Swimmers acclimate to unusual distances in yearly charity meet

Stefan Scrafield

The Texas women’s swimming and diving team is peaking at the perfect time.

Wednesday night’s 77-60 victory over Houston made it three in a row for the Longhorns, who appear to have put consecutive mid-season losses to Auburn and Georgia behind them.

The Longhorns were in top form as they took 13 of 17 events from the Cougars in the annual Sprint for the Cure meet at the University of Houston Natatorium.

“This was a great team effort,” Texas assistant coach Jim Henry said.

Although some might have expected the fourth-ranked Longhorns to have had trouble adjusting to the unconventional distances that the annual meet is known for, the team stuck to the fundamentals and was able to score a narrow victory.

“A lot of these ladies won events tonight and took advantage of their opportunities,” Henry said. “We had great attention to detail. Our starts and turns have been our main focus, and we did an outstanding job with those.”

The event also served as a successful homecoming for a couple of Houston-born swimmers on the team.
Freshmen Catherine Wagner and Ellen Lobb, both Houston natives, each came away with multiple individual victories.

Wagner won the 50- and 75-yard breaststroke heats with times of 30.07 and 47.69 seconds while adding another first-place finish in the 100-yard individual medley, clocking in at 59.10. She also captured first in the 100-yard medley relay along with teammates Alex Hooper, Leah Reinhardt and Brie Powers.

Lobb was able to win the 50 in both the freestyle and the butterfly with times of 23.47 and 25.48 respectively. She also teamed up with teammates Brie Powers, Becca Tomlin and Melanie McClure to win the 100-yard freestyle relay.

The meet in Houston was the last of the year for the Longhorns, giving them an overall record of 8-2 for the regular season and ensuring them the highest national ranking in the Big 12.

Texas will now turn its attention to the post-season.

The team has two weeks to prepare for the conference championships, which will take place at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center from Feb. 23 to 26.