Mountaineer Swimmers Set to Open Big 12 Championship

Gold and Blue Nation

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Feb. 23, 2021) – The West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming teams are set to begin postseason competition at the 2021 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship, from Feb. 24-27, hosted by the University of Texas at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.

The conference meet returns to the Longhorns’ campus following its inaugural year hosted by the Mountaineers at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown in 2020. Texas resumes its role as the championship host in 2021 after hosting the meet for the eight straight years prior to 2020.

The 2021 Big 12 Championship is set to begin on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. ET, with finals scheduled for 5 p.m. The three remaining days of competition will begin with split preliminary sessions, with the women competing at 10 a.m. and the men’s teams competing at 12 p.m. The finals sessions are set to commence at 7 p.m. each day.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the conference championship is following a different format this year, with the swimming portion of the championship taking place this week, before the diving portion concludes the meet on March 1-3. Team champions will be named following the conclusion of the diving competitions.

Admission to the conference meet will not be permitted due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only competing teams and essential meet personnel will be allowed into the facility on meet days. 

Big 12 Now on ESPN+ is scheduled to provide streaming coverage of the championship for the second consecutive year, while live results are available at [sidearmstats.com/texas/swim/index.htm]SidearmStats.com. 

“After an unusual regular season, it will be nice to have a sense of familiarity at the conference meet this week,” coach Vic Riggs said. “Although it’ll be different having prelims split between the men’s and women’s teams, we’re grateful for the opportunity to be at Texas among our fellow Big 12 teams. Our teams have been practicing very hard leading up to this week, so we’re very optimistic and looking forward to a successful meet.” 

Wednesday’s events include the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay, while Thursday features the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 free and 400 medley relay. Events tabbed for Friday include the 100 butterfly, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and the 200 free relay. The championship concludes on Saturday with the 200 back, 100 free, 1650 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and the 400 freestyle relay.

At the 2020 Big 12 Championship in Morgantown, the Mountaineer men earned a second-place finish with 873 points, while the women finished fifth with 448. WVU collected 11 medals in 2020, hosting the conference championship at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park, in Morgantown, for the first time in program history.

Joining West Virginia in Austin for the 2021 Big 12 Championship are conference foes Iowa State (women only), Kansas (women only) and TCU, along with host Texas. The Longhorns are the lone Big 12 representatives in the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association (CSCAA) TYR Top 25 polls entering the Big 12 meet. The men’s team tops the rankings in the No. 1 spot, while the women are ranked No. 8.

Following a shortened dual-meet season, the Mountaineer squads enter the conference meet with matching 0-2 marks in dual-meet action. West Virginia opened the season at Pitt, falling to the Panthers by a score of 173-127 on the women’s side and 193-107 on the men’s side. The two teams faced off against Notre Dame to conclude the regular season. The women were defeated by a score of 244-127, while the men’s team fell, 271-82, to the Fighting Irish.

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