The Longhorns grabbed three individual All-American finishes and an All-American relay to finish second this weekend while hosting the NCAA Division I Championships. Competing at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Texas scored 417.5 points, trailing title-winner California’s 468.5.
This marks the 11th NCAA runner-up finish for head coach Eddie Reese, who has won 10 NCAA titles in his 36 years here. Reese said ninth-place finishes hurt the team.
“We lived and died by our ninths,” Reese said. “We’re from The University of Texas, so we expect to be battling for top three year in and year out and have a legitimate shot for first. We did.”
Freshman diver Michael Hixon swept the springboard diving events to secure two NCAA titles and Diver of the Meet honors.
“Having my boys right there, right beside the three-meter, that was unbelievable,” Hixon said. “I kind of went a little crazy after my last dive, probably a little bit too much.”
Hixon finished out his meet with a seventh-place finish in the platform diving event with a score of 366.35.
Diving coach Matt Scoggin reclaimed his 2012 title as the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Diving Coach of the Year. Scoggin attributed Hixon’s early success to his work ethic and dedication.
“It’s infectious,” Scoggin said. “He shows up early, stays late. Sometimes I have to tell him, ‘Look, you’re done. You need to get out of here.’”
Hixon’s spirit translated to the swimmers. Sophomore freestyler John Murray clocked in at 42.43 for fifth in the 100-yard freestyle championship, and sophomore swimmer Matt Ellis placed seventh in the consolation final with 42.98.
Beating his own personal best and notching third on the all-time Texas board, junior swimmer Kip Darmody finished sixth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:40.18. Freshman swimmer Jack Conger’s 1:40.73 time put him in eighth place, giving the Longhorns 11 overall points.
The Longhorns ended the night with a fourth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the ninth-fastest time at UT. Ellis, Murray, Conger and senior swimmer Caleb Weir lapped at 43.07, 42.11, 43.06 and 42.70, respectively.
Scoggin said he’s optimistic about placing second with such a young team this year.
“It’s awesome to see young men have the guts to know how great they’re going to do before they even do it,” Scoggin said. “We feel very fortunate.”