Divers prepare to take the stage in fourth annual Texas Diving Invitational

Blanche Schaefer and Haley Steinman

The Texas swim teams are usually front and center, but the divers assume that role this week. 

The Longhorn divers get their turn in the spotlight as they host the Texas Diving Invitational this weekend.

The No. 6 Texas women will dive against Houston, Trinity, North Texas and Colorado State. The men’s and women’s teams both compete against TCU, Wisconsin, California, Arizona State and Miami (FL).

Diving coach Mark Scoggin said invitationals prepare divers for the big-competition format they’ll see later in the season. Scoggin said the Invitational will also resemble the hype of the NCAA finals in the spring.

 “[Invitationals are] a great dress rehearsal at this time of season,” Scoggin said. “Everyone all over the country’s put in a lot of work. It gives the athletes the chance to go through three events in a three-day period, which is similar to conference, zones and NCAAs.”

The No. 1 Texas men are no stranger to the postseason. Three-time All-American senior Cory Bowersox has qualified for the NCAA championships every year since he was a freshman. He’s also placed in the top five every year at the Big 12 Championships in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. All-American junior Mark Anderson won the platform event at the Big 12 Championships last year.

Senior Meghan Houston and freshman Meghan O’Brien have anchored the Texas women’s team all season. Both divers have placed in the top three at every meet this fall in both 1-meter and 3-meter diving events. 

Texas women have yet to win an event this year but are still 6-1 in meets this season. The trio’s consistent top-five finishes help push the Longhorns past opponents by canceling out first-place points. Houston, O’Brien and Rauzi took second, third and fourth place, respectively, in the 3-meter event against A&M on Nov. 6. The points matched A&M junior Madison Hudkins’ first-place points.

“Our divers were huge and gave us big points [against A&M],” women’s head coach Carol Capitani said. “Everybody had something to hang their hat on.”

Scoggin also said the Invitational competition will give the Longhorns a benchmark.

“Some of the top teams in the country have sent their diving teams to compete,” Scoggin said. “We feel very fortunate. I’m looking for my divers to show some good legs this week.”

The Texas Diving Invitational kicks off Thursday at 11 a.m. with the men’s 1-meter preliminaries. The women’s 3-meter preliminaries begin at 1 p.m.