Texas Women’s Swimming cruise to another Big 12 title

Samuel Saucer

It could not have been more convincing.

The Texas women’s swimming and diving team blew its Big 12 competition out of the water by winning 19 of 21 events at the conference championship meet.

The Longhorns have now captured the league crown every year since 2013.

“Everyone came together this week,” Joanna Evans said. “We figured out where we are. Not all of us are in the best physical condition, but everyone did what they had to do. It’s impressive to see people stand up.”

Evans in particular wowed fans with her showing this postseason. In a lineup of Burnt Orange medal winners, her performance stood out as being among the meet’s best.

On Thursday, the two-time All-American broke her own Big 12 meet record at 4:36.87 in the 500-yard freestyle. The senior then followed it up with a 15:57.28 in the 1650 freestyle, which is good for the best time in conference meet history and ninth best in the country.

Evans was awarded Swimmer of the Meet for her efforts.

“Breaking records is always at the back of your mind,” Evans said. “It’s fun to think about, but you also have to be able to just swim free and see what happens.”

Evans’ historic week comes at a welcoming time as she will be one of several Longhorns who will be competing at the NCAA championship meet later this month.

“I had mono last year, so I couldn’t compete at the Big 12s,” Evans said. “But my times are about where they were in 2017. That’s really exciting heading into the NCAA meet.”

Given the decisiveness of this past week’s victory, it may be difficult to see where the Longhorns could improve before hosting the national championships.

In addition to racking up 1,073.5 team points, the Longhorns also went a perfect 5-for-5 in relay events, making it eight years since Texas lost a relay at the Big 12 championships.

“We still need to fine tune some things,” Evans said. “But we primarily just need to rest. I really think we’re good to go.”

Also taking home hardware was head diving coach Matt Scoggin and freshman Grace Ariola. Scoggins was named Coach of the Meet for the seventh consecutive season while Ariola was awarded Women’s Newcomer of the Meet.

The Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center will be the venue for the NCAA meet as well, with events beginning March 20.