No. 2 Texas women’s swimming and diving secure another Big 12 title


Assad Malik

Swimmers compete in the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Feb. 25, 2022. The University of Texas was named Big 12 Champions for men’s and women’s events.

Rylan Heritage, General Sports Reporter

No. 2 Texas Women’s Swimming and Diving cruised to another Big 12 title, outpacing second place Iowa State by 540.5 points. This victory is the team’s 11th straight Big 12 championship, all since Carol Capitani took over the head coaching duties in 2012. 

Over the four-day conference meet, Texas took gold in 20 out of the 21 events held at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. This includes five meet records being broken and two conference records being broken. 

Notable event victories came from freshman and Olympian Lydia Jacoby, who broke a conference and meet record notching her first Big 12 title victory in the 100-yard breaststroke. Junior Olivia Bray broke a conference and meet record in the 100-yard butterfly securing her third-straight conference title while also breaking the meet record in the 200-yard backstroke. 

Jacoby’s time of 57.29 in the 100-yard breaststroke is the third-fastest time in the nation this year and improves upon her time of 57.45, which was recorded during a meet earlier in the year. Bray’s record breaking time of 50.07 in the 100-yard butterfly was the eighth-fastest in the NCAA this season while her record breaking time of 1:50.09 in the 200-yard backstroke was the second-fastest swim in the nation.

The quartet of senior Kelly Pash, junior Olivia Bray, sophomore Erica Sullivan and senior Kyla Leibel broke the previous 800-meter freestyle relay record by combining for a time of 6:56.49. This time was 19 seconds faster than that of runner up West Virginia and places Texas’ performance as the third-fastest time in the nation. 

Other notable first place finishes include Sullivan in the 500-yard freestyle and 1650-yard freestyle, Pash in the 200 and 400-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle, Jacoby in the 200-yard breaststroke, junior Grace Cooper in the 50-yard freestyle, and junior Emma Sticklen in the 200-yard butterfly. The team also swept the competition by taking gold in all five relay competitions.

On the diving side, senior Janie Boyle captured her first Big 12 championship in platform diving by posting a season-high with 363.10 points. Sophomore Hailey Hernandez defended her conference title in the 1-meter finishing with 367.70 points. Junior Bridget O’Neil claimed the conference title in the 3-meter by posting a season-high in 398.55 points. 

Other divers that contributed to the strong showing by Texas included senior Jordan Skilken, who finished second behind Boyle and freshman Sarah Carruthers in third. 

The Longhorns now look forward to the NCAA championships as the team looks to capture their elusive eighth national championship.