Longhorns gear up for season with Orange-White meet

The Longhorn men hit the pool Friday, gearing up their run for a third straight national championship.

The team hosted its annual Orange-White meet, where Texas swimmers compete against each other as a tune-up for the season-opener later this month.

“The environment we have going is very competitive,” senior Will Glass said. “We split the team in half, and we’re racing against each other, and the more that we can create the environment of competitiveness and going against each other, the easier it is down the road when we’re facing other teams.”

Sophomore John Shebat jump-started the meet while cruising to a victory in the 100-yard backstroke with a 47.33-second split. Sophomore Casey Melzer followed with a tightly contested victory in the 100-yard breaststroke, clocking in at 55.55 seconds.

Jack Conger won handily in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing in 45.47 seconds. The senior earned gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the 200-meter freestyle relay and holds the American record in the 200-yard butterfly. Glass finished second with a time of 47.75 seconds.

Conger was not the only Olympian to notch a victory at the meet. Senior Clark Smith and sophomore Townley Haas took the 1,000-yard freestyle and in the 200-yard freestyle, respectively. The duo also won gold in the 200-meter freestyle relay in Rio.

The 500-yard freestyle featured both Smith and Haas — the last two NCAA champions in the event. Smith, the 2015 champion, took first with a time of 4:18.98, while Haas, the defending champion, finished second with a time
of 4:25.62.

All-American senior Mark Anderson, a two-time Big 12 Diver of the Year, narrowly beat freshman Grayson Campbell in the one-meter diving event, 319.72–316.27. Freshman Jacob Cornish won the three-meter event with 313.05 points.

Texas begins its season against Indiana and Florida in Bloomington, Indiana, on Oct. 21. The team hopes to set the tone early as it eyes the program’s 13th title. 

“I mean, we all have pretty high expectations,” sophomore Tate Jackson said. “We all kind of hold ourselves to a higher standard than I think we probably should most days, but we’re shooting for the stars. That’s always the goal.”