Seniors splash into 2017 with another victory over Arizona


Senior Clark Smith claimed a victory in the 200 meter freestyle on Friday night as No. 2 Texas defeated No. 17 Arizona. Smith finished the race with a time of 1:37.09.

While the competitive side of the Longhorns’ home meet concluded on Friday, the Texas men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams completed an unscored exhibition meet against Arizona on Saturday afternoon.

Texas recognized its senior classes on Saturday morning at Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.  

On Friday, the Longhorns’ No. 2 ranked men’s and No. 1 ranked women’s swim teams combined to win 29 out of 32 events. Both teams swam away from Arizona to run their respective winning streaks in 2017 up to three. Senior Clark Smith has remained ready despite a small schedule to start the season.

“We’ve stayed strong through the entire season even though we haven’t had kind of a full lineup for the first two dual meets,” Smith said. “We have kind of kept the fire going, and against Georgia we had our first meet where everyone was there that we’re going to have at the NCAAs.”

Saturday’s schedule stayed a bit unorthodox, too. None of the events were scored, such as the 2,000-yard freestyle. Women’s head coach Carol Capitani said she still sees value in participating in such races. 

“We learned a lot of things today,” Capitani said. “I like that format … it lets kids just swim free and go out fast and see if they can hold on and I think we are going to be better at the end of the year because of it.”

While the atmosphere Saturday was fun and relaxed, the emotions of the teams could be felt and seen in the crowd on Saturday — a day in which the sole goal was to celebrate the seniors.

“It was a special day for the seniors,” Capitani said. “I know we still have part of the season left, but just being the last home dual meet, being able to race in front of their parents, I was really impressed by the turnout of the parents and friends and everybody in the stands, and I’m grateful because that’s a hard thing to do for kind of a different sort of format that we had today.”

The two teams complete regular season competition this Friday in Fort Worth against TCU.