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Aggies Drop Lonestar Showdown

February 03, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
Despite hard fought races from its seniors, the No. 18 Texas A&M men's swimming and diving team dropped a 133.5-102.5 decision to rival Texas on a Senior Night Friday at the Student Recreation Natatorium in College Station.

The meet started off on a stormy note, as a tornado warning in College Station postponed the meet over half an hour. Once the meet kicked off the Longhorns came out blazing, taking the first six wins of the evening.

Texas A&M Head Coach Jay Holmes wanted to thank the spectators for sticking around during the stormy weather.

"I commend the crowd for staying with us tonight," Holmes said. "There was no scoreboard, no speaker system, it must have been really confusing. They really helped us with the atmosphere tonight."

After the swift lead taken by Texas the Aggies would lean on its seniors, who were swimming in their final home meet of their careers.

Senior Boris Loncaric, broke the Texas streak in the 200-yard butterfly event when he set a new season best mark with a first place finish of 1:46.95.

"I thought it was a lot of fun for Boris here on Senior Day," Holmes said. "Boris stepped up and was able to win the 200 fly in his last swim at home. It was a great swim."

Senior diver Grant Nel picked up on Loncaric's start with a school record-setting performance in the 3-meter diving event. Nel pulled off a stunning front 4 ½ somersault tuck on his fifth and final dive to hand Texas' Drew Livingston the loss.

"It's great to having this meet here, and especially against Texas-- we've been talking about this meet for a while," Nel said. "And to come away with a win in the 3-meter, I definitely owe that to my coaches and the support staff here. I'm just blessed to have been a part of this program."

Senior Amini Fonua closed out the Aggies' senior charge in the 200-yard breaststroke, as he clawed his way into the lead from lane two after the first 50 and held it throughout the race to touch with a time of 2:02.50.

"Amini is a racer at heart," Holmes said. "We're really going to miss all of these guys, no doubt about it."

But in the end, Texas, which is coming off its first loss of the 2011-2012 season to No. 1 Arizona, outmatched the Aggies and pulled away another point in the State Farm Lonestar Showdown.

"It's a bitter feel in so many ways, because Texas really took it to us in so many places," Holmes said. "But in all actuality, our guys really swam very well. Our guys stepped up and raced, Texas was just a lot better than they were last week."

The Aggies, now 4-2 in dual meets this season, will undergo three weeks of training until its next competition-- the Big 12 Championship meet Feb. 22-25 in Columbia, Mo.

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