Swimmers are ready to pick up where they left off

Matt Warden

The Longhorns are loaded again.

A team that features two national champions — Eric Friedland (200 breaststroke) and Michael McBroom (1,650 freestyle) — a Scholar All-America team nomination and the Big 12 Conference swimmer and newcomer of the year is hard to match.

After finishing last season fourth in the nation and second at the NCAA championships, this year’s team plans to improve on last season’s success.

“We started intense practices much earlier this year,” said junior Madison Gibson. “And being that it’s an Olympic year, we are looking to have a really good team, and we’re coming in ranked as one the best teams out there.”

The Longhorns return nine All-America finishers, including Friedland and McBroom, and boast a stellar freshman class which features Clay Youngquist, who was ranked as the third-best swimmer in the class of 2011. Many Team USA medalists, led by last year’s Big 12 swimmer of the year senior Jimmy Feigen, will compete for Texas.

“One of our biggest goals going into this year is to be the best team ever,” Friedland said. “We can do this by scoring the most points and winning the most individual titles.”

Printed on Thursday, September 29, 2011 as: Horns gearing up for Big 12 title run