Family Feud: Surhoff sisters to vie for bragging rights in Longhorns’ second meet

Scarlett Smith

This week’s matchup against North Carolina will boast a familial atmosphere when freshman swimmer Jordan Surhoff and North Carolina sophomore Kendall Surhoff meet head to head in the Longhorns’ second competition of the year. The teams will meet in the pool for the first time of the sisters’ collegiate careers in what is sure to be a family affair. 

“I am just really excited to watch both of them,” said older brother and former Longhorn swimmer Austin Surhoff. “This will be the first time I get to watch either of them in a college dual meet, so I am very excited for the opportunity.”

Austin Surhoff swam for Texas from 2009-13, finishing his final year of eligibility last spring. He continues to train with the team, looking to be more competitive on the USA swimming scene, and intends to race in the Austin Grand Prix in January. 

While the Surhoffs’ allegiances are split — mother Polly is a former Tarheel swimmer herself — the home crowd is likely to give Jordan the advantage in fans.

“I will be cheering equally hard for both sisters when they are in the water,” insisted Austin Surhoff. 

Though it is uncertain whether the sisters will be pitted against one another in the same race, a sibling rivalry will undoubtedly permeate the ambiance of the competition. 

“It is really competitive, we both like to beat each other but it is also really fun,” said Jordan Surhoff when asked what it is like to race against her sister. 

In the Longhorns’ opening meet with Rice, Jordan Surhoff finished second in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, posting a solid performance in her collegiate debut. Kendall and her North Carolina teammates swept the Virginia Tech Invitational Meet, beating Virginia Tech, Radford, Liberty and James Madison by winning 12 of 19 events in the Tarheels’ first competition of the season.

Both Texas and North Carolina come into Thursday’s meet undefeated, upping the ante from sibling bragging rights to taking an unblemished record into the third week of the season. 

Despite the meet’s intrigue, Jordan Surhoff has remain focused through the week’s practices, working hard toward improvement. 

“I want to better my times and also do everything I can to help UT win,” Jordan Surhoff said. 

Senior All-American Lily Moldenhauer looks to build on her performance against Rice where she handily defeated the field in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke. Texas divers will get their first dual competition opportunity of the season on Thursday after the events were not included in last week’s meet.

“The Surhoffs never really get to be in the same place at the same time so it is pretty cool that we will all be here and I get to swim against my sister,” Jordan Surhoff said of the anticipated matchup.