Men’s swimming and diving looks to defend NCAA title

Adair Odom

Last year, the Longhorn men’s swimming and diving team showed up to the NCAA championship meet and dominated, taking home the title by 129 points over second-place California.

Now, 17 swimmers and three divers, along with all five relay teams, are in Atlanta for this year’s championships, looking to put up a repeat performance.

Last season, sophomore All-American Joseph Schooling became the first Longhorn to win NCAA titles in both the 100 and 200 butterfly events, both of which he will return to as the top seed this year. 

All-American junior Jack Conger will return to the NCAAs after finishing as the runner-up behind Schooling in both the 100 and 200 butterfly events in last year’s competition. Conger currently holds the American record in the 200 butterfly, where he will enter as the No. 2 seed.

Will Licon, an All-American junior, will make his third straight NCAA Championship appearance after winning the 400 individual medley and 200 breaststroke in last year’s competition. Licon will compete in the 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley and 200 breaststroke. 

All-American junior Clark Smith was the first Longhorn to win the 500 freestyle at the NCAAs last year. Smith will return to the NCAAs as the top seed in the event as well as the 1,650 freestyle swim, and the 10th seed in the 200 freestyle. 

On the diving side of the competition, senior Cory Bowersox will return to the national championships, where he is a three-time All-American in the one-meter dive. Joining Bowersox will be junior teammates Mark Anderson, who earned All-American honors on the one-meter, three-meter and platform in last year’s championships, and Sean O’Brien, who will compete in the meet for the first time. 

Wednesday marks the start of the championships with the 800 freestyle relay.