WETS Summer Newsletter
Dear WETS, July 2022
Happy Summer!!! WET’s give thanks to Texas Swimming and Diving’s past, present and bright future. Thanks to you, our little organization blossomed with support last year and we do hope you will support WETS again this season. We even added a new Legacy donation level of $150 that gets you two reservations at this year’s reunion dinner! Even the smallest amount means you care and support the greatest university and our swimmers, divers, and coaches!
It’s reunion time for the 2’s. If you graduated in a year ending in two… it’s your year! Recruiting co-coordinators Darrell Fick and Ben Van Roekel will be contacting all the captains from those years to rally teammates to attend. This includes the 40th anniversary of the Women’s teams winning the final AIAW title before joining the NCAA and the Men’s (oh so close 2nd place finish to UCLA) in 1982! Let’s not forget our runner up Men’s and Women’s 1992 teams and the Men’s 2012 team. It’s also the 20th Anniversary of that fantastic Men’s 2002 Championship team. We welcome all UT alums, parents of current or former swimmers and divers as well as those that just love Longhorn Swimming and Diving to any of these events.
Thursday Sept. 1st : First Annual Eddie Reese/ Pat Patterson Golf Classic
Golf coordinator Shaun Jordan has us all set for a great day at the Longhorn Golf Club. Lunch and appetizers will be served at noon and is included in your fee. We will use a fun scramble format beginning at 1 PM. The cost is $150.00 per individual or $500.00 per team of four golfers. Registration is open to anyone who appreciates Longhorn Swimming and Diving! Sign up HERE!
Friday Sept. 2nd
3 PM Alumni Relays (no reservation needed)
Here is your chance to swim in the Eddie Reese outdoor pool and meet and greet the Longhorn swimmers, divers and coaches. Note: full compression body suits have been banned!
5 PM Social at San Jacinto Hall Ballroom, Cash Bar (no reservation needed)
6 PM Dinner and Frank Erwin Awards @ San Jacinto Hall Ballroom (Reserve Here). Read about this year’s class of honorees later in this letter. Legacy Donors receive two complimentary Erwin Dinner reservations for $2. Century Donors receive one complimentary dinner for $1. All other reservations are $50.00 PP.
Saturday Sept. 3rd Tailgate and UT vs ULM Football
It’s opening day for the Longhorn Football team taking on Louisiana Monroe.
Deadline to register is August 25th! Check your email or the WETS website for more information on how to RSVP for these events.
We will send you WETS letters and Longhorn swim news via email and will post news on our website throughout the year. If you know of friends who would like to receive these ramblings please email or with a good address.
$$ WETS Dews are due for 2022-2023 $$
Thanks for helping Texas Swimming stay afloat. WETS New Year starts July 1st! Please use our website to Pay Your Dews! – Working Exes for Texas Swimming (wetswim.org) or send in the enclosed form with your 2022-2023 donation. You might notice the new category Longhorn Legacy. This donation gets you two complimentary seats at the prestigious Frank Erwin Dinner. Do not send more than $150.00, as big donations are still needed to help UT Swimming & Diving by donating to the Longhorn Foundation or Longhorns for Life. Don’t forget to check Swimming and Diving when donating!!!
Our treasurer, $cott Mactier, reports that we are in good financial condition and have plenty of liquid assets to put on our fall reunion, provide the team awards and Erwin plaques, print and mail this fun letter, website hosting and enough left over for a sizable donation to Men’s and Women’s scholarship funds. We appreciate all the work $cott and his bride Karan are doing to help the organization! Our balance stands at $23,488.86. Your little splash of cash helps us promote UT Swimming and Diving, gives honor to our great past and helps the future of Burnt Orange Aquatics!
Here are our Top suggested ways to financially support Texas Swimming:
#1….WETS limit your contributions to WETS to no more than $150.00 so you can give where it truly counts.
#2 Texas Swimming and Diving through the Longhorn Foundation:
- Select Gift Designation: Athletics, Intercollegiate for Men and Women
- Further designate to: Eddie Reese Outdoor Pool Fund….. Name a Lane!
If you would like to donate to our scholarship support or our current top funding priority, the Outdoor Pool Facility… please contact Billy Humphries , 512-471-2433 DONATE
All your gifts are 100% tax-deductible and every cent goes to support a current student-athlete making the same ripples you once made on the 40 Acres. We challenge you – UT Men’s & Women’s Swimming/Diving alumni – to have the highest participation percentage of all Longhorn sports. Any amount is helpful, and participation is crucial. We’re off to a great start!
We appreciate your consideration in supporting Texas Swimming & Diving!
