Texas a likely first at Big 12 Championships

Rachel Wenzlaff

For the ninth time in conference history, the 10-time NCAA champion Texas (9–1) will host the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships.

The regular season is over, and the Big 12 Championships will be nothing out of the ordinary for the No. 2 Longhorns. In the past 37 years, head coach Eddie Reese has led Texas to 35 consecutive conference titles. Since the Big 12 Conference was formed in 1996, the Longhorns have won all 18 championships.

However, it won’t be a traditional Big 12 Conference. Only TCU, Texas and West Virginia sponsor men’s swimming and diving teams. Since the pickings are so slim, it is shaping up to be a race for second place.

Five Longhorns — freshman Joseph Schooling, sophomores Clark Smith, Will Licon and Jack Conger, and junior John Murray — finished the regular season with some of the nation’s top times in individual events. 

The 100-yard butterfly will be absolutely no contest as four Longhorns were ranked among the country’s top 17 in the event this season.

The Longhorns held the No. 1 position in the CSCAA NCAA rankings for the previous two poll releases but recently dropped down to the number two spot behind Florida. Meanwhile, neither the Horned Frogs nor the Mountaineers are ranked in the top 25, and neither school has even received votes to be placed there.

Prelims begin at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Wednesday and the meet continues into Saturday night.