Men’s swimming looks to repeat 2011 successes

Elijah Perez

The Big 12 Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will be held this week in Columbia, Mo. Participants include the three schools that sponsor men's swimming and diving in the Big 12: Texas, Texas A&M and the event's host, Missouri.

Coming into the four-day event, the Longhorns are the favorites in the competition. The Longhorns have won every Big 12 swimming and diving championship in conference history and have an opportunity to extend their streak to 16 straight. However, the teams standing in the way of this goal present stiff competition. Each of the three schools are ranked nationally with Texas at No. 2, Texas A&M at No. 18 and Mizzou coming in at No. 25.

The Longhorns will be looking to repeat their dominant performance from 2011, in which Texas claimed victories in 20 of the 21 individual championship events.

The lone loss standing in the way of a clean sweep came in the 1-meter diving event, which saw current Texas A&M senior Grant Nel earn the victory. However, Texas senior and National record holder in the platform diving event, Drew Livingston will be gunning for the opportunity to reclaim the title he earned as a sophomore in 2010. He'll have his shot Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in the first event of the competition.

The swimming events will be anchored by a strong field of Texas swimmers who will be looking to repeat the titles that they won last year. Among these are juniors Nick D'Innocenzo, who won the 200-yard breaststroke and the 400-yard individual medley and Austin Surhoff who claimed the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley in 2011.

Seniors Jackson Wilcox, a two-time Big 12 individual champion and Jimmy Feigen, a 13-time Big 12 individual champion, will look to continue the winning ways for the team. This will be the final competition for the Longhorns before the NCAA National Championships held March 22-24.