Swimming: Schooling makes waves in Austin

PROGRESS: Joseph Schooling (second from right) came in second behind Jack Conger (right) in the men’s 100-yard fly yesterday.

The 19-year-old University of Texas at Austin freshman clocked 44.81 seconds yesterday morning (Singapore time) to finish second in the men's 100-yard fly at the Big 12 Championships in Austin, behind teammate Jack Conger (44.78).

The time placed the Bolles School alumnus third fastest-ever in college swimming history, with Texas alumnus and Olympic gold medallist Ian Crocker holding the meet record at 44.72.

Schooling was the first of the Longhorns, nickname for the Texas swim team, since Crocker to go under 45 seconds in the short-course event earlier on Friday, when the Singaporean clocked 44.90 to win the heats, with Conger third with 46.01.

Schooling led the evening final until the fourth and final lap, where Conger overtook him to claim victory.

The butterfly specialist could not be reached for comment yesterday, as he was preparing for his 200 fly morning heats.

Results for that event were not available at press time.

Earlier in the meet, Schooling clocked the joint-fastest 50 fly split (19.66) during the men's 200-yard medley relay, which the Longhorns won in 1:24.46.

His performances in the meet so far show he is handling the transition to the highly-competitive United States collegiate swimming scene well, under the guidance of renowned coach Eddie Reese, and will put him in good stead for the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships in Iowa this month.

Meanwhile, Singapore Swimming Association vice-president (water polo) Samuel Wong will take over David Tan as the women's team manager.

Tan had been the team's manager since it was set up in 2000, but is stepping down to concentrate on his son's (Maximillian) efforts to qualify for the Paralympic Games next year.

He said: "There will be a lot of travelling involved and I would like to be there to support him in his quest to qualify for the Games.

"However, it would also mean that it might affect my role as the team manager of the women's water polo team, so I decided to step down."

Before taking on his current exco role, Wong had been a long-time manager of the men's water polo team.

He said: "My main goal is to help guide the team to success at this year's South-east Asia Games and I will be working closely with the team to help them achieve this target.

"I am looking forward to the challenge."

This article was first published on Mar 1, 2015. Get The New Paper for more stories.