Longhorns continue to impress internationally. The Texas Men are coming off a strong showing at the World Championship Trials in Greensboro, NC where we placed 5 guys onto Team USA. Carson Foster had a big breakthrough meet qualifying for his 1st Senior Long Course International Team in the 200 and 400 Individual Medley as well as the 800 Free Relay. Carson made the most of the trip winning the Silver medal in the 200 IM and 400 I.M. and teamed with fellow Longhorns Coby Carozza and Drew Kibler to win Gold in the 800 Free Relay. Kibler was just .03 seconds from another medal finishing 4th in the 200 free and won a bronze as a member of the Mixed 400 Free Relay. Joining those undergrads were two post grads who train with us in Austin, Charlie Swanson and Shaine Casas (Bronze in the 200 back). Additionally, current Junior Caspar Corbeau represented The Netherlands in Budapest and finished 7th in the 200 breaststroke.
On the women’s side UT Junior Anna Elendt, competing for Germany blazed the last 50 under 35 seconds of the 100 breaststroke final moving from 7th to capture the silver medal. Watch this sensational swim!
Finally, Eddie Reese made his first international trip since 2017 as part of the Team USA Coaching staff along with Carol Capitani for the women. Great Job Eddie, Carol and swimmers!
The rest of the team will continue to train in Austin for the remainder of the summer with their sights set on Irvine, CA as the big championship meet for the summer.
The Texas divers are having a productive summer. Janie Boyle, Noah Duperre and Manny Borowski made the USA national team and traveled to Calgary Canada for the Canada Cup. Noah and Manny made the semi finals on 3m and Manny won Gold in 3m synchro. Janie made the final on 10m platform and won silver in the 10m synchro event. Borowski wins gold, Boyle silver at FINA Diving Grand Prix Canada Cup – University of Texas Athletics (texassports.com) Hailey Hernandez qualified for the world championship team by winning 3m and 3m synchro at the world trials. But Hailey has decided to take some time off from competing this summer while still prioritizing her strength and power development.
Football Tickets can be purchased HERE
The promo code is SWIM22
The option for the one (1) complimentary ticket and to purchase tickets is included in the promo code. Please note only swimming and diving letterwinners will be able to access the complimentary ticket. Please do not share or abuse. We will lose this privilege.
All tickets will be electronic. Please see the additional information below about mobile tickets
Mobile Ticket Information
Here is a link for help on mobile tickets
Additional Mobile Ticket help
A wonderful way to honor great Longhorns is through The Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame. Send a donation, come see the museum at the swim center and by all means come to the 2023 Induction Ceremony when Longhorn Legends Leigh Ann Fetter-Witt and super announcer Sam Kendricks are scheduled to be enshrined along with 4 other Texas legends Friday April 21st in Austin. If you missed the 2022 Induction staring Bryan Jones you can relive the event HERE! I hope you will stop in to see the new Kiosk which honors over 75 great Texas Aquatic legends and Teams via stories and photos of each of them. Check out several short biographical videos that have already been created to honor legends such as Jane Kneip Patterson , Tex Robertson and Adolph Keifer. A fundraising effort is being established to produce more as donations come in. Each film is costing us a little over $1,000.00 each to produce. If you are interested in donating to this project or to help the TSDHOF in 2022, visit Support Us! — Texas Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame (tsdhof.org)
2022 Frank Erwin Award Recipients being awarded Sep 2nd!
Jeff Commings (1992-1995) was raised in St. Louis and had a breakout year as a high school senior placing 3rd in the 100-meter breast at the US national championships, as well as a berth on the 1991 Pan-American team. He won bronze in the 100-meter breast in Cuba, becoming the first African American swimmer to earn a medal at a major international competition. Jeff continued his success at the University of Texas where he was an eight-time All-American, a USA Swimming National Team member, and a four-time Southwest Conference Champion in the 100 breaststroke. Jeff competed in three U.S. Olympic Trials, in 1992, 1996 and 2012. In 1999, Jeff discovered Masters Swimming and initially used the workouts as a way to stay in shape, vowing to never compete in another high-stress meet. That vow didn’t last long. At the 2003 Masters National Championships, Jeff won five events and set his first national record in the 100 breast. The following summer, Jeff set his first Masters World Record in the 100-meter Individual Medley. Jeff is Co-Founder of Dolphins of the Desert Swimming Academy, where he teaches swim lessons to people of all ages and abilities. He continues to use his journalism degree in many ways, writing articles for U.S. Masters Swimming and hosting broadcasts at USA Swimming events.
Garrett Weber Gale: (2004-2007) was a 16X All-American & 2006 NCAA Champion in the 100 free. After graduating from Texas in 2007, and winning his first U.S. National Title in 2004, up next for Weber-Gale was the 2008 Olympic Trials. He won both the 100-meter free and the 50-meter free, even setting a new American Record in the 50. He also touched the 100 in under 48 seconds, becoming the first American to do so. Double Gold medals in the 2008 Olympic Games in the 400 Medley and 400 Free relays. The now famous 400 Free relay chased down France to allow Michael Phelps to win 8 Gold medals in Beijing.
