Texas Men’s Swimming and Diving win 15th National Championship

Ethan Ferguson

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to change the name of the attribution of several quotes. The Texan apologizes for this error.

Despite competitive opponents at the 2021 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship, the Texas Longhorns were able to earn the program’s 15th national championship with a total of 595 points over the 21 events held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center this week.

The talent of Texas was on full display, with multiple swimmers and divers earning All-American and All-American Honorable Mention honors.

Having won the national championship five of the last six national championship meets, head coach Eddie Reese knows his team’s success is based on tenacity and dedication.

“They work hard because they know we’re working hard,” Reese said. “We both want the same thing. … Every one of them are different because of the makeup of your team. This group has been through what I call the COVID year. Everybody has something special that they need to overcome every year.”

This year, the Longhorns also had to overcome their rivals, the University of California, Berkeley.

“They push us, and it makes the sport of swimming faster,” freshman Carson Foster said.

The two powerhouses were at each other’s necks from the start, opening with the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Texas finished first in the event with a time of 6:07.25 and earned a much-needed early lead on the Golden Bears, who finished just 1.43 seconds behind. Senior Austin Katz, junior Drew Kibler, Foster and senior Jake Sannem earned All-American honors for the event.

“We take pride in this relay, and we wanted to get momentum going for this meet,” Foster said after the 800-yard freestyle relay. “Really just getting the momentum is important.”

This momentum continued later on in the tournament as Texas divers senior Jordan Windle and freshman Noah Duperre placed first and second in the 1-meter event, earning 37 points toward the team total. Windle finished the event with a score of 435.60, and Duperre finished with a score of 405.45.

For Windle, the key to his consistent performances is keeping the right attitude.

“Just trying to stay positive,” Windle said. “I wanted to keep moving, stay warm, and it ended up working out. I changed up my list a little bit and everything went up.”

Diving coach Matt Scoggin praised the entire team for its success.

“It’s a big team effort,” Scoggin said. ”We have support from the whole swimming and diving team in good times and in bad.”

This team effort was apparent in the 400-yard individual medley when Foster swam a 3:37.79 in the prelims. In addition to Foster, three of his teammates also made it into the A-final race (sophomore Jake Foster, freshman David Johnston and junior Braden Vines). Carson Foster finished second in the final with a time of 3:38.25. All of his teammates in the event earned All-American honors.

One of the most interesting moments of the week came in the 100-yard freestyle, where Texas junior swimmers Kibler and Daniel Krueger tied for second. Both finished with an exact time of 41.59 seconds, and the duo earned 33 points. The two even shared the second-place podium at the trophy presentation.

With this most recent national title, the Longhorns secured their position as the top swimming and diving school in the country yet again. The celebration consisted of every player and coach, including a fully clothed Reese, jumping into the pool.

Up next for the Texas men’s swimming and diving team is the USA Swimming and Diving Olympic Trials in mid-June. Several competitors hope to see themselves compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.