Women's Swimming and Diving preview: Big 12 Championships
Feb. 22, 2011
WHAT: Texas hosts the annual Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 23 through Saturday, Feb. 26 (complete schedule below)
WHERE: Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center – Austin, Texas
LIVE RESULTS: http://www.tsc.utexas.edu/results/big12/index.htm
LIVE VIDEO: TexasSports.com
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY
Texas has won nine of 14 Big 12 Championship meets and most recently won the Big 12 title in 2009 at the conference meet in Columbia, Mo.
The Longhorns placed second at the 2010 Big 12 Championships at Texas A&M’s Student Rec Center Natatorium. Texas A&M claimed the conference title with 1,002 points, and Texas took second with 903 points. UT’s Laura Sogar was selected as the Big 12 Women’s Newcomer of the Meet.
Bispo earned her selection to the team based upon her performances at the 2010 USA Swimming National Championships last August in Irvine, Calif. Bispo is slated to compete in the 50-meter freestyle, the 200m freestyle and the 800m freestyle relay. The 2011 World University Games are set for Aug. 12-23 in Shenzhen, China with the swimming competition slated for Aug. 14-19.
Bispo is a nine-time All-American and eight-time Big 12 Conference champion who holds individual school records in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle events in addition all five relays. She won the consolation finals in the 50m and 200m freestyle events at the 2010 USA Swimming National Championships.
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.
HORNS RANK NO. 4 IN CSCAA POLL
Texas finished the regular season at 7-2. The Longhorns opened the season with road victories over No. 4 California, No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 16 Michigan and No. 14 Indiana. The Horns opened the 2010-11 season on Oct. 16 with a 156-144 win at California before nabbing a pair of wins at Indiana and Michigan the following week in Bloomington, Ind.
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 last month when it visited No. 2 Georgia and No. 5 Auburn. The Longhorns got back on the winning track at the end of January and posted a commanding victory over No. 7 Arizona. Texas finished the season with victories over SMU and Houston.
SOGAR SHATTERS BREASTSTROKE RECORDS
Sogar went well under the one-minute barrier in the 100 breaststroke in December 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.