No. 4 Texas rallies for Big 12 crown
Bispo named meet’s outstanding swimmer
AUSTIN, Texas -- Fourth-ranked Texas overtook rival Texas A&M to win the 2011 Big 12 Championships on Saturday night at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
The conference title is UT's first since 2009, and the second under coach Kim Brackin. After starting the day seven points behind the Aggies, the Longhorns finished with 948 points to win the meet. A&M was second with 931 and Missouri finished third with 588.5.
Karlee Bispo was named the Women's Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet, and Maren Taylor was the Women's Outstanding Diver. Additionally, Brackin earned Outstanding Women's Coach of the Meet honors.
Three individual victories and a relay victory lifted the Longhorns on the final night of competition.
UT began the final event with an 11-point lead against the Aggies and needed just to finish the 400 freestyle relay to clinch the championship. But the Longhorns did much more than that, winning the race in 3:14.41 - the third-fastest time in the country and fifth-fastest in the UT history book.
Bispo swam the leadoff leg in 48.01 to give the Longhorns a lead they would never give up. Kelsey Amundsen followed with a 49.21 split, and Bethany Adams swam in 48.76. Samantha Tucker's anchor-leg time of 48.43 allowed the Longhorns to beat the neighboring-lane Aggies by more than two seconds.
UT's platform diving trio gave the Longhorns a significant boost before the swimming action even started. Taylor picked up her second individual title of the meet, clinching the platform diving event with 331.25 points. Shelby Cullinan finished third with 319.05, and Diana Wilcox was fifth with 292 points.
Bispo then added the 100 freestyle to her list of individual titles from this year's meet, leading a group of six Longhorns to the top eight podium spots. Bispo claimed her third crown of the meet with a finishing time of 47.98. Amundsen claimed third place in 48.96, and she was followed by Adams in 49.00. Brie Powers took fifth place in 49.13, and Samantha Tucker was sixth in 49.14. Adrienne Woods swam 49.86 to take eighth.
Laura Sogar won the 200 breaststroke in a meet-record time of 2:07.66 to claim her second individual title of the meet. Catherine Wagner finished fifth in 2:13.12.
Leah Gingrich claimed fourth place in the 200 butterfly in 1:57.63. Ellen Lobb claimed fifth place in 1:58.05.
Natalie Sacco finished third in the 1,650 freestyle in 16:18.66.
Jessica Guro took fourth place in the 200 backstroke in 1:55.12, and Katie Riefenstahl followed in fifth place with a time of 1:55.77. Melanie McClure secured eighth place in 1:58.97.