No. 1 Men's Swimming and Diving adds four titles on day two of Big 12 Championships
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- No. 1 Texas never missed a beat on day two of the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships, winning all four swimming events and adding three NCAA automatic-qualifying times Thursday evening at Texas A&M's Student Recreation Center Natatorium. The Longhorns lead the championships with 362 points. Texas A&M sits in a distant second with 277 points.
The Texas 400-yard medley relay quartet of senior Tommy Sacco (Dallas, Texas), junior Matt Lowe (Minot, N.D.), junior Daniel Rohleder (Austin, Texas) and senior Garrett Weber-Gale (Fox Point, Wis.) took first in a NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 3:10.92, easily falling under the NCAA "A" cut standard of 3:11.96. UT has recorded NCAA "A" cuts in all three relays -- 800 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 medley -- contested thus far at the Big 12 Championships.
Klueh fell less than two seconds shy of his school record in the 500 freestyle, but his first-place swim of 4:15.57 fell three seconds below the NCAA automatic-qualifying standard of 4:18.59. The mark was good for the third-fastest 500 freestyle time in the history of Texas swimming. Senior Matt McGinnis (Raleigh, N.C.) placed second in 4:20.99 while freshman Dave Walters (Yorktown, Va.) took third in 4:23.54 and sophomore Sean Patton (Charlotte, N.C.) took fifth in 4:29.10. Senior Blake Copple (Boise, Idaho) captured the consolation final in 4:26.82. Each of the aforementioned times were season bests.
Senior Garrett Weber-Gale led a one-two-three Texas finish in the 50 freestyle with the ninth-fastest time in school history at 19.46. Weber-Gale now holds the sixth-, eighth- and ninth-fastest 50 freestyle times in the history of Longhorn swimming. Senior Tyler O'Halloran (Boardman, Ohio) took second in a season-best 19.89, and Lowe placed third in 20.09, also a season best. Junior Jeremy Harris (St. Paul, Minn.) took the consolation final in a season-best 20.36.
"All of the 50s were good for everyone," said UT head coach Eddie Reese. "Garrett Weber-Gale, Tyler O'Halloran and Matt Lowe all did well, but none of them are rested all the way, and they're not shaved. Those are just super times for us right now, particularly since we were very disappointed with all of our 50s this morning."
A Texas trio took the top three spots in the 200 individual medley, as junior Caleb McDermott (Canyon Lake, Texas) repeated as the Big 12 Champion in 1:47.05. Junior David Donaldson (San Antonio, Texas) placed second in 1:47.60, while freshman Ricky Berens (Charlotte, N.C.) took third in 1:48.70.
Freshman Mike Wong (Cerritos, Calif.) led the Texas diving contingent with a second-place score of 328.90 in the one-meter event. Junior Brian Smith (Carrollton, Texas) placed fourth with a total of 289.15.
"We are a lot happier tonight with where we are at this time of year than we were this morning, and the crowd definitely helped," Reese concluded. "It was a loud crowd tonight."
Day three of the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships begins Friday at 10 a.m. CT with the 400 individual medley.