Swimming and Diving Heads to Austin

Ali Bleasdell

Jan. 23, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU's swimming and diving program heads to Austin on Friday for a 4 p.m. meet at the University of Texas.

The TCU women (5-2, 3-0), having already defeated Kansas, Iowa State and West Virginia, will attempt to complete a sweep of Big 12 competition this season. The sixth-ranked Longhorn women are 8-3 on the year.

The Horned Frogs' men's team (2-3, 0-1) will look to even its Big 12 mark against a Texas squad (7-1) that's ranked third nationally.

It's the final meet for the TCU men before they return to Austin next month (Feb. 26-March 1) for the Big 12 Championships. The Horned Frogs' women will close the regular season with a Feb. 5 meet at North Texas before heading to the Big 12 Championships.

TCU head coach Richard Sybesma, in his 35th year at the helm, is excited about getting his teams familiar with the pool and surroundings at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

"One of the things we talked about earlier with our men is that you get a chance to have a dry run in the conference pool," Sybesma said. "We'll be back in a month and what better time than now to get your feet wet as far as the conference meet goes. Texas has one of the top-three facilities in the nation, not just one of the top teams in the country."

Heading into Austin, Sybesma takes great pride in the undefeated Big 12 mark for the TCU women this season.

"We're 3-0 in the Big 12 and the only school who swims everybody," he said. "It's not required, but we like to do it and develop rivalries.

"Our women are on a roll. I'm really proud of them and TCU should be as well. We're 3-0 against competition we're supposed to be competing against, so that's pretty cool."

Friday's meet will be sprint oriented with 13 events, including 1- and 3-meter diving.

"We're looking to race against the best and we have some people who can do that," Sybesma said."We've got kids who should step up and do a good job. Texas has a really good team from top to bottom. We talk about winning a Big 12 title and Texas is who we have to beat to do that, so it's great to compete against the best."

Ali Bleasdell, who won the 200 butterfly in this past Saturday's home win over West Virginia, keys the TCU women along with Lyndsie Gibson in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Julie Grace Sanders has excelled in sprints. Sybesma credits the depth of the TCU women for its success this season.

Cooper Robinson, last year's Big 12 champion in the 200 backstroke, leads the TCU men.

"We've also had a great year with our men with the win over SMU and how we're ranked nationally with some of the kids on our team," Sybesma said.

Live scoring of Friday's meet is available at: http://sidearmstats.com/texas/swim/index.htm.



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