Texas qualifies two divers for NCAA championships after Zone D competition
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has qualified 11 swimmers and two divers to compete in the NCAA Championships set for March 28-30 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Zone “D” Diving Meet concluded Wednesday in Houston, and divers Will Chandler and Cory Bowersox emerged with NCAA Championships berths. Chandler qualified Monday in the 1-meter event while Bowersox qualified Tuesday in the 3-meter event.
The 11 swimmers set to join the UT diving duo in Indianapolis are seniors Dax Hill, Michael McBroom and Austin Surhoff; juniors Charlie Moore, Patrick Murphy and Caleb Weir; sophomores Tripp Cooper, Kip Darmody, Jake Ritter and Clay Youngquist and freshman Sam Lewis. In addition, freshman John Murray is the meet’s first alternate. Texas also has the option of taking relay alternate swimmers to the NCAA Championships.
Hill will compete in his third consecutive national championship meet. He did not qualify for the NCAA Championships as a freshman, but one year later, he took second place and nearly ran down Florida’s Brett Fraser in the 200 freestyle at the NCAA meet.
Last year as a junior, Hill took the next step and captured the NCAA title in the 200 freestyle. He became the first African-American at UT to win an NCAA men’s individual swimming title. Hill also helped Texas to NCAA titles in the 400 and 800 freestyle relays at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Hill qualified for the 2013 NCAA Championships in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles.
McBroom will make his fourth consecutive NCAA Championships appearance and his third as a Longhorn. McBroom earned All-America honors as a freshman at Minnesota before transferring to Texas prior to his sophomore season. The move worked well for McBroom and for Texas, as McBroom set the school record and won the NCAA title in the 1,650 freestyle in his first season as a Longhorn.
McBroom has since set the NCAA record in the 1,000 freestyle (not an NCAA championships event) and represented the U.S. at the FINA Short Course World Championships in December. He enters the meet with the nation’s fastest time in the 1,650 freestyle.
Surhoff will compete in his fourth consecutive national championship. He was UT’s top individual point scorer as a freshman at the 2010 NCAA championships, where the Longhorns won their 10th NCAA team title.
Surhoff won the NCAA title in the 200 individual medley as a freshman, and he has taken on relay duties since his sophomore season. He joined Hill to help the Horns win the NCAA title in the 400 freestyle relay last season. Surhoff earned NCAA qualifying marks in the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
Murphy will make his second NCAA Championships appearance and his first since 2011, when he earned honorable mention All-America honors in the 200 backstroke. Moore will make his consecutive appearance at the national meet. He helped Texas to an All-America finish in the 200 freestyle relay last season. Weir, in his first season at Texas, qualified with his mark of 19.67 in the 50 freestyle.
Cooper will make his second NCAA Championships appearance in as many seasons. Cooper qualified in the 100 butterfly and took 22nd place in that event at the 2012 NCAA championships. Darmody and Youngquist helped Texas to the 2012 NCAA title in the 800 freestyle relay, and the pair also earned individual All-America honors last season. Darmody posted a NCAA qualifying mark in the 100 backstroke. Youngquist posted qualifying marks in the 200 and 500 freestyles.
Ritter is now a two-time qualifier for the NCAA championships. He earned a NCAA qualifying mark in the 500 freestyle after competing in that event and the 1,650 freestyle at the 2012 NCAA championships.
Lewis, the Newcomer of the Meet at the Big 12 Championships, will tag along with McBroom and Ritter in the distance events. He emerged as a legitimate distance threat early in the season, which culminated with NCAA qualifying marks in the 200, 500 and 1,650 freestyle events.
Chandler will make his second NCAA Championships appearance. He took a medical redshirt last season after scoring in the platform diving event as a freshman at the 2011 NCAA championships. Bowersox was the Men’s Diver of the Meet at the recent Big 12 Championships.
Chandler took second in the NCAA Zone meet Wednesday in the platform event with 718.05 points. Sophomore Ryan Anthony placed 10th with 567.70 points. UT junior diver William McCraney would have been the next diver selected for the NCAA championships if an extra bid was available from Zone D, given his sixth-place finish in the 3-meter event.