COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Texas women's and men's teams swept the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships for the eighth consecutive season in Columbia, Mo. Saturday evening at the Mizzou Aquatics Center.
For the Texas men, it was their 27th consecutive conference title dating back to head coach Eddie Reese's second year at UT in 1980 when it was a member of the Southwest Conference. After the meet he was awarded the Outstanding Coach of the Meet award by the meets coaches.
"I think we did as much as we could and got out of the meet as much as we could," said Reese. "Most of our guys are entered in the American Short Course next weekend and it will give us a chance to get a few more cuts and go a little faster. The guys really embraced the seniors today and we have talked a lot about that and how you need to enjoy the trip along the way."
The Longhorns finished with 1,036.5 points and the title, Texas A&M took second-place with 838 points and host Missouri was third with 719.5 points.
For the women, it was their eighth consecutive Big 12 title and the eighth under co-head coach Jill Sterkel. At the conclusion of the meet, Sterkel was awarded the Co-Outstanding Coach of the Meet with Texas A&M coach Steve Bultman.
"It wasn't perfect but we got most of what we needed to get accomplished done," said Sterkel. "This year has been a blessing and an emotional one. It has been very special and I will never forget it. The women have been unbelievable, the parents have been unbelievable. When it gets down to it, it's what sports are all about. The team has refused to quit all year long and has been amazing all year long"
Texas finished with 942.5 points, Texas A&M was second with 761 points, Missouri was third with 453 points, Kansas took fourth-place with 439 points and Nebraska rounded out the top five with 386.5 points.
Diving coach Matt Scoggin was named Outstanding Women's Diving Coach of the Meet for the sixth time in his career after leading three different divers to titles at the 2006 championships.
"The men and the women all dived really well," said Scoggin. "We are definitely headed in the right direction. We have our zone meet coming up, which is really the meet we went for. We have a smaller number bids than normal and I have a majority of the team healthy and we are looking forward to doing good things a the zone meet."
Sophomore Mary Yarrison (Springfield, Va.) and freshman Kathryn Kelly (Longwood, Fla.) were named women's Co-Divers of the Meet after winning the 3- and 1-meter diving competitions, respectively. Sophomore Jessica Livingston (Houston, Texas) was the third to win an individual title under coach Scoggin's tutelage by taking first in the platform competition with 303.5 points for her first Big 12 title.
Also receiving special recognition was freshman Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) was named Outstanding Newcomer of the Meet and junior Garret Weber-Gale (Fox Point, Wisc.) was named Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet.
Klueh won three events during the course of the meet (500-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and 1,650-yard freestyle) while setting Big 12 meet records in the 200-yard freestyle in the opening leg of the men's 800-yard freestyle relay (1:34.67), the 400-yard IM (3:48.49) and the 1,650-yard freestyle (14.51.32).
Weber-Gale won the 50-yard freestyle (19.78), was a member of the first-place 400-yard medley relay (3:12.63), took first-place in the 100-yard backstroke (47.70), helped the 200-yard freestyle relay to a top finish (1:18.41) and won the 100-yard freestyle (43.01).
Overall, the UT men won a total of 16 out of 21 events, while the women won 11 out of 21 events over the four days.
Rounding out the Texas swimmers who also stood atop the platform on Saturday were senior Elizabeth Wycliffe (Kingston, Ontario) who won the 200-yard backstroke with an automatic qualifying time of 1:56.54, sophomore Caleb McDermott (Canyon Lake, Texas) after winning the men's 200-yard backstroke with an automatic qualifying time of 1:43.14.
Senior Jaclyn Faulkner (New Orleans, La.) won the 100-yard freestyle with an automatic time of 49.41, senior Christian Schurr (Austin, Texas) had a top finish in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:57.17), junior Katie Robinson (Dillsboro, Ind.) in the women's 200-yard butterfly (2:00.66) and junior David Donaldson (San Antonio, Texas) closed out the wins in the men's 200-yard butterfly with in a time of 1:46.33.
The University of Texas men's and women's swimming and diving teams will compete in the American Short Course Championships at the Texas Swim Center from Thursday-Saturday, March 2-4, before heading to the NCAA Championships. The women's national meet will be held in Athens, Ga., from March 16-18, while the men's team will compete in Atlanta, Ga., from March 23-25.
Fox Sports Net (FSN) will broadcast the 2006 Men's and Women's Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships on a tape-delay basis beginning on Thursday, March 2 at Noon (CST). FSN will broadcast the championships also on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. (CST). Each broadcast will last two hours.
Quotes from the Champions
Caleb McDermott (Texas), Men's 200 Backstroke: It's a lot of fun. My team worked really hard to get here. We're happy with how the other guys swam in our group.
On the race: I felt pretty good. I tried to get out pretty smooth through the first 50 and hold on through the rest of it.
Jaclyn Faulkner (Texas), Women's 100 Freestyle: Before going into it I was just hoping for a best time. I was just really happy with my time and shocked with my place. I was just really happy. I've been through a lot so this is a great way to end my conference career. I was thinking that I was dying and just to hold on. It was hurting real bad, but I made it. I got my hand on the wall and that's what I wanted to do.
