Texas heads into Minnesota with momentum

Ben Howell

While temperatures in the Midwest plummet to the mid-thirties this week, Texas’ men’s and women’s swimming and diving squads will be comfortably swimming inside the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center for the Minnesota Invitational. 

The Minnesota Invitational will be the biggest meet the Longhorns have competed in this season, with seven schools slated to compete, including two top-five opponents in California and Michigan. For the divers, this meet is an opportunity to get familiar with the site where the USA Diving Winter Nationals will be held just a week after the Invitational.

Both the men’s and women’s divers are coming off of very successful Texas Diving Invitational performances, which featured a 1-2-3-4 platform finish for the men’s team and a 1-2-3 finish for the women’s. 

Junior Jordan Windle won three titles for the men, taking first in the 1-meter, 3-meter, and platform dives. Senior Alison Gibson won five events and sophomore Paola Pineda won the platform dive for the women. 

For the swimmers, it’s been nearly a month since they last competed in Indiana in a tri-meet against Indiana and Louisville. Texas will face stiff competition against four ranked opponents.

On the men’s side, three top-five teams will compete; No. 1 Texas, No. 2 California and No. 5 Michigan, in addition to No. 20 Arizona and No. 22 Iowa. Minnesota and Harvard nearly missed the top 25, as both teams received votes but did not qualify.

The women’s side won’t be as stacked with top teams. California leads the way at third and Texas follows just behind in fifth, while No. 18 Michigan and No. 21 Minnesota round out the top-25 competitors. Iowa is on the outside looking in on the women’s side, third among teams receiving votes.

This meet will be a bit of a homecoming for a few of the Longhorns. Junior JohnThomas Larson and freshman Peter Larson are from Bloomington, Minnesota, a neighborhood just outside of Minneapolis. 

The Minnesota Invitational commences Dec. 4 at 10:00 a.m.