The Texas men’s swimming and diving team opened the NCAA Championships with new school and American records in Minneapolis, Minn., on Wednesday.
Townley Haas, Jeff Newkirk, Jonathan Roberts and Austin Katz teamed up to improve on the 800 freestyle relay record previously set by UT in 2017. The relay team finished in third place with a time of 6 minutes, 7.59 seconds. Last year a team comprised of Jack Conger, Newkirk, Clark Smith and Haas set the record at 6:08.61.
The new time beat Texas’ school mark as well. Conger, Haas, Smith and Joseph Schooling set that at 6:08.03 at the 2016 NCAA Championships.
Haas finished his leg in 1:30.41 to set a school mark. Blake Pieroni of second place Indiana set a new American record on his leg with a time of 1:29.63. It was the first time a swimmer has ever finished in under 1:30.00. Haas’ time would have been the new American record, breaking his own mark from 2016, if not for Pieroni’s effort.
Newkirk clocked a time of 1:32.58 and Roberts finished his leg in 1:32.36.
Katz, a freshman, anchored the squad and finished in 1:32.24.
N.C. State took first place with a time of 6:05.31 as Indiana finished in 6:06.01.
Action continues at the NCAA Championships on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m.
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