National Championship moments: 2002 Men's Swimming and Diving
The 2002 University of Texas men's swimming and diving team, who entered the 2001-02 season as a two-time defending NCAA champion, was tested early and often in the hunt for its third consecutive title. But, the Longhorns proved to be too tough once again, navigating through a difficult regular-season schedule and a rigorous NCAA Championship meet to capture the national crown.
After taking second in the season-opening Big 12 Relays, Texas hit the road to take on USC, where it edged the Trojans by a 161-151 count. The Longhorns went into the semester break on a high note when they captured the Texas Invitational with 751 points.
The return to competition in January proved to be difficult, though the Longhorns would reap the rewards later in the season. Texas suffered a 145-98 loss to Auburn before rebounding the next day with a 135.5-101.5 win over Georgia. UT closed out January with a 167-125 win at Texas A&M.
Texas took to the road on two more occasions, defeating Arizona in consecutive days at the Wildcats' home pool in Tucson, Ariz., before setting aside SMU a week later in Dallas. The Longhorns followed their 7-1 regular season with a commanding victory at the Big 12 Championships at Texas A&M's Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
Texas sat in first place after each of the first two days of competition at the 2002 NCAA Championships, and the Longhorns fought off a formidable challenge from Stanford to edge the Cardinal and claim their third-consecutive NCAA title. Senior Troy Dumais captured the one- and three-meter diving events, and sophomore Brendan Hansen claimed the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events, setting NCAA and American records in the latter event.
Sophomore Ian Crocker was victorious in the 100 butterfly, clocking 45.44 to eclipse the NCAA record. Texas benefited from a total team effort, as 13 additional Longhorns garnered All-America honors. The Longhorns' third-place finish in the meet's final event, the 400 freestyle relay, was enough to hold off Stanford, as UT topped the Cardinal by a 512-501 margin.