Women's Swimming and Diving preview: Houston
Feb. 8, 2011
WHAT: No. 4 Texas (6-2) visits Houston for the Sprint for the Cure, which marks UT’s final meet of the 2010-11 regular season. The meet annually presents the Longhorns and Cougars an opportunity to race events at unconventional distances, such as the 75-yard breaststroke and the 300-yard freestyle.
WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday, Feb. 9 – 6 p.m. CT/Campus Recreation & Wellness Center – Houston, Texas
LAST MEETING vs. HOUSTON: Texas defeated Houston by an 80-62 count on Feb. 10, 2010 in Houston.
LAST TIME OUT: Texas posted a 137-89 victory over SMU on Feb. 5 in Austin.
NATIONAL RANKINGS UPDATE
TEXAS SWIMMING CENTER GEARS UP FOR BUSY POSTSEASON
The University of Texas and the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center will host the Big 12 Championships later this month (Feb. 23-26) for the second time in the last four seasons. The Texas divers will compete for NCAA Championships berths from March 11-13 when they take part in the NCAA Zone “D” Diving Meet at the Texas Swimming Center. Finally, the UT swimmers and divers will take aim at individual and team national titles from March 17-19 when the Texas Swimming Center hosts the NCAA Championships.
HORNS MOVE UP TO NO. 4 IN CSCAA POLL
UT picked up three wins from junior Karlee Bispo and two apiece from junior Leah Gingrich and sophomore Laura Sogar in a 163-137 victory over Texas A&M on Nov. 5. Texas also went on to victory at its annual Texas Invitational, which featured a new school record in the 400 medley relay.
Texas suffered its first defeats of the season nearly two weeks ago when it visited No. 2 Georgia and No. 5 Auburn. The Longhorns got back on the winning track posted a commanding victory over No. 7 Arizona (Jan. 29) before dispatching SMU (Feb. 5) on Senior Day.
BISPO NAMED NATIONAL SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
Bispo put on a spectacular performance against the Wildcats that featured consecutive victories in the last three events of the two-day meet. Bispo opened the meet by helping UT’s 200-yard freestyle relay to victory with a 22.76-second split on the relay’s third leg.
She added a win in the 100 freestyle with a NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 49.24 and took second behind teammate and school-record holder Laura Sogar in the 200 breaststroke (2:14.14). Bispo closed out the meet’s first day by anchoring UT’s 400 medley relay to victory in 49.59 seconds.
Bispo opened the meet’s second day with a victory in one of her specialties, the 200 freestyle, in 1:47.92. The Californian finished off the meet with back-to-back individual victories before anchoring UT’s 400 freestyle relay to victory. She claimed the 50 freestyle in 22.95 seconds and immediately returned to capture the 200 individual medley in 2:00.73 before finishing off UT’s 400 freestyle relay in 49.69 seconds.
SOGAR SHATTERS BREASTSTROKE RECORDS
Sogar went well under the one-minute barrier in the 100 breaststroke last month at the Texas Invitational and posted a winning time of 59.07 to break Elizabeth Tinnon’s school mark of 59.96. She lowered her school mark in the 200 breaststroke once again at the Texas Invite and posted a mark of 2:07.43.
SOGAR NAMED NATIONAL SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
Sogar posted what was then the nation’s fastest time in the 200-yard breaststroke, as she won the event in 2:10.15 to top her school record of 2:10.31 set at the 2010 Big 12 Championships. Sogar also claimed the 100 breaststroke at California in 1:00.97, good for the second-fastest time in college swimming. She placed second in the 400 individual medley only behind Cal’s Caitlin Leverenz, the 2010 U.S. national champion in the event. Sogar went on to lower her school record in the 200 breaststroke with a mark of 2:09.72 on Oct. 30 against Indiana and Michigan before obliterating the mark at the Texas Invite.
BISPO EARNS BIG 12 HONORS
SOGAR, TAYLOR EARN BIG 12 HONORS
Taylor dominated the one-meter event at Cal, as she outdistanced her nearest competitor by 60 points. She went on to lead a one-two-three Texas finish in the three-meter event, where she was victorious with 310.13 points.
MORE ON THE LONGHORNS: Fifth-year head women’s swimming and diving coach Kim Brackin welcomes a large freshman class of swimmers to complement its deep group of returning veterans – which includes 11 All-Americans - that helped the Horns to 11th place at the 2009 NCAA Championships. Freshman Lily Moldenhauer brings a loaded resume that boasts multiple Texas UIL state titles and a national public high school record set last February in the 100-yard backstroke. Moldenhauer’s mark of 52.89 threatened the all-time national mark of 52.86 set by Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin (later broken by incoming Cal freshman Cindy Tran). The versatile Moldenhauer also is a threat in the butterfly and freestyle events.
Texas also welcomes freshman Samantha Tucker, a member of the 2009-10 Women’s National Youth Team and a multiple medalist at the Texas UIL State Championships. Tucker won a gold medal alongside UT sophomore Laura Sogar in the 400 medley relay at the 2008 FINA World Youth Championships. She also teamed up with Moldenhauer to win gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle relays at the 2008 FINA World Youth Championships.
UT picks up additional depth in the backstroke events from freshmen Ellen Lobb, Melanie McClure, Alex Hooper and Ashley Brewer. Marylyn Toledo and Catherine Wagner join a talented Longhorns breaststroke corps, while freshmen Lauren Ross joins UT’s distance-freestyle group. Sarah Gandy is the lone diving newcomer, and UT also regains the services of redshirt sophomore diver Shelby Cullinan, a two-time All-American who received a medical redshirt last season.
FOLLOW THE HORNS ON TWITTER: For updates on the Texas women’s swimming and diving program, fans are invited to follow the Horns at Twitter.com/TexasWSD.