Swimming and Diving teams in first place following day two at Texas Invitational
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sophomore Elizabeth Tinnon (Bowling Green, Ky.) won the 100-yard breaststroke with an NCAA Automatic Qualifying time of 1:00.75 to lead Texas swimmers on the second day of competition at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center on Friday.
At the conclusion of the second day, The University of Texas men's and women's swimming and diving teams both hold a commanding lead over their second-place competitor, Arizona, which trails 518.50 to 447, in the men's meet, and 590.5 to 452.5 in the women's competition. Southern Cal currently sits in third on the men's side with 339 points, while Wisconsin is rounding out the top three for the women with 443 points.
However, Friday night's spotlight belonged to Arizona's Simon Burnett, the 2003 NCAA Champion in the 200 freestyle, who shattered the 17-year old U.S. Open record held by Matt Biondi (1:33.03), posting a time of 1:32.22 in the third heat of the men's 200-yard freestyle. Burnett, also an Olympian for his native country Great Britain, placed seventh in the 200-meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Games this past summer.
In the first event of Friday's finals competition, the Longhorns picked up right where they had left off the night before. After the team of freshman Hayley McGregory (Houston, Texas), Tinnon, senior Sarah Wanezek (Brookfield, Wis.) and junior Kristy Siminski (Portage, Ind.) captured the women's 400-yard medley in the in Thursday's final event, that same squad teamed to win the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:40.35. Although initially out-touched by Arizona, the Wildcats were disqualified due to an early start.
Meanwhile, in the men's 200-yard medley relay event, Texas' team of senior Andrew Davidson (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.), freshman Matt Lowe (Minot, N.D.), senior Daniel DiToro (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and sophomore Garrett Weber-Gale (Fox Point, Wis.) earned a runner-up finish in a time of 1:28.45. Lowe also added the top Texas finish for the men in the 100-yard breaststroke, placing sixth in 55.36.
The second event of the night - the 400-yard individual medley - three Texas swimmers on the women's side in Alisa Schuknecht (Bend, Ore.), Julie Galloway (The Woodlands, Texas) and Macie Garrett (Nashville, Tenn.) turned in top-eight qualifying times in the morning preliminaries. The top performer for the Longhorns in the event was Schuknecht, who finished third in 4:18.92, with Galloway and Garrett placing sixth and seventh, respectively.
For the men, Texas' David Kahn (Port Jefferson, N.Y.), placed fourth in the 200-yard individual medley the night before, placed fifth in 400-yard individual medley in 3:49.95. The men's 400 IM also featured USC's Ous Mellouli and Michigan's Peter Vanderkaay, who placed first and second, respectively, each with NCAA Automatic standards.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Siminski and sophomore Katie Robinson (Dillsboro, Ind.) finished seventh and eighth with times of 1:48.94 and 1:49.39, respectively. Meanwhile, a pair of freshmen in Matthew McGinnis (Raleigh, N.C.) and Caleb McDermott (Canyon Lake, Texas), who earned top-eight qualifying times in the 500-yard freestyle the day before, were the top finishers for the men. McGinnis captured a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:36.54, while McDermott placed eighth in 1:38.10.
In addition to Tinnon, also highlighting the Texas swimmers in the top qualifying heat of the 100-yard breaststroke were sophomore Leah Avilla (Livermore, Calif.) and senior Kaela Humphries (Chaska, Minn.), who placed fourth and seventh, respectively.
Rounding out the individual races on Friday was the 100-yard backstroke. The Texas men's and women's squads each posted three of the top eight times in the morning prelims. For the women, McGregory, who has posted first-place finishes in the 200- and 400-yard medley relays swimming the backstroke leg in each, took third in the 100-yard backstroke, touching the wall in 54.21. Junior Elizabeth Wycliffe (Kingston, Ontario) placed fifth in 55.50 with sophomore Connie Brown (Andover, Mass.) taking seventh in 56.13.
In the men's race, Davidson was the top Texas performer, placing fifth in 48.47, out-touching freshman Dan Rohleder (Austin, Texas) who finished sixth in 48.86. McGinnis' time of 50.10 was good for eighth.
Meanwhile, in the men's three meter diving competition, sophomore Matt Bisordi (San Mateo, Calif.), who won the one-meter event on Thursday, took third with 509.70 points. Freshman Brian Smith (Carrolltown, Texas) finished eighth with 388.
The University of Texas men's and women's swimming and diving programs return to the Jamail Texas Swim Center on Saturday for the third and final day of competition at the Texas Invitational. Preliminary swims are set for 10:00 a.m. with finals at 6:00 p.m.