Texas falls just short of fourth at NCAA Championships

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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.”