By Steve Lansdale
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — All-America junior Madisyn Cox posted top-five national times in three events to help lead the No. 6 University of Texas women’s swimming and diving team to a 166-134 win over No. 14 Texas A&M Friday at A&M’s Student Rec Center Natatorium.
The victory was UT’s first over Texas A&M since 2011, the first in College Station since 2010, and the first for fourth-year UT head coach Carol Capitani.
“It was a total team effort,” Capitani said. “I probably take the most pleasure in watching our growth from year to year and seeing this team stand up and take on big meets, like on our Cal-Stanford trip last year. It gives them confidence.”
After falling behind at the start, the Longhorns took a lead they never would relinquish when freshman Joanna Evans won the 1,000 freestyle in 9:47.61. Fellow freshman Quinn Carrozza finished third, in 9:57.22.
Cox got her first victory of the night when she led a 1-2 finish for the Longhorns in the 200 freestyle, winning the event in 1:46.52, the fourth-fastest recorded in the United States this season. Her second win of the night — and the fourth-fastest time in the nation this year — came in the 200 breaststroke, which she won in 2:11.21. Her third victory in as many events came in the 200 individual medley, in which she clocked the nation’s second-fastest time this year, 1:58.22.
"I applaud her," Capitani said. "Madisyn has been unbelievably consistent and just unflappable ever since last year. But I take my hat off to a lot of people who swam different events, like Joanna (Evans) taking on a 200 fly. We had people swimming in their first meet of the year who were coming back from injuries. Our divers were huge and gave us big points tonight. Everybody had something to hang their hat on, and it was just a team effort."
Junior All-America Tasija Karosas almost worked her way into the nation’s top 10 in the 100 backstroke when she won the event in 53.74. UT later claimed the top two spots in the 200 backstroke when Carrozza won the event in 1:54.82, followed by Karosas in 1:55.36. Rebecca Millar swept the freestyle sprints, including first-place times of 22.77 in the 50 freestyle and 40.69 in the 100 freestyle.
The Longhorns swept the top two spots in the 200 butterfly. Texas freshman Remedy Rule won the event in 1:59.99, followed by Maggie D’Innocenzo, a transfer from USC, in 2:00.15.
The Longhorns’ next meet will be on the road next weekend in back-to-back dual meets against North Carolina and North Carolina State.