Longhorns register five wins on day three of Texas Invitational

Blanche Schaefer

The top-ranked Texas swim teams added five wins on day three of the Texas Invitational and the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center on Friday night.

The No. 1 men’s team dominated the pool. Three-time All-American junior Clark Smith won the 200-yard freestyle and posted the nation’s No. 1 time of 1:33.36. Freshman Townley Haas was a touch behind Smith in second place at 1.33.38, good for the nation’s No. 2 time. Smith also reset the school record yesterday in the 500-yard butterfly with a 4:08.82.

Longhorns filled the top four places in the 100-yard butterfly. Junior All-American Jack Conger clocked a 45.19 for first place and an automatic NCAA-qualifying time. He was followed by junior Will Glass at 46.24. Senior Matt Ellis and sophomore Brett Ringgold took third and fourth.

The 400-yard individual medley fired up the Texas crowd, as a cluster of Longhorns claimed five of the top seven places and earned NCAA “B” cuts. Sophomore Jonathan Roberts pulled away at the end of the race in front of a screaming crowd to win in 3:44.24 — the fastest time in the country.

“The 400 IM was the race of the night,” men’s head coach Eddie Reese said.  “We had five guys right there together, and all of them went real fast. It was a super race. It was a good race for Jonathan Roberts to win.”

The men earned two more NCAA “B” cuts. The Longhorns clocked a 1:25.73 to win the 200-yard medley relay and a “B” cut with a team of freshman John Shebat, senior John Murray, Conger and Ringgold. Shebat earned a “B” cut of his own with a second place in the 100-yard backstroke event.

All-American junior Madisyn Cox secured another win for the No. 4 Longhorn women. She notched the nation’s No. 3 time of 4:06.55 in the 400-yard individual medley. Freshman Maggie D’Innocenzo placed second with a time of 4:11.55. Junior Smacker Miles also earned a “B” cut with her 4:18.43.

Texas needed to swim fast this weekend with some of the nation’s top competition in town — Arizona, Wisconsin, USC, BYU, Harvard, UC-Santa Barbara, Oklahoma Baptist and UCLA.

“It’s a neat meet because some of the best teams in the country are here,” women’s head coach Carol Capitani said. “This is a faster meet than our conference meet.”

The Texas Invitational continues Saturday with trials at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.