” McBroom said. “Hopefully I’ve still got more time to shave off.”

McBroom has since set the NCAA record in the 1,000 freestyle. He holds the nation’s fastest time in the 1,650 freestyle and is clearly favored for the event.

As a freshman, Surhoff was the Longhorn’s top individual point scorer and helped lead the Longhorns to win their 10th NCAA team title. This season, Surhoff earned NCAA qualifying marks in the 200, which he has previously won, and 400
individual medleys.

“There’s gonna be about three people that are the ones to beat at nationals and he’s gonna be one of those three,” Reese said of Surhoff.

The seven swimmers set to join Hill, Surhoff, McBroom and Lewis are juniors Charlie Moore, Patrick Murphy and Caleb Weir; sophomores Tripp Cooper, Kip Darmody, Jake Ritter and Clay Youngquist. Divers redshirt sophomore Will Chandler and freshman Cory Bowersox will attend in the attempt to earn titles as well.

“We all are learning from each other and I think that’s the biggest thing that’s different from last year,” Hill commented. “Everybody knows they have more to give.”

No. 1 Texas has significant potential to take its 11th national title in Indianapolis. Texas has finished no worse than second at the last five NCAA Championship meets and looks to continue the tradition starting Thursday.

Several members of the Texas men’s swimming and diving team celebrate winning the Big 12 title Saturday, the program’s 34th straight conference championship. The Longhorns women’s swimming and diving squad also won a conference title, its 11th since joning the Big 12.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Both of Texas’ swimming and diving teams took home the team Big 12 championship Saturday after four days of competition. It is the men’s 17th Big 12 title and the women’s 11th.  

The men extended their dominance, earning their 34th consecutive conference crown under head coach Eddie Reese. This is the women’s first title with first-year head coach Carol Capitani.  

The No. 1 Texas men’s team walked away with 985 points, 187 more than second-place TCU and 197 more than West Virginia, who took third place with 788 points.

“We always want to go significantly faster than we’d been swimming. If we do that, that usually takes care of winning,” Reese said.

Texas took first in every event except one and was able to put itself in good position for the upcoming NCAA Championships later this month. 

Seniors Cole Cragin and Dax Hill, along with sophomore Tripp Cooper and junior Madison Wenzler, set the tone for the meet with a win and an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 1:25.23 in the 200-yard medley relay. 

In the 1650-yard freestyle, senior Michael McBroom destroyed the Big 12 meet record in 14:33.53, the fastest time by anyone in the country this season.

In the 500-yard freestyle, McBroom (4:14.42) and sophomore Jacob Ritter (4:15.85) both earned NCAA automatic-qualifying marks and accomplished new personals bests. 

“I didn’t quite go what I wanted to go,” McBroom said. “I wasn’t really thinking about the record. I was thinking about a goal time.” 

Cooper controlled the 100-yard butterfly in 46.85 seconds, fast enough for a NCAA “B” cut, while senior Austin Surhoff produced a time good enough for an NCAA “B” cut in the 400-yard and 200-yard individual medley.

“Everybody is learning,” Hill said. “They are taking it all in, and they knew what to work on these next couple weeks before NCAA’s.”

The ninth-ranked women crushed the competition on the last day, pulling 475 points ahead of second place West Virginia, who scored 576 points. TCU rounded out the top three with 574 points. 

“I know it looked like we ran away with it,” Capitani said. “But we did have some good competition and some races where we competed against ourselves. I’m happy we raced hard and came through every night.”

Texas’ only three individual title losses came from Rachael Burnett of West Virginia and the 200-yard butterfly that no Longhorn participated in. Texas swept every relay and each secured NCAA automatic-qualifying times.

Senior Laura Sogar broke the Big 12 Championship record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:05.25, good for the second fastest time in school history.

“It is really exciting,” Sogar said. “This is my last race at this pool. I am happy to get the record and end on a really good note.”

Senior Shelby Cullinan won her first title on the platform diving event, as did freshman Meghan Houston on the 3-meter diving board. Redshirt junior Maren Taylor rounded out her career with her third title on the 1-meter board.

“They’re excited to race some people and do what they can do under pressure,” Capitani said. “We’re looking to have some great relays and some standout performances individually. It’s time.”

Published on March 4, 2013 as "Horns capture Big 12 titles". 

Coming into Friday’s meet, the Longhorns needed a strong win and they got just that as they triumphed over SMU and upset No. 1 Arizona.

In the meet’s first swimming event, All-American senior Michael McBroom set a remarkable pace in the 1000-yard freestyle, taking first place in 8:43.48. His time broke the school record, formerly set by Michael Klueh, by 3.4 seconds and the pool record, previously set by Erik Vendt, by 3.23 seconds.

Since the 1000-yard freestyle event is not an event at the NCAA Championships, official records are not kept; however, McBroom’s time is believed to be one of the fastest 1000-yard freestyle swims to be recorded.

With McBroom’s help, No.7 Texas powered past the top-ranked Wildcats to a 166-125 win while also dominating SMU, who was also defeated by Arizona, 184-108.

In his first season back since being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, redshirt sophomore Will Chandler also achieved impressive victories in the one-meter and three-meter diving events.

On Saturday, Texas continued to assert its superiority in the unscored meet, collecting six additional victories.

“This was one of the best meets we’ve ever had,” head coach Eddie Reese stated.

The Big 12 Championships begin Feb. 27 at the Texas Swimming Center.

