Longhorns shatter records in 800 freestyle relay

Date: March 2016

Published: The Daily Texan

The top-ranked men’s swimming and diving team opened the first night of the NCAA Championships with a record-breaking finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The victory marked Texas’ 13th NCAA title in the event.

The relay team of Jack Conger, Townley Haas, Clark Smith and Joseph Schooling clocked in at 6 minutes, 8.03 seconds, breaking a litany of records. Their time sealed the NCAA, U.S. Open, Big 12, meet, school and pool records, all previously held by Michigan.

“I talked to Eddie, and he told me to get out as fast as I could in the first 100,” Conger said, “And then to start building that last 100, work my walls and take more kicks after each 25 [yards].”

Haas — the only freshman in the relay quartet — followed Conger, recording the fastest 200 freestyle split of all time.

“It’s just incredible,” Haas said. “It’s great to help keep up this tradition we have here in the 800 free relay. Most of my race strategies involve going out and trying to hang on, and I hung on well.”

Smith and Schooling swam the final two legs of the race before finally finishing 1.82 seconds faster than the record.

Texas leads the championships with 40 points going into day two, followed by N.C. State with 34 points and Florida with 32 points.

More records shattered in second day of NCAA Championships

Date: March 2016

Published: The Daily Texan

Top-ranked Texas swept both relays and four of the six events in exhilarating fashion on the second night of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Atlanta.

Sophomores Brett Ringgold and Joseph Schooling, along with junior Jack Conger and senior John Murray began the night with a Big 12 and school record-breaking finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, earning Texas’ second consecutive NCAA title in the event.

Freshman Townley Haas earned his first individual NCAA title and the team’s second straight NCAA title in the 500 freestyle with a time fast enough to become the second-fastest swim in school history and the fifth-fastest of all-time.

Junior Will Licon followed with a nail-biting performance in the 200 individual medley. Licon fell as far as fifth place after the backstroke leg, but catapulted his way to first, edging California’s Josh Prenot by a tenth of a second to earn his third individual NCAA title.

The wins, along with Wednesday night’s 800 freestyle win, mark the first time the Longhorns have won the first four events of the NCAA Championship.

Murray placed sixth in the 50 individual freestyle, earning All America honors, while Ringgold took second in the consolation final.

Junior diver Mark Anderson earned his first All-America honors with a in the one meter diver, while senior Cory Bowersox won the consolation final.

The Longhorns finished the night shattering one more NCAA record in the 400 medley relay. The quartet of freshman John Shebat, Licon, Schooling and Conger toppled the record set by Texas at last year’s NCAA Championships. Texas fought neck and neck with California, after the Bears got an early lead with Cal’s Ryan Murphy’s American record-setting backstroke leg, but Shebat swam a personal best, keeping the Longhorns in it.

In the breaststroke leg, Cal earned a two second lead, but Schooling’s performance in the butterfly catapulted the Longhorns ahead. Conger put the finishing touches on the race, with a finish that set NCAA, U.S. Open, NCAA Championship, Big 12 and school records.

Texas leads with 209 points going into the third day of the NCAA Championships, with Florida behind in second with 163 points and California in third with 141 points.