Women's Swimming and Diving preview: Auburn
Jan. 6, 2009
WHAT: No. 3 Texas (4-0) opens up the spring semester at No. 5 Auburn (2-1).
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 8 - 3 p.m. Central
WHERE: James E. Martin Aquatics Center - Auburn, Ala.
TEXAS-AUBURN CONNECTIONS: The head swimming and diving coaches at Texas and Auburn each count extremely successful coaching stints at the opposing schools. Third-year Texas head women's swimming and diving coach Kim Brackin served as a co-head coach alongside David Marsh and helped lead the Tiger women to NCAA titles in 2003 and 2004 and a NCAA second-place finish in 2005. Kirsty Coventry, now a volunteer assistant coach under Brackin at Texas, swam under Brackin at Auburn from 2002-05.
Auburn head swimming and diving coach Richard Quick succeeded current Texas head men's swimming and diving coach Eddie Reese when he departed Auburn in 1978 to take over the Longhorns' men's swimming and diving program. Quick left Auburn in 1982 to head the Texas women's swimming and diving program, with whom he won five consecutive NCAA team titles from 1984-88. Quick began his second stint at Auburn in 2007 after coaching the Stanford women for 17 seasons.
On Dec. 30, Auburn announced that Quick has been diagnosed with an inoperable malignant (cancerous) brain tumor. Swimming World Magazine reports that a Prayer Pager has been established for Quick at (334) 742-5237. Whenever someone says a prayer for him, they can send a page to that number anonymously to let him know when a prayer has been said for him.
Quick's co-head coach, Dorsey Tierney-Walker, was a 16-time All-America swimmer at Texas from 1988-1992. She captured the NCAA title in the 200 breaststroke in 1991 and was an assistant coach at Texas during the 1992-93 season.
LAST TEXAS-AUBURN MEETING: Auburn defeated Texas by a 157-80 margin on Jan. 10, 2008 in Austin.
ABOUT THE LONGHORNS: The Longhorns are coming off of perhaps the most productive non-championship meet in the program's history after shattering nine school records and four Big 12 Conference records last month at the Texas Invitational.
Freshman Kathleen Hersey rewrote six individual school records and three individual Big 12 records while helping break school and Big 12 records in the 400 freestyle relay and the school record in the 800 freestyle relay. Freshman Karlee Bispo took down Whitney Hedgepeth's school mark in the 200 freestyle that had stood for 17 seasons.
Texas opened the season on Saturday, Oct. 18 with a 175-123 victory at No. 5 California. Hersey was selected as the National College Swimmer of the Week by CollegeSwimming.com after breaking a 22-year-old school record in the 200 butterfly and winning two additional individual events.
UT's freshman class collected eight individual victories in the win at California, where Bispo made her mark with a win over Olympic silver medalist Sara Isakovic in the 200 freestyle.
UT tallied eight relay victories to capture the annual Big 12 Relays on Friday, Oct. 24 at Kansas' Robinson Natatorium. The Horns totaled 102 points to edge Texas A&M, who registered 98 points. The victory was Texas' first at the Big 12 Relays since 2005.
Texas hit the road on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 and returned from Ann Arbor, Mich., with a pair of wins over Indiana and Michigan. UT knocked off Indiana by a 211-178 count and defeated Michigan by a 259-130 margin.
Texas returned to the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center and posted a 153-109 victory over Washington on Nov. 21
Under the direction of third-year head coach Kim Brackin, Texas returns 17 letterwinners from the 2008 squad that placed 14th at the NCAA Championships. Heading the returnees are Chang and junior Susana Escobar, who represented South Korea and Mexico, respectively, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Escobar placed seventh in the 500-yard freestyle at the 2008 NCAA Championships, and Chang added a 14th-place showing in the 50 freestyle. Also returning are senior All-America divers Kathryn Kelly and Jessica Livingston, the 2007 NCAA platform champion who was tabbed the Big 12 Women's Diver of the Week on Dec. 17.
Hersey, who holds the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center record in the 200-meter butterfly (2:07.13), took eighth in the 200-meter butterfly final in Beijing. Hersey also was a U.S. Olympic Trials finalist in the 400-meter individual medley, where she placed fifth.
Bispo set a national high school record in the 200-yard freestyle (1:45.14) on May 11 at the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) San Joaquin Section Championships (record has since been broken). The Big 12 Conference coaches selected Bispo as the league's Women's Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 29 and Nov. 12.