Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Longhorns bring home the gold while representing the United States in the Pan American Games

Jake Foster_Courtesy of Texas Athletics
Courtesy of Texas Athletics

Three Longhorns represented the United States in Men’s Swimming and Diving in the Pan American Games, which took place in Santiago, Chile.

Seniors Coby Carrozza, Chris O’Connor and Jake Foster were among the group of Longhorns that traveled to Chile to participate in the Games as a part of the U.S. team, and they brought back several awards that gained them international acclaim. The events lasted from Oct. 20 to Oct. 25.

Foster had a near-perfect performance at the Games, taking three gold medals and completing a sweep-through of the breaststroke races. He qualified within his heat with the fastest time of 1:00.85 and won gold in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 59.99. In the 200-meter breaststroke, he took home the gold with a time of 2:10.71.

Carrozza won his first gold medal for the national team in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:47.37. He later swam in the second leg of the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay, which brought home a silver medal with a relay time of 7:08.06.

This was Carrozza’s first time representing the United States, but his first individual gold didn’t come as a surprise as he relied on his confidence in his training, going from finishing eighth in last year’s NCAA Championships to winning an international title this year in the 200 freestyle.

“It’s something that takes time, and it’s honestly something you have to fully believe in,” Carrozza said. “You’ve got to trust that you’ve been working hard, you’ve been recovering well and you have a good game plan going into the race. You’ve got to know that you’re going to put your heart on the line.”

This philosophy is a staple at UT. Head coach Eddie Reese is known for his mindset-focused approach to coaching.

“Eddie (Reese) definitely stresses it a lot,” Carrozza said. “You’ve done all the work and now it’s just timing. Basically, it’s like a celebration of how fast you’re gonna go.”

O’Connor competed in the men’s 4×100 relay with a split of 55.38, putting the United States in first during the prelims. He competed in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 54.61, under half of a second away from the gold and placing fifth.

Additionally, freshman Brayden Taivassalo swam in the games but for the Canadian team. Taivassalo brought home a silver medal in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke.

The Pan American Games are held every four years prior to the Summer Olympics and act as practice for the Olympic Spring trials. The Games began in 1932 when Latin American representatives of the International Olympic Committee organized the competition held among all 41 nations in the Americas.

“Anytime you get to represent the U.S. and be on a big stage, you’re just gaining experience,” Carrozza said. “That is definitely helpful, no matter what. The goal is always to hear the U.S. National Anthem (on the podium).”

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