COLUMBIA, Missouri - Texas claimed the top spot in four of five finals that were contested on the initial day of the 2012 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships at the Mizzou Aquatic Center, but Texas A&M holds the team lead on both the men’s and women’s side.
Behind the Aggies (123) on the men’s side sits 15-time defending Big 12 Champion Texas (115) and host Missouri (92). On the women’s side, Texas A&M racked up 74 points followed by Texas (72), Missouri (66), Kansas (60) and Iowa State (56).
The Aggies were bolstered by a complete team performance in the men’s one-meter springboard diving event as four Texas A&M divers earned 55 of the 123 overall team points. Texas’ Drew Livingston took first for the second time in three years, scoring a 390.60, but Aggies Hayden Jones, Adam Ruiz, Antonio Page-Kahn and Paul Xiques finished third, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Texas A&M’s opening day diving performance could have even been stronger, but Big 12 champion Grant Nel wasn’t able to defend his title, because he is preparing for the Olympics with the Australian national team.
In the two men’s swimming finals contested on the first day, Texas took the top spot in both. First in the 200-yard medley relay, Cole Gragin, Eric Friedland, Neil Caskey and James Feigen posted a time of 1:25.02. Then in the 800-yard freestyle event, the Longhorn quartet of Dax Hill, Neil Caskey, Kip Darmody and Clay Youngquist clocked a 6:19.28.
In the women’s 200-yard medley relay, Texas A&M’s foursome of Tess Simpson, Breeja Larson, Paige Miller and Erica Dittmer set a new meet and conference record with a time of 1:36.02. The group bested a previous high that was set at last year’s championships by a Texas A&M team containing three of this year’s four members. However, in the 800-yard freestyle final, Texas’ Karlee Bispo, Katie Riefenstahl, Leah Gingrich and Samantha Tucker finished over three seconds faster than their closest competitor with a mark of 7:04.09.
The championships resume Thursday at 10 a.m. CT with preliminary action while the swimming finals are slated for a 6 p.m. CT start. Events for th day include the 50 and 500-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle relay, the one-meter diving (women) and the 200-yard individual medley.
Men - 1. Texas A&M 123; 2. Texas 115, 3. Missouri 92
Women - 1. Texas A&M 74; 2. Texas 72; 3. Missouri 66; 3. Kansas 60; 5. Iowa State 56
DAY ONE CHAMPIONS
200-Yard Medley Relay: Texas - 1:27.28 (Cole Cragin, Eric Friedland, Neil Caskey, James Feigen)
800-Yard Freestyle Relay: Texas - 6:19.28 (Dax Hill, Neil Caskey, Kip Darmody, Clay Youngquist)
Men’s 1-Meter Diving: Drew Livingston, Texas (390.60)
200-Yard Medley Relay: Texas A&M - 1:36.02*^ (Tess Simpson, Breeja Larson, Paige Miller, Erica Dittmer)
800-Yard Freestyle Relay: Texas - 7:04.09 (Karlee Bispo, Katie Riefenstahl, Leah Gingrich, Samantha Tucker)
* - Big 12 Championships Meet Record
^ - Big 12 Conference Overall Record