Texas captures 10th NCAA men's swimming and diving championship
March 28, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Texas roared back on the final day of competition behind nine top-eight finishes and claimed its 10th NCAA team championship Sunday at the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.
After beginning the day in second place with an 18.5-point deficit to California, Texas overtook the Golden Bears and took first place with 500 points. California placed second with 469.5 points, and Arizona placed third with 387 points. The NCAA team title is the Longhorns' first since 2002 and makes head coach Eddie Reese the first coach in NCAA Division I men's swimming and diving history to win NCAA team titles in four separate decades.
Reese ranks No. 2 all-time in NCAA men's swimming and diving team titles behind former Ohio State coach Mike Peppe, who won 11. Assistant coach Kris Kubik has been at Reese's side for all 10 NCAA titles. Diving coach Matt Scoggin has helped Texas to five NCAA titles.
The University of Texas captures its 45th all-time NCAA Championship team title and 49th overall National Championship. It marks UT's first NCAA team title since Women's Indoor Track and Field claimed its crown in March 2006. The Longhorns also posted second-place national team finishes this fall in both Football and Women's Volleyball.
Texas got off to a quick start in the evening finals, even without a competitor in the final heat of the 1,650 freestyle, a timed final event. UT sophomore Jackson Wilcox won the third 1,650-yard freestyle preliminary-round heat in 14:49.47, and after the championship final was completed, Wilcox's time held up for a third-place finish, giving Texas 16 valuable points to close the California lead to 348.5-346.
Texas assumed a 365-353.5 lead after collecting 19 points in the 200 backstroke. Freshman Austin Surhoff placed sixth overall in 1:41.13. Senior Hill Taylor took second in the 200 backstroke consolation final in 1:42.58. Freshman Cole Cragin took seventh in 1:42.74, and junior Bryan Collins placed eighth in 1:43.10.
California's Nathan Adrian captured the 100 freestyle, but the Longhorns' depth in the event enabled Cal to gain only 1 point in the event. Sophomore Jimmy Feigen took second for a second consecutive year in 41.91, and senior Dave Walters took eighth in 42.96. Junior Scott Jostes tied with Cal's Josh Daniels in the consolation final at 42.82. Senior Ben Van Roekel took sixth in 43.25.
Texas stretched its lead over California to 433-408.5 after picking up 29 points in the 200 breaststroke. Junior Scott Spann, who broke Brendan Hansen's school record in the event during the preliminary round, took a close second in 1:53.21. Arizona's Clark Burckle claimed the event in 1:53.19. UT sophomore Eric Friedland nailed down his first individual All-America finish by taking seventh in 1:54.80.
Senior Ricky Berens added on five points for the Horns in the 200 butterfly consolation final where he took fourth in 1:43.89. Cal's 200 butterfly performances sliced the Texas lead to 438-429.5, but UT divers Matt Cooper and Drew Livingston extended the lead considerably. Cooper placed third with 462.30 points, and Livingston took seventh with 382.80 points. The diving points pushed the Texas lead out to 466-429.5.
Texas wrapped up the meet by taking second in the 400 freestyle relay, as Walters, Feigen, Jostes and Berens finished in 2:49.90.
2010 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships
On the key factor in winning the meet: The key to the meet was the morning of the second day because Cal had the best second-day morning (at an NCAA Championship) I have ever seen in this sport. We stayed fairly close to them, and if we hadn’t stayed close to them, then it would have been totally over. We would have had no chance. They could have given Cal the trophy that night. There was no way to make up a whole lot on Cal tonight. The third day is always a tough day.
On the divers’ success: The divers pay the same price we do and they work hard. Everybody wants to come here and perform. That’s the name of the game. It’s a moderately simple equation. They did a great job.
On rallying to win on the meet’s final day: This was one of our best final days, ever. The only thing special about it was the people that were doing the swims. The last day is a fatigue day. If you looked at the 400 freestyle relays in the prelims, California went with their best four guys just to not take a chance. We went with our best four guys.
On whether this NCAA title is more special than others: It’s always about people and effort for me. If you’re going to win an NCAA championship, you’ve got to have real good people who make great efforts on days they don’t want to, when they’re not feeling well. All that kind of stuff goes into it. I don’t remember the others (national championships), but I can tell you what their times were when they came to school and what they were when they graduated. Those are the important things. It’s what they give.
Senior Ricky Berens
On Texas swinging the momentum back in its favor during prelims: The whole NCAA meet is a roller coaster. Every single team goes up and down the whole meet. Cal won those relays early on, and they gained momentum the whole second day. Then, we won the 800 freestyle relay and took away the momentum. We went into the last day really pumped. We had a meeting today before prelims. We discussed how we were tired of getting second place and that we were going to get it done right now in the prelims.
2010 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships - Day 3 Finals Results