Longhorns shatter records in 800 freestyle relay

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The top-ranked men’s swimming and diving team opened the first night of the NCAA Championships with a record-breaking finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The victory marked Texas’ 13th NCAA title in the event.

The relay team of Jack Conger, Townley Haas, Clark Smith and Joseph Schooling clocked in at 6 minutes, 8.03 seconds, breaking a litany of records. Their time sealed the NCAA, U.S. Open, Big 12, meet, school and pool records, all previously held by Michigan.

“I talked to Eddie, and he told me to get out as fast as I could in the first 100,” Conger said, “And then to start building that last 100, work my walls and take more kicks after each 25 [yards].”

Haas — the only freshman in the relay quartet — followed Conger, recording the fastest 200 freestyle split of all time.

“It’s just incredible,” Haas said. “It’s great to help keep up this tradition we have here in the 800 free relay. Most of my race strategies involve going out and trying to hang on, and I hung on well.”

Smith and Schooling swam the final two legs of the race before finally finishing 1.82 seconds faster than the record.

Texas leads the championships with 40 points going into day two, followed by N.C. State with 34 points and Florida with 32 points.