17 Apr

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NCAA Champion Men’s Swimming and Diving Sweeps Big 12 Postseason Awards

(Via Texas Athletics)

(Via Texas Athletics)

IRVING, Texas – The Big 12 Conference announced Texas student-athletes and coaches as recipients of all five of the league's postseason awards distributed Friday.  The Longhorns sweep the Big 12 postseason awards for a fifth time overall and for the first time since 2013.

League coaches selected three-time NCAA champion sophomore swimmer Will Licon as the league's Men's Swimmer of the Year and four-time All-America sophomore diver Mark Anderson as the Big 12 Men's Diver of the Year.  Three-time NCAA champion freshman swimmer Joseph Schooling was named the league's Men's Swimming and Diving Newcomer of the Year.

Eddie Reese earned his 13th overall and 10th consecutive selection as the Big 12 Men's Swimming Coach of the Year while Matt Scoggin received his 10thselection as the Big 12 Men's Diving Coach of the Year.

Licon (El Paso, Texas) defeated a pair of American record holders and NCAA champions in consecutive nights and won his first NCAA titles last month in the 400 IM and the 200 breaststroke.  He rewrote his school records in both events and became UT's first NCAA champion in the 400 IM.

Licon won the 400 IM in a school and Big 12 record time of 3 minutes, 36.37 seconds and defeated the event's American record holder and reigning NCAA champion, Chase Kalisz of Georgia, by over three seconds.  He won the 200 breaststroke in a school and Big 12 record time of 1:49.48 and dethroned the event's two-time defending NCAA champion and American record holder, Kevin Cordes of Arizona.

Licon swam the breaststroke leg of UT's NCAA champion 400 medley relay that set NCAA, U.S. Open and NCAA meet records in 3:01.23.  It took an American record-setting effort from Stanford's David Nolan to keep Licon from winning the 200 IM, as he settled for second in the event in 1:40.09, a school record.

Anderson was the only Big 12 diver to score on all three boards at the NCAA Championships.  The Lake Forest, California, native placed sixth in the platform finals (432.70) and earned his second straight All-America finish on platform.  Anderson won the one-meter diving consolation final (411.75) to add another nine points for the Longhorns at the NCAA Championships.  He also placed 16th overall on three-meter, good for his second honorable mention All-America finish of the meet.

Schooling won NCAA titles in the 100 and 200 butterfly and became the first Texas swimmer ever to win both of those events in his Longhorns career.  The London Olympian from Singapore became the first Texas freshman swimmer to win two NCAA individual swimming titles at the same meet since Brendan Hansen in 2001.  He was the first UT freshman swimmer to win an NCAA individual swimming title since Austin Surhoff in 2010.

Schooling broke Ian Crocker's 14-year-old school and Big 12 records in the 100 butterfly en route to his first NCAA individual title in 44.51.  He became UT's first NCAA champion in the 200 butterfly since Rainer Kendrick in 2004 and edged teammate Jack Conger for the win in 1:39.62.  Schooling joined the aforementioned Licon, senior Kip Darmody and Conger to win the 400 medley relay at the NCAA Championships.

Named last month as the 2015 CSCAA/NCAA Division I Men's Swimming Coach of the Year, Reese won his 11th NCAA team title last month in Iowa City.  He tied former Ohio State coach Mike Peppe for No. 1 all-time with 11 NCAA titles and posted his 22nd top-two finish at the NCAA Championships.  Remarkably, Reese has led Texas to 29 NCAA top-three finishes in his 37 seasons in Austin.  He boasts 30 NCAA top-three finishes in head coaching stints at Texas and Auburn.

A former Longhorns diver who just completed his 21st season as the Texas diving coach, Scoggin earns his 10th selection as the Big 12 Men's Diving Coach of the Year.  Under Scoggin, Texas was the only Big 12 school to score points in diving at the 2015 NCAA Championships.

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.