Texas looks for repeat title
Collins, Span lead Longhorns to Championships for fourth time
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has qualified 17 swimmers and two divers to compete this week at the NCAA Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.
Among the defending NCAA champion Longhorns’ qualifiers are a pair of soon-to-be four-time NCAA Championships participants in seniors Bryan Collins and Scott Spann. Collins qualified in the 400-yard individual medley (3:44.87) while Spann, a three-time NCAA runner-up in the breaststroke events, automatically qualified on UT’s 200 and 400 medley relays.
Senior Scott Jostes helped UT win the 800 freestyle relay at the last two NCAA Championship meets and qualified for this year’s meet as a part of the 400 and 800 freestyle relays. Senior Jim Robertson will make his second consecutive national meet appearance after qualifying in the 500 freestyle.
Juniors Neil Caskey, Jimmy Feigen and Hayes Johnson will make their third consecutive appearances at the NCAA Championships. Caskey helped UT’s 800 freestyle relay to victory at the NCAA Championships last year and qualified for the NCAA meet this year as part of the Horns’ 400 medley relay. Feigen is a two-time NCAA runner-up in the 100 freestyle.
Johnson is set to make his third NCAA appearance after qualifying in the 400 individual medley and the 200 backstroke. Junior Eric Friedland earns his second consecutive trip to the national meet after earning All-America honors in the 200 breaststroke last season.
Texas will take arguably the most deep and talented sophomore class of the championship field to the national championship.
Austin Surhoff returns as the defending NCAA champion in the 200 individual medley. Surhoff totaled a team-best 40 individual points at the 2010 NCAA Championships to help the Longhorns take the national title. Nick D’Innocenzo enjoyed a breakthrough sophomore season that produced the nation’s fastest time to date in the 200 breaststroke at 1:53.68. D’Innocenzo also ranks eighth nationally in the 200 individual medley and sixth in the 400 individual medley.
Dax Hill will make his first appearance at the national championships after posting college swimming’s fourth-fastest time in the 200 freestyle at 1:33.32, a mark that earned him the Big 12 crown. The Round Rock, Texas, native also ranks 11th nationally in the 100 freestyle (42.59). Jackson Wilcox returns for a third time to the NCAA Championships after placing third in the 1,650 freestyle at the national meet last season. Wilcox enters the meet ranked fourth in the 1,650 freestyle (14:49.24) and seventh in the 500 freestyle (4:16.61).
Cole Cragin reaches the NCAA meet for the second time in as many seasons after qualifying eighth nationally in the 100 backstroke at 46.50. Michael McBroom, a Minnesota transfer, will return to his former home pool later this month after qualifying in the 1,650 freestyle, in which he placed fourth behind Wilcox at the 2010 NCAA Championships.
Three Longhorns freshmen – Miles Joye, Charlie Moore and Patrick Murphy – will join the Texas upperclassmen at the meet hosted by Minnesota in . Joye qualified as a member of UT’s 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay. Moore qualified in the 50 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay, while Murphy qualified in the backstroke events.
Junior Drew Livingston, the 2009 NCAA one-meter diving champion, will make his third consecutive appearance as a five-time All-American at the NCAA meet. He will be joined by newcomer Will Chandler, who earned his trip to the national meet by qualifying in the platform event on the final day of the NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Meet in Austin.