Horns grab second place behind Aggies

Rachel Thompson

After four days of trailing behind Texas A&M in the lanes and on the boards, Texas placed second in the Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo.

The Longhorns arrived in Missouri to start racing on Wednesday, ending the day a mere two points behind A&M. Karlee Bispo, Katie Riefenstahl, Leah Gingrich and Samantha Tucker nabbed first place in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:04.09. Tucker’s sweeping finish as the final leg helped UT steal the race by over three seconds.

Bispo scored UT’s first individual title at the meet on Thursday with a win in the 200 IM, finishing with a time of 1:56.05. Sophomore Ellen Lobb won the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.56, while Kelsey Amundsen, last years’ winner, followed in second place with a time of 22.71.

By Friday, Texas clung on to second place but couldn’t quite pass A&M. Lily Moldenhauer, Laura Sogar, Lobb and Bispo combined for second place in the 400 medley relay, their time just below the NCAA qualifying standard.

Strong performances popped up throughout the day, as Moldenhauer placed third in the 100 butterfly and second in the 100 backstroke, while Sogar swam her quickest 100 breaststroke race of the season with a time of 1:00.31.

Two Texas divers competed in the 3-meter competition on Friday. Shelby Cullinan placed fourth with 335.75 points and Diana Wilcox took seventh with 311.75 points.

On the final day of the meet, Sogar nabbed her first NCAA qualifying standard with a 2:08.36 in the 200 breaststroke. Gretchen Jacques swam her fastest time of the season for fourth place, a 2:13.65.

Wilcox placed second in the platform diving competition with 298.30 points, and Cullinan took third with 282.60 points.

Bispo, Tucker and Amundsen dominated the 100 freestyle race with times under 50.00, placing second, third and fourth.

Freshman Kelsey LeNeave swam her season best in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:16.41 and placed second overall. Another freshman swimmer, Kaitlin Pawlowicz, followed close behind in fourth place with a time of 16:27.87.

The Longhorns finished strong with a win in the last event, the 400 freestyle relay, a race Texas has claimed three of the last four years, with swimmers Bispo, Amundsen, Hooper and Tucker finishing with a 3:16.42.

Texas finished the meet with 873 points, second to rival A&M’s 1,019 points.

On Thursday, swimmers will have another shot at achieving NCAA qualifying marks during the All-American Invitational, which runs through Saturday.