Longhorns open Texas Invitational with 800m freestyle relay

Haley Steinman

There was a noticeable excitement in the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center on the first day of the annual Texas Invitational.

Teams from eight schools gathered around the pool deck loudly cheering for the teammates competing in the Wednesday’s finals — the 800m freestyle relay for both men and women.

No. 4 Texas women grabbed second in the relay at 7:2.85. Junior Madisyn Cox led the first 200 meters of the relay in 1:44.93, which is the seventh fastest time in the 200m free in the country this season.

Cox was accompanied by junior Tasija Karosas (1:45.64) and freshmen Brooke Hansen (1:46.17) and Nora McCullagh (1:46.11) in the relay.

Head coach Carol Capitani said she is impressed with the freshmen talent this year, showcased on the relay team.

“They’re big on talent and also big in numbers,” Capitani said, “Those eight — everybody’s making an impact, so that’s a lot of fun.

On the No. 1 men’s squad, the “B” relay featuring junior P.J. Dunne, senior Sam Lewis and freshmen Jeff Newkirk and Ryan Harty, took third in 6:25.93.

An early exchange caused the men’s “A” relay to be disqualified.

Head coach Eddie Reese gave insight on the details of the team’s preparation for the meet.

“We rename the months,” Reese said, “October is ‘Rocktober’ because I rock them with workouts. November is ‘Slowvember’ because I rocked them with hard workouts. They renamed September this year ‘Rocktember’ because we worked so hard so early.”