Kristina Stinson Straface: (1990-1993) 7 Time NCAA All-American, 7-time Honorable Mention. Her Junior year she held 3 of the 10 fastest times in UT history. As a USA National Team member, she earned a silver medal in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. After graduating with a sociology degree, she was named the Head Assistant coach at TCU a position she held from 2000-2007. Kristina was the financial and team Leader of 1990 team that raised $167K to name the first lane in the Eddie Reese outdoor pool.
Cheryl Ridall (1987-1998) joined the team in the late 80s as a Volunteer Coach under Head Coach, Richard Quick and Assistant Coach Jill Sterkel while pursuing her master’s degree in Sport Science. Cheryl quickly gained knowledge and the coaching staff and team’s respect elevating her into an Assistant Coach role the following season as part of Mark Schubert’s tenure as Head Coach, along with Jill and Jack Roach, winning the 1991 Women’s NCAA National Championship. An integral and beloved part of the program, Cheryl continued on as Jill’s Assistant Coach from the 1993-1998 seasons following a brief stint as the Assistant Coach at Indiana University from 1992-1993. Their quick return to Austin with Jill as the Women’s Head Swimming Coach at UT during the 1993-1994 season resulted in a 3rd place NCAA finish. Since her transition from collegiate coaching, Cheryl has worked as a leader in Corporate Health and Fitness, as a Wellness Retreat and Workshop facilitator, in Strategic Initiatives and special projects with the local non-profit, The Trail Foundation and sticking close to her swimming roots, as a Coach with the master’s swim program at Western Hills Athletic Club (WHAC), in addition to teaching Women’s Swim for Fitness classes. Cheryl also continues to swim with the masters program at WHAC.
Mary Yarrison Hahn (2006-2008) A 5 time Big XII Champion, 3 time Big XII Diver of the Meet and a 4 time All-American finishing as an NCAA runner up in 2008. Mary also won three US National Diving titles and represented USA National team throughout her years at Texas, including winning bronze medals at the World University Games and the Russia Grand Prix and finishing 4th at the 2008 Olympic Trials. During her time at UT, Mary excelled in the classroom. She was a 2 time Academic All-American and received the 2008 Lorene L Rogers Scholar Athlete Award (recognizing the graduating female athlete with the highest GPA). Since college, she’s worked in the nonprofit world and as a journalist, earned an MBA from Duke on a merit scholarship, spent 5 years Deloitte’s strategy consulting business, and is now leading strategic finance at a food-tech startup based in North Carolina. Most important is her marriage to David Hahn (a swimmer) in 2014 and the birth of their daughter Peyton last October. They were lucky to be able to spend two years in Austin while David earned his MBA at the McCombs School.
Off Deck Hero:
Jon Alter: (1999-Present) is the Director of Operations for the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams, a role he assumed in 2012. Additionally, he is in his 25th year working with the Longhorn Swim Camp, spending the last 21 years as the Camp Director, and is now in his third year as the Longhorn Dive Camp Director. He was a Volunteer Assistant with the Longhorns Women’s Swimming team from 1999 – 2004 and took on the role of interim Assistant Coach for the Women’s team during the 2005-2006 season. He is admired greatly by the Texas coaches, swimmers, divers, and alums for his tireless work on their behalf, his incredible attention to every detail, and his pleasant nature as he goes about his everyday tasks.
A look back at the 2’s. They were very good years for Longhorn Swimming and diving. Let’s start with the SWC Champion 1942 team as told by the Daily Texan. One year later all these men served our country in WWII. True heroes for sure.
1982 AIAW National Champions
WETSPOTS…..Today is truly a sad day to report that our legendary friend and Frank Erwin recipient Sam Kendricks has passed away. Many of you have been praying for Sam in his battle with Cancer. Legendary Announcer Sam Kendricks Passes Away (swimmingworldmagazine.com). I am sure we will all think of Sam and pray for Shay when we gather in September I am so glad that we were able to tell Sam, while he was on this Earth, of his upcoming induction into the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 2023… Let’s start off some happier news by congratulating the greatest athletics department in the country. It’s now 2 years in a row the Horns have wone the prestigious Division I Learfield Cup!…. On June 24th Jill Sterkel was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Check out the story and that fabulous 1976 Free Relay Gold Medal Swim gain HERE!! Another great Longhorn Legend: Betsy Mitchell will enter the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame August 16th. You can read all about it HERE!… I hope you will all follow Billy Dale’s Texas Longhorn Legacy Network: https://texaslsn.org/ He does a fantastic job. The newsletter converts UT history, UT traditions, UT legacies, and UT culture into a form that all Longhorns can celebrate. You can check out his latest post on Swimming Here!
It is the year of the 2’s and Coach Pat sent me this photo of him lifeguarding at Barton Springs in 1952. He lived on the hill just above the pool and would sneak in as kid and swam most summer days and learned to dive by watching the UT divers. He never swam in a meet until he was a freshman and competed for the first time against SMU. He later became the first Longhorn under 50 seconds in the 100 freestyle. Looking forward to seeing you all in the Fall!