Schooling, Licon push Texas to record 12th national title
ATLANTA (AP) Texas coach Eddie Reese wasn't interested in dwelling on personal achievements after his historic victory.
''Everybody thinks I'm a good coach, that I've got a magic wand,'' he said. ''The only magic is in the swimmers. They've got to trust me, and it goes both ways.''
Joseph Schooling won the 200-yard butterfly and Will Licon took the 200 breaststroke in record-setting performances, helping the Longhorns run away with their second straight NCAA swimming and diving title on Saturday night.
Reese, in his 38th year at Texas, passed Ohio State's Mike Peppe with 12 national titles, the most in NCAA history. The Longhorns are tied with Michigan for the NCAA record.
''When I started this sport, I never had a plan to be an Olympic coach, I never had a plan to win the NCAAs,'' said Reese, a three-time head coach of U.S. Olympic men's team. ''I just love to see people go fast.''
Texas won nine individual and relay titles to finish with 541.5 points, 190.5 more than runner-up California. Florida was third with 334, North Carolina State fourth and Georgia fifth.
Schooling tied Florida's Caeleb Dressel and Cal's Ryan Murphy for national swimmer of the year award.
Schooling, from Singapore, swam the 200 in 1 minute, 37.97 seconds to break the NCAA record by 1.36 seconds and the U.S. open mark by 1.34. His teammate, Jack Conger, was the runner-up in 1:38.06, breaking his own American mark.
Licon swam the 200 breast in 1:48.12 to break Kevin Cordes' NCAA, American and U.S. open records by 0.54. He beat Cal's Josh Prenot by 1:26 to win the event for second straight year.
Licon is ready to begin preparing for the U.S. Olympic trials this summer in Omaha, Neb.
''I don't know how much time off (is necessary),'' he said. ''I'm honestly ready to get back to work.''
Dressel won the 100 freestyle in 40.46 to set NCAA, American and U.S. open records. Russian Vlad Morozov had the previous mark at 40.76 three years ago for Southern Cal.
Murphy took the 200 backstroke title in 1:35.73, a full second better than his record in last year's final. His teammate Jacob Pebley was runner-up.
Murphy, a junior, has won the 100 and 200 backstroke in each of the last three years.
Chris Swanson narrowly won the 1,650 freestyle in 14:31.54 to earn the first individual title in Penn history.
Egyptian Akaram Mahmoud of South Carolina took charge for the final third of the 1,650 and led until the final couple strokes. Beginning the last 50 yards with nearly a 3-second lead, Mahmound lost by 0.12, the narrowest margin in event history.
Swanson finished the final 50 in 24.3. In his last race as a college swimmer, he tried to stay calm before the start.
''You have some incredibly fast guys in that heat,'' Swanson said. ''My strategy was just to be within range of those guys and then just strike at the end. It seems to have worked out.''
China's Zhipeng Zeng, an Ohio State freshman, won the platform diving title. Arizona senior Rafael Quintero of Puerto Rico finished second.
N.C. State earned the school's first relay title in the 400 freestyle when anchor Soren Dahl of Denmark barely held off Schooling. Texas finished second.
Reese will take a couple of days off before returning to the pool to help his Olympic hopefuls keep training.
But his focus Saturday night was another NCAA title.
''I'm honored to break Mike Peppe's record because I swam in his 11th (national title) in 1962 at Ohio State,'' Reese said. ''That was my first NCAAs. I've been a swim nut ever since.''