COLLEGE STATION -- The No. 20 Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team put a scare into top-ranked Texas but couldn’t hold off the Longhorns as they powered to a 119-99 victory in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown on Friday.
The Aggies forced the Longhorns to alter their lineup after winning three of the first four races of the day, including a win in the 200-yard medley relay to open the meet and a 1-2 finish in 50-yard freestyle. Heading into the diving break, the Aggies held a 39-35 advantage over the nation’s season-long No. 1 squad.
“We haven’t been a strong starting team this season, so it was good to see us get out fast tonight,” Aggie head coach Jay Holmes said. “Winning the 200 medley was a lot of fun, and it energized the team.”
A&M opened the meet in strong fashion with the foursome of Nikita Denisyako, Alejandro Jacobo, Israel Duran and Casey Strange grabbing gold in 1:29.45. After a Texas victory in the 500 freestyle, Denisyako took first in the 200 individual medley in a time of 1:49.51, which ranks No. 5 on A&M’s all-time top 10 list in the event. The Aggies kept it going in the 50 free when Ozzie Gardner took first in 20.19 and Strange took second in 20.23.
The Longhorns reeled off victories in the next five events before Jacobo grabbed another first place finish for the Aggies. Jacobo hit the wall first in a time of 54.86. Texas closed the meet with a narrow win over the Aggies in the 200-yard freestyle relay to close out the scoring.
The Aggies honored their senior class of 2008 in the final home meet of the season, and seniors Gardner and Jacobo celebrated by notching individual victories and fellow seniors Luke Chambless and Ryan Latone turned in runner-up finishes in their respective events.
The Aggies return to action on Feb. 27-March 1 at the 2007 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships in Austin, Texas.