Longhorns look to earn NCAA Championship bids in Texas Invitational

Haley Steinman

No. 1 Texas men and No. 6 women will host seven schools starting Wednesday at the Texas Invitational at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center in Austin. 

On the men’s side, head coach Eddie Reese said that this Longhorn group has been the most impressive of his 37-season career. Texas currently sits at 6-0, with its lowest margin of victory at 18 points.

“Right now we are the best team I’ve ever seen or heard of in practice,” Reese said, “Now if it doesn’t translate, that is the coaches’ fault.”

Reese’s team is one of supreme discipline. Texas’ swimmers stick to a strict regimen both in and out of the pool to ensure their success.

“Everybody tows the line,” Reese said, “They take care of themselves outside of the pool. They take care of anything they need to take care of, whether it’s school or work or whatever, and they focus on swimming.”

The women’s squad heads into the Texas Invitational fully rested. The Longhorns’ last match was Nov. 14 at North Carolina State. Head coach Carol Capitani said the Thanksgiving break allowed the team to regroup prior to Wednesday’s meet.

“We give [our swimmers] a touch of rest and see where they are,” Capitani said. “Some of the best teams in the country are here. We get an idea of what we need to do better.”

The Longhorn women are 6-1, with their lone loss at North Carolina on Nov. 13. The Texas Invitational is the first opportunity for swimmers to earn spots at the NCAA championships in the spring. Capitani said she looks forward to seeing how her team performs as some of the best teams in the country will come to Austin for the meet. 

“At the end of this weekend, there might be 10 or 12 kids that will have times fast enough to go to NCAA,” Capitani said. “I’m excited to see our team step up as a whole, not so much the individual swimmers, but putting together some really good relays and racing against these other teams.”