This Friday at TCU, head coach Eddie Reese will dive into his 35th season at UT. Reese was selected to coach at numerous Olympic games, so it comes as no surprise that the Longhorns have achieved top-three finishes in 27 of 34 NCAA Championship meets under his leadership.

Coming off a win against No. 12 Georgia on Jan. 12, No. 7 Texas looks to continue its winning tradition against the Horned Frogs.

Senior Michael McBroom, who has gained international recognition, is the nation’s leader in the 1650-meter freestyle and is ranked in the top three nationally for both the 1000-meter and 500-meter freestyle. McBroom set a positive tone for 2013 by securing a win in all four of his events against Auburn and Georgia. McBroom, along with senior Dax Hill and sophomore Clay Youngquist, are expected to lead the Longhorns against TCU.

The Texas men’s swim team boasts an incredibly strong roster this season, featuring three seniors who have won NCAA individual titles during their collegiate careers at Texas. Expectations are high, and only time will tell if the Longhorns can withstand the pressure.

Texas represented well against high-profile Olympians at the AT&T Winter National Championships at the Texas Swim Center this weekend.

Hosting the event, the Longhorns claimed the Men's meet title with 428 points.

On Friday Texas took three top five finishes throughout the day.

Clay Younquist and Dax Hill took fifth and sixth respectively where they competed against Olympians Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens, a Texas-Ex. Berens actually won the event while Lochte came in second.

On Saturday  Senior Michael McBroom took his second title of the Tournament in the 1,650 Freestyle event.

UT head coach Eddie Reese commented on the mental state of McBroom in this tournament and in general.

"He's really tough, mentally. He's one of the best fighters out there. He's going to swim really well this year."

With championships abroad looming in the future, Reese commented that McBroom's performance was a good sign.

"Michael is getting ready to go to the FINA Short Course World Championships in Turkey, and he needs to be pretty good. He was tonight" Reese said.

Despite a slow start, the Texas women's team also came through this weekend against the tough competition.

"We had a great meet as a team," UT women's head coach Carol Capitani said.  The first day was a little flat, but after that, we really stepped it up. I'm really proud of them. And the crowd here was terrific."

Throughout the tournament Texas Women's team represented with a stellar performance by Laura Sogar, who demolished two of her school records in the 100 and 200 Breaststroke events.

Kaitlin Pawlowcz and Kelsy LeNeave took sixth and seventh respectively in the 1,650 freestyle, while Sarah Denninghoff earned a win in the 200 backstroke consolation final.
The Horns finished up Saturday night by taking second in the 200 freestyle relay.

"It was a great team effort," Capitani said. "Almost everyone had at least one best time. We had some great performances class-by-class."

Texas represented well against high-profile Olympians at the AT&T Winter National Championships at the Texas Swim Center this weekend.

Hosting the event, the Longhorns claimed the Men's meet title with 428 points.

On Friday Texas took three top five finishes throughout the day.

Clay Younquist and Dax Hill took fifth and sixth respectively where they competed against Olympians Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens, a Texas-Ex. Berens actually won the event while Lochte came in second.

On Saturday  Senior Michael McBroom took his second title of the Tournament in the 1,650 Freestyle event.

UT head coach Eddie Reese commented on the mental state of McBroom in this tournament and in general.

"He's really tough, mentally. He's one of the best fighters out there. He's going to swim really well this year."

With championships abroad looming in the future, Reese commented that McBroom's performance was a good sign.

"Michael is getting ready to go to the FINA Short Course World Championships in Turkey, and he needs to be pretty good. He was tonight" Reese said.

Despite a slow start, the Texas women's team also came through this weekend against the tough competition.

"We had a great meet as a team," UT women's head coach Carol Capitani said.  The first day was a little flat, but after that, we really stepped it up. I'm really proud of them. And the crowd here was terrific."

Throughout the tournament Texas Women's team represented with a stellar performance by Laura Sogar, who demolished two of her school records in the 100 and 200 Breaststroke events.

Kaitlin Pawlowcz and Kelsy LeNeave took sixth and seventh respectively in the 1,650 freestyle, while Sarah Denninghoff earned a win in the 200 backstroke consolation final.
The Horns finished up Saturday night by taking second in the 200 freestyle relay.

"It was a great team effort," Capitani said. "Almost everyone had at least one best time. We had some great performances class-by-class."

This weekend the Longhorns launch their 2012-2013 season, charting a route toward the ultimate destination of an NCAA Championship.

The annual Southwest Collegiate Plunge will open the regular season for Texas, which was the Big 12 Champion and NCAA runner-up in 2011-12.

The two-day meet will feature contests in 17 events between Texas, Texas A&M, SMU and Incarnate Word. Twenty-nine letterwinners from last season’s nationally competitive team will represent the Longhorns at the event.

Of those returning members, three are seniors who have earned individual NCAA titles for UT. Dax Hill took the 200 freestyle at the NCAA championship last season; Austin Surhoff claimed the 200 individual medley for Texas as a freshman; Michael McBroom won the 1,650 freestyle as a junior after he transferred to UT from Minnesota.

“[McBroom] is an incredibly hard worker,” assistant coach Kris Kubik said. “It’s easy to say that about a lot of people, but for Michael if we have to do anything [in practice], we have to slow him down.”

Fans can also look for a strong showing during relay events, as Texas fielded competitive relay teams at last year’s NCAA Championship. In 2012 Surhoff and Hill teamed with returning sophomore Clay Youngquist and former Longhorn Jimmy Feigen to take first in the 400 freestyle relay.