No. 1 Men's Swimming and Diving wins 11th consecutive Big 12 title
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- No. 1 Texas completed a stellar four-day meet with a Big 12 record 1,114 points to win its 11th consecutive Big 12 Conference title and 28th consecutive Big 12 Conference title Saturday evening at the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships at Texas A&M's Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
UT sophomore Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) obliterated his Big 12 meet record in the 1,650-yard freestyle set a year ago, clocking a career-best time of 14:42.69, just falling shy of Matt Hooper's 13-year-old school mark of 14:42.02. Incredibly, the mark fell 23 seconds below the NCAA "A" cut standard, and the time stands as the fastest in the nation this season.
"Michael Klueh...he's amazing," said UT coach Eddie Reese. "He told me what (time) he was going to go out in....he told me the time for his first 550 (yards), his second 550 (yards), and what his overall time was going to be, and he was a half-second off the whole way. And, he's better than that."
Texas automatically qualified its 400 freestyle relay for NCAA competition, as the quartet of senior Garrett Weber-Gale (Fox Point, Wis.), sophomore Ryan Verlatti (Tacoma, Wash.), freshman Dave Walters (Yorktown, Va.) and junior Matt McGinnis (Raleigh, N.C.) won in 2:53.76, falling well under the NCAA "A" cut standard of 2:54.21.
Junior Caleb McDermott (Canyon Lake, Texas) nearly registered a NCAA automatic-qualifying time in the 200 backstroke, but his winning time of 1:44.04, just fell off the "A" cut mark of 1:44.02, likely will earn him a bid for participation at the NCAA Championships. Senior Tommy Sacco (Dallas, Texas), who captured the 100 backstroke title on day three, took second in 1:45.00. Sophomore Sean Patton (Charlotte, N.C.) took third in 1:45.44 while freshman Hill Taylor (Birmingham, Ala.) placed fourth in 1:45.88. Sophomore Scott Trompeter (San Antonio, Texas) won the consolation final in 1:45.31.
Weber-Gale nearly toppled Ian Crocker's four-year-old Big 12 meet record in the 100 freestyle but did take first in a season-best time of 42.73, just missing Crocker's meet mark of 42.68. McGinnis took second in 43.63 while freshman Dave Walters placed third in 43.76. Junior Jeremy Harris (St. Paul, Minn.) took fifth in 43.96, and Verlatti was sixth in 44.18. Junior Chris Seitz (Taylor Mill, Ky.) was seventh in 44.43. Freshman Peter Jameson (Indianapolis, Ind.) claimed the consolation final in 44.55.
Texas surrendered its first swimming event -- the 200 breaststroke -- in the four-day meet, as junior Matt Lowe (Minot, N.D.) took second in 1:58.85. Junior Agustin Magruder (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) took third in 1:59.44. Senior Tyler O'Halloran (Boardman, Ohio) took fifth in 2:01.05.
"I give (Texas A&M's) Alejandro Jacobo credit," Reese said of the 200 breaststroke champion. "He was awesome tonight."
Freshman Ricky Berens (Charlotte, N.C.) took second in the 200 butterfly in a season-best time of 1:44.50, and defending champion David Donaldson (San Antonio, Texas) took third in 1:46.92. Junior Daniel Rohleder (Austin, Texas) placed fourth in 1:47.10.
Texas freshman diver Mike Wong (Cerritos, Calif.) placed second in the platform-diving event with a score of 330.25, and junior Brian Smith (Carrollton, Texas) took third at 317.35.
Reese was selected as the Big 12 Men's Swimming Coach of the Meet, and Klueh was named the Big 12 Men's Swimmer of the Meet. Berens was selected as the Big 12 Men's Newcomer of the Meet.