Seven UT Sports Head to National Championships

 

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It’s nothing new for one of the U.S.’s most powerful athletic programs—but we’re still proud. No fewer than seven UT spring sports teams have qualified for the NCAA championships. In fact, the only spring sports that didn’t qualify were baseball and women’s rowing, according to assistant athletics director for media relations Scott McConnell. Those are impressive numbers considering that 1,281 colleges and universities are members of the NCAA, and only the cream of the crop make it to the national finals.

Here’s how the seven Longhorn teams have done so far:

Men’s golf is defending its 2012 NCAA Championship victory this week in Alpharetta, Ga. The team also took first place in 1971 and 1972, and it has finished in the top 10 five times. Championship play at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course began yesterday and wraps up on Sunday; fans can follow the scores live on the NCAA website. Texas Sports reports that the five participating players are especially tight-knit this year, with star freshman Brandon Stone saying, “We don’t feel like a team, but more of a brotherhood if you could say that.”

Softball has advanced to the Women’s College World Series and will begin play in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Thursday evening. This year mark’s the team’s fifth trip to the World Series and their first since 2006. For the team’s seniors—Blaire Luna, Kim Bruins, Torie Schmidt, and Taylor Hoagland—just making it to the nationals is a dream come true, as they narrowly missed qualifying for the last three years. “It is an amazing feeling to be here,” Schmidt wrote in a post for Texas Sports. “Our mindset is to enjoy this experience and focus on one game at a time.”

Both men’s and women’s track and field will compete at the NCAA Championships from June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore., the “Running Capital of the World.” For the men, 15 athletes qualified in 9 events, while 12 women qualified in 10 events.

The women’s golf team has already finished its season with a 21st-place finish at the NCAA Championships last Friday. Head coach Martha Richards said that high winds made for challenging conditions on the University of Georgia Golf Course. “It was a tough day,” Richards told Texas Sports. “Our score doesn’t show how many good holes we played, the problem is that the holes we didn’t play well really got us,” she said.

Men’s and women’s tennis both advanced to the second round at the NCAA Championships at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill., from May 16-27. For the men, senior Chris Camillone and junior David Holiner lost to players from the University of Virginia in the doubles finals. On the women’s team, freshman Breaunna Addison made it all the way to the singles semifinals before falling to reigning champion Nicole Gibbs of Stanford.

Freshman Brandon Stone chips his ball out of a bunker on May 28 at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course during the first round of the NCAA Championship in Milton, GA. Photo by Bethany Walter.

 

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