The fiery rivalry between SMU and Texas A& in men's swimming and diving provided spectators with yet another nail biter Friday in Dallas, Texas as the Mustangs beat out the Aggies in the final race of the evening to take a dual meet victory, 128-115.
SMU jumped out to a vicious attack at the start of the evening as the Mustangs took the first four events of the meet and quickly pulled to a 55-19 lead.
A&M Head Coach Jay Holmes challenged the team after SMU pulled ahead.
"We wanted to be challenged tonight by SMU- and that's exactly what they did," Holmes said. "After the first four events, I challenged the guys to respond to the 55-19 lead. I was so proud of the way they stepped up to the blocks and fought back."
Aggie junior John Wagner led anAggie response in which A&M won four events straight, just as SMU opened the meet. Wagner's first place time in the fifth event of the night, the 200-yard individual medley, of 1:50.30 was nearly three seconds ahead of second place.
"John is really the one who got us going again in the 200 IM," Holmes said. "I don't know where he pulled that swim from, but it got us fired up. It was a super swim."
Seniors Grant Nel and Boris Loncaric and junior John Dalton were won the next three events for the Aggies. Nel took the 1-meter springboard event with a SMU pool record score of 400.95. Loncaric took the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:48.24 and Dalton won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.93.
SMU and A&M traded off the next four events and the meet really developed into a boxing match. Grabbing the individual wins for the Aggies was sophomore Paul-Marc Schweitzer in the 500-yard freestyle (4:32.09) and senior Amini Fonua in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:02.90).
"We were ina slugfest out there," Holmes said. "We were down concentrating on the meet, but the atmosphere on deck and in the stands was really a fight. I'm sure it was one of the more exciting meets to watch from a spectating standpoint."
With the score nearly tied, the Aggies went into the 400-yard freestyle relay and the winning team would also win the dual meet. SMU was able to pull of the victory with a time of 2:57.04, just over a second and half faster than A&M.
"It was a great college dual meet," Holmes said. "Both teams wouldn't back down, and one thing we'll take from the meet is that our guys stepped up and fought back. SMU looked great- and we just fought."
The meet is reminiscent of the 2010 matchup between the two teams; a dual meet that was voted Best Meet of the Year, and which A&M pulled off the victory by one point.
The Aggies will host long time rival Texas on Feb. 3 in the Lone Star Showdown in College Station.