Men's Swimming and Diving, women claim Big 12 Conference crowns
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The University of Texas men's swimming and diving team won its 26th consecutive conference title and the women's team added its seventh straight Big 12 title on Saturday at the 2005 Big 12 Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. The men's team wound up with 1,050 points, topping Texas A&M (842), while the women's team finished with 965 points as Texas A&M and Nebraska rounded out the top three with 783 and 461 points, respectively.
For the third year in a row, senior Sarah Wanezek (Brookfield, Wis.) earned the Big 12 Conference Swimmer of the Meet, becoming the first swimmer in Big 12 men's and women's conference history to earn the award more than than twice. Wanezek, an 11-time NCAA All-American and 20-time Big 12 Conference Champion, won seven events - three individual, four relay - including the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, the 100-yard butterfly, the 200- and 400-yard medley relays and the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays at the 2005 Big 12 Conference Championships en route to being tabbed the Swimmer of the Meet.
Sophomore Garrett Weber-Gale (Fox Point, Wis.) was tabbed the Big 12 Swimmer of the Meet after winning six events, including his first individual conference titles of his career, winning the 50-yard freestyle on Thursday and the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday. In addition, Weber-Gale anchored Texas' top-performing 200-yard freestyle relay, 400-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard medley relay and swam the third leg of the Longhorns' winning 800-yard freestyle relay.
The Texas men and women also swept the conference's Outstanding Newcomer of the Meet awards as freshmen Matthew McGinnis (Raleigh, N.C.) and Macie Garrett (Nashville, Tenn.) took home the honors. McGinnis captured individual titles in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles to go along with wins in the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays, while Garrett earned titles in the 500-yard freestyle, the 1,650-yard freestyle and the 800-yard freestyle relay.
All said, both Texas teams won 17 of 21 total events en route to the win at the meet.
Saturday, the final day of the championships, was also highlighted by junior Elizabeth Wycliffe (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), who recorded Texas' second Big 12 Championships meet record in as many days and captured the win in the 200-yard backstroke. Wycliffe, the 2003 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and conference champion in the 200-yard backstroke, clocked in at 1:55.03, more than a second faster then the league standard of 1:56.26, set by Texas A&M's Rebecca Sturdy last year.
Texas swimmers who defended their Big 12 titles on Saturday were sophomore Elizabeth Tinnon (Bowling Green, Ky.), who won the 200-yard breaststroke and lowered her season-best time from 2:12.67 to 2:10.35, and senior Rainer Kendrick (Birmingham, Ala.), who captured the 200-yard butterfly (1:44.74) for the fourth straight year. Tinnon, who established a Big 12 and UT record of 1:00.14 in the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday, has now swept both backstroke events at the conference championships in each of her two years, while Kendrick, the reigning NCAA Champion in the 200 butterfly, joins former teammate Brendan Hansen as the only swimmers in Big 12 Conference men's history to win an event in each of four years.
Senior Nate O'Brien (Sammamish, Wash.), a Big 12 Champion in the 200-yard backstroke as a freshman, earned his second title in that event and of his career with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:42.95 in the 200-yard backstroke on Saturday.
Rounding out the Texas swimmers who stood atop the platform on Saturday were sophomore Katie Robinson (Dillsboro, Ind.) in the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.35) and junior Christian Schurr (Austin, Texas) in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:58.45). The title marks the first for Schurr in his career while it is the second of Robinson's.
The University of Texas men's and women's swimming and diving teams will compete in the American Short Course Championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center from Thursday-Saturday, March 3-5, before heading to the NCAA Championships. The women's national meet will be held in West Lafayette, Ind., from March 17-19, while the men's team will compete in Minneapolis, Minn., from March 24-26.
TEXAS' 2005 BIG 12 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS (MEN)
Final Team Standings - MEN
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS HONORS- MEN
TEXAS' 2005 BIG 12 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS (WOMEN)
Final Team Standings - Women
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS HONORS - WOMEN