Garrett Weber-Gale (Texas), Men's 100 Freestyle: I felt really good. I was really looking forward to it all week. I'm really happy with the results because I think I have a lot of room to improve before the NCAA's. I plan on really getting a lot stronger because I fell like I'm one of the weaker sprinters out there and I think once I do that if I combine that with good mechanics I can be a lot better next year. I put up four fingers for the final four, four seniors that we have left and we are really trying to respect those guys and we want to win for them tonight.
Michael Klueh (Texas), Men's 1650 Freestyle: The middle of the race I thought I could be a little faster, but overall it's the best time for me by over 10 seconds and I'm really excited about the meet record. I'm really excited about swimming next month in NCAA's. I knew I was going pretty fast but I wasn't sure how fast I was going, but I'm pretty happy with the time.
Christian Schurr (Texas): I finally had some life today for once for the first time this season. It's my best time by five tenths and it's really good for right now. It is right where I need to be. Hopefully in four weeks it will be better. When you are hurting that bad you aren't thinking. You are just trying to hold your stroke and keep it going without spinning too much. It was pretty good. It was my best time. I'm looking forward to four weeks of rest but for right now this is where I need to be.
Katie Robinson (Texas), Women's 200 butterfly: It was pretty painful but I just wanted to get my hand on the wall. I couldn't catch my breath so I just throught I should keep my head down if I'm not going to breath. I'm pretty happy, but I wish I would have gone faster. For right now in the season getting ready to go to NC's it's a pretty good time.
David Donaldson (Texas), Men's 200 butterfly: I feel good about what I did. My goal time was a little faster but I'm pleased with how I came out and how our team did today. We had a good team effort today and I'm just really happy with how I came out. It's really exciting. This is the best time for me. This is a really good race, a great time and a great pool, so it is exciting.
Jessica Livingston (Texas), Women's Platform Diving: I feel good about it. I had a few rough ones, but I pulled it together in the end. It's wonderful. I just want to be able to help the team out so it's great.
2006 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS HONORS
Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet: Garrett Weber-Gale, Jr., Texas
Outstanding Diver of the Meet: Eric Sehn, So., Texas A&M
Outstanding Newcomer of the Meet: Michael Klueh, Fr., Texas
Swim Coach of the Meet: Eddie Reese, Texas
Dive Coach of the Meet: Kevin Wright, Texas A&M
Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet: Codie Hansen, Fr., Texas A&M
Outstanding Co-Diver of the Meet: Kathryn Kelly, Fr., Texas; Mary Yarrison, So., Texas
Outstanding Newcomer of the Meet: Triin Aljand, Fr., Texas A&M
Co-Swim Coach of the Meet: Jill Sterkel, Texas; Steve Bultman, Texas A&M
Dive Coach of the Meet: Matt Scoggin, Texas
2006 BIG 12 CHAMPIONS
200-Yard Medley Relay - 1:26.95#
(Thomas Sacco, Matt Molnar, Daniel Rohleder, Jeremy Harris)
400-Yard Medley Relay - 3:12.63#
(Thomas Sacco, Christian Schurr, Daniel Rohleder, Garrett Weber-Gale)
500-Yard Freestyle: Michael Klueh - 4:15.28$*
200-Yard IM: Caleb McDermott - 1:47.62#
50-Yard Freestyle: Garrett Weber-Gale - 20.01#
400-Yard IM: Michael Klueh - 3:48.49#
100-Yard Butterfly: David Donaldson - 47.82#
200-Yard Freestyle: Matthew McGinnis - 1:34.82$
100-Yard Breaststroke: Matthew Lowe - 53.78#
100-Yard Backstroke: Garrett Weber-Gale - 47.70#
200-Yard Freestyle Relay - 1:18.41$
(Tyler O'Halloran, Matthew McGinnis, Jeremy Harris, Garrett Weber-Gale)
200-Yard Backstroke: Caleb McDermott - 1:43.14$
100-Yard Freestyle: Garrett Weber-Gale - 43.01$
200-Yard Breaststroke: Christian Schurr - 1:57.17#
200-Yard Butterfly: David Donaldson - 1:46.33#
1,650-Yard Freestyle: Michael Klueh - 14:51.32$*
200-Yard Medley Relay - 1:38.48$
(Connie Brown, Elizabeth Tinnon, Lina Petersson, Hee-Jin Chang)
400-Yard Medley Relay - 3:37.53$
(Connie Brown, Elizabeth Tinnon, Katie Robinson, Jaclyn Faulkner)
200-Yard IM: Elaine Ferritto - 1:59.61$
400-Yard IM: Stephanie Anderson - 4:16.41#
100-Yard Breaststroke: Elizabeth Tinnon - 1:00.73$
One-meter Diving: Kathryn Kelley - 276.10
Three-meter Diving: Mary Yarrison - 337.50
200-Yard Backstroke: Elizabeth Wycliffe - 1:56.11$
100-Yard Freestyle: Jaclyn Faulkner - 49.41$
200-Yard Butterfly: Katie Robinson - 2:00.66#
Platform Diving: Jessica Livingston - 303.50
$ - NCAA Championships Automatic-Qualifying Time
# - NCAA Championships Consideration Time
* - Big 12 Championships Meet Record