AUSTIN -- The Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team dropped a 108-90 decision to top-ranked Texas in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown on Friday night at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
Nine-time Big 12 champion Eric Sehn (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) turned in the second-best three-meter performance of his career in grabbing first place honors over the Longhorns. Sehn won with a score of 427.35, just missing the school record of 428.71 he set against Penn State on Halloween of 2008. Sehn also earned a second-place finish on the one-meter after earning a score of 350.03.
“It’s always tough to get off the bus and compete on somebody’s home turf,” A&M diving coach Kevin Wright said. “We didn’t have a whole lot of time to get ready, but Eric did a good job. It reflects his years of maturity in the sport. You can see the difference in someone that has been through this a number of times and one that is new to it. Texas has a very good team and Eric needed to compete well to come out of here with a victory on the three-meter. Although I am pleased with his performance, we still have a lot of work to do.”
The Aggies nearly muscled out a win to close the meet in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Junior Casey Strange (Houston) anchored A&M’s fastest unit in 19.94, the fastest of the entire field. The quartet of Balazs Makany (Budapest, Hungary), Jason Bergstrom (Friendswood), Brad Raiford (Kingwood) and Strange fell just .11 short of the Longhorns top group in the meet’s final race.
A&M earned a second place finish in the meet’s first event, the 200-yard medley relay. The group of Bergstrom, Nathan Lavery (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), Boris Loncaric (Zagreb, Croatia), and Strange finished in 1:30.11, just over a half second behind the Longhorns.
“We were flat today,” A&M head coach Jay Holmes said. “In a lot of ways, that was pretty ugly. The first relay was a good race. I thought we battled back in that one pretty well. I’ve been (in Austin) before with teams where we have been in a funky transition stage and today was one of those days. When you change up the way you’ve been training, the body goes through an adjustment period and days like today can happen. We’re definitely looking forward to the Big 12 Championships. There will be some great races that we will be a part of. Our guys are pretty hungry to swim fast.”
The Aggies will spend the next three weeks preparing for the Big 12 Championships scheduled for Feb. 25-28 in Columbia, Mo.