Longhorns to commence 2017-2018 season with Orange-White meet

Tabatha Kidd

Returning from an impressive 2016-17 campaign, the Longhorns are ready to kick off a new season with the Orange-White meet beginning Thursday for the women’s team and Friday for the men’s.

The women’s team is entering its season after a Big 12 title and fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2016-17. With hopes of claiming the team’s first NCAA championship since 1991, the Longhorns bring back a slew of veterans who look to repeat a strong showing in Big 12 play. Add in a talented freshman class, alongside junior Joanna Evans, sophomore Claire Adams and senior Rebecca Millard, and the Longhorns pose a challenge for the Big 12 crown.

The men’s team will enter 2017-18 on the back of its third-consecutive NCAA title — the 13th in school history. Leading the charge for the burnt orange is Townley Haas. The junior from Richmond, Va., dominated the competition last season to the tune of an NCAA title in the 200 freestyle, the 4×100 meter freestyle relay and the 4×200 meter freestyle relay. Haas also competed for the United States in the 2016 Rio Olympics, claiming gold in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay.

Joining Haas is senior Joseph Schooling. The butterfly specialist built off his 2016 gold medal for Singapore at the Olympics in the 100 meter butterfly, impressing during the collegiate season with national titles in the 200 and 400 meter medley relays. Along with Haas, he’ll attempt to lead a veteran Longhorn roster.

With the upcoming Orange-White meet, both teams are hoping to fine-tune their forms. The Longhorns will be comfortable at home swimming at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, practicing for their first meet of the year at Florida on Oct. 20.

The Orange-White meet will begin with the women’s team competition on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The men’s competition will begin on Friday at 3 p.m. Both events will take place at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.