Swimming and diving teams look to Big 12 Championships

Swimming and diving teams look to Big 12 Championships

Everything the TCU swimming and diving teams have worked for this season will be tested at the Big 12 Championships starting Wednesday in Austin. 

The Big 12 Championships begin Wednesday and last until Saturday, and the Frogs said they are hoping for a top tier finish.

However, winning will not come easily for the Frogs.

The Texas Longhorns dominated the 2014 Big 12 Championships, taking home both the men’s and women’s titles.

The Longhorn men’s squad has won the Big 12 Championship every year since the conference was formed in 1996, giving Texas 18 titles. On the women’s side, Texas has collected a league best 12 conference titles.

The Horned Frogs lost its meet against Texas at the beginning of February. The Longhorns beat the TCU women’s team 157-111 and the men’s team 151-122. The Longhorns’ men’s team is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation and the women’s team is ranked No. 6.

Texas might not be the only team to worry about as TCU also lost to conference foe Iowa State 157-143 in November.

Iowa State beat West Virginia 157-143, but lost to Kansas 131-169 earlier in the season.

“The team’s goal, both men and women, is to place second at the Big 12 Championship. The men have done this the past two years,” said senior swimmer Mitch Adshead. “I think this is a very realistic goal and that our chances of attaining it are high.”

Overall, TCU’s men and women’s teams have had a very successful year. The men’s swimming and diving team has been ranked in the Top 25 this season. Other highlights include the men’s team beating crosstown rivals SMU, and the women’s team defeating West Virginia on the road.

In TCU’s most recent victory against North Texas, the Frogs were led by senior Ali Bleasdell and junior Carley Stevens. Bleasdell won the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:04.57, and Stevens took first place with a time of 10:23.24 in the 1000-yard freestyle.

The diving standouts included junior Kristen Connolly, who took first in 3-meter diving with nine points. Senior Courtney Cheek took second place in the 1-meter diving with four points.

The Big 12 Championship meet is extra special for seniors, who might be competing in the last races of their swimming careers. 

Senior swimmer Thor Stenfjord has made major accomplishments every year. Last season, Stenfjord earned All-Big 12 First-Team honors. And this season, he has placed first seven times in the 50-meter freestyle, three times in the 500-meter freestyle and three times in the 1000-meter freestyle.

The Longhorns might have a history of performing well, but the Frogs are ready to put up a fight. Sophomore diver Taylor Gould said, “Everyone is really pumped up and ready to go. We all know what we need to do, it’s just a matter of getting there and doing it.”