Men's Swimming and Diving preview: Auburn and Georgia
What: No. 1 Texas (3-0) resumes the 2006-07 season this week when it takes on No. 3 Auburn, a four-time defending NCAA Champion, and No. 9 Georgia.
Where: James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn, Ala./Gabrielsen Natatorium, Athens, Ga.
When: Auburn on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 3 p.m. Central; Georgia on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 11 a.m. Central
Last UT-AU meeting: Auburn edged Texas by the slimmest of margins, winning by a 122-121 count on Jan. 13, 2006 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin. Then-freshman Michael Klueh led the way for the Longhorns with victories in the 500- and 1000-yard freestyle events and the 200 butterfly.
Last UT-UGA meeting: Texas scored a 136-107 victory over the Bulldogs on Jan. 14, 2006 in Austin. The Longhorns captured eight of 13 events.
Freshman Ricky Berens (Charlotte, N.C.) was selected as the CollegeSwimming.com National Men's Collegiate Swimmer of the Week on Tuesday, Nov. 7 after winning all three of his individual events and recording three NCAA provisional-qualifying cuts. Berens claimed the 100 butterfly (47:81), the 200 IM (1:44.86) and the 200 butterfly (1:48.00).
Texas hit the road on Friday, Nov. 10 for what proved to be a tightly-contested meet between the then third-ranked Longhorns and the 10th-ranked Florida Gators. With the score knotted at 113 heading into the meet's final event, the 400 freestyle relay, the Longhorns pulled away to the team victory behind a solid effort from junior Chris Seitz (Taylor Mill, Ky.), junior Caleb McDermott (Canyon Lake, Texas), sophomore Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) and junior Matthew McGinnis (Raleigh, N.C.), finishing in 2:59.91. McGinnis and Klueh added two individual victories apiece for the Longhorns.
Texas took second place at the Texas Invitational (Nov. 30-Dec. 2) with 696.50 points. Arizona, the only team to defeat Texas in a meet this season, captured the Invitational with 787 points. The Longhorns and Wildcats will get together once more when they join SMU in a three-team meet set for Jan. 19 and 20 at the Texas Swimming Center.
Under 29th-year head coach Eddie Reese, UT returns nine All-Americans from the 2005-06 squad who placed fourth at the NCAA Championships. The returning All-Americans are junior Jeremy Harris (St. Paul, Minn.); junior Matt Lowe (Minot, N.D.); junior Caleb McDermott (Canyon Lake, Texas); junior Matt McGinnis (Raleigh, N.C.); senior Tyler O'Halloran (Boardman, Ohio); junior Daniel Rohleder (Austin, Texas); senior Thomas Sacco (Dallas, Texas); sophomore Ryan Verlatti (Tacoma, Wash.) and senior Garrett Weber-Gale (Fox Point, Wis.), the 2006 NCAA 100-yard freestyle champion.