By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — Some things are absolute guarantees: death, taxes … and the Texas men’s swimming and diving team winning a conference championship.
The last time Texas didn’t win a conference crown, Jimmy Carter was President of the United States, the NFL was adding a side judge as the seventh member of officiating crews, serial killer Ted Bundy was captured and Garfield made its debut in newspapers across the country. Under the direction of legendary coach Eddie Reese, the Longhorns won the last 17 championships in the now-defunct Southwest Conference, and have won all 23 Big 12 crowns.
The No. 4 Longhorns pulled away from the competition Sunday to win their 40th conference championship in a row. Texas finished with 1,028 points, topping runner-up West Virginia (849.5 points) and TCU (646.5), which finished third.
Texas won 19 of the 21 events in the championship. Among the events the Longhorns won Sunday:
- 200 back: Ryan Harty (1:38.61)
- 100 free: Daniel Krueger (42.33)
- 1,650 free: Alex Zettle (14:48.32)
- 200 breast: Braden Vines (1:54.23)
- Platform: Jordan Windle (521.60)
- 400 free relay: Daniel Krueger, Drew Kibler, Austin Katz, Matthew Willenbring
Reese was named the Swimming coach of the Meet for the third straight year, and the 16th time in his career, while Matt Scoggin was named Diving Coach of the Meet for the ninth time in the last 10 years, and the 14th time in his career.
Senior freestyler Townley Haas earned Swimmer of the Meet honors after winning the 500-yard freestyle for the second time and completing the four-year sweep in the 200 freestyle. Haas also helped the Longhorns win titles in the 200 and 800 freestyle relays.
Junior Grayson Campbell was named the Diver of the Meet after sweeping the one- and three-meter springboard events, giving him three Big 12 titles in his career.
The Newcomer of the Meet was UT freshman Braden Vines, who won the 200-yard breaststroke and the 400-yard individual medley, and also finished third in the 200 IM.