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Evans in lead role with the Longhorns

Bahamian swimmer coming off a busy summer; looking for strong collegiate season
  • Bahamian collegiate swimmer Joanna Evans, second right at the bottom, will be one of the swimmers called upon to lead the University of Texas Longhorns women’s swimming program during the 2017–18 season. The Texas junior has best times of 1:44.22 in the 200m free, 4:07.60 in the 400m free (long course meters), 4:36.97 in the 500m free (short course yards), 8:31.18 in the 800m free (long course meters) and 15:54.46 in the 1,650 yard free (short course yards). The Longhorns are shown celebrating their Big 12 title in 2016. FILE

RANDY SMITH
Guardian Sports Reporter
randy@nasguard.com

Published: Sep 18, 2017

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Although the University of Texas Longhorns women’s swimming and diving team lost one of its best swimmers in Madison Cox to graduation this summer, the team is still a top 10 ranked team in the 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) preseason polls, and Joanna Evans is one of the key reasons why. The Longhorns are ranked No. 5 nationally.

Cox was one of the top individual performers at the 2017 NCAA Championships in March, racking up 45 points for the Longhorns. She also was a key contributor in the relays, helping Texas to score in four of the women’s relays. Now that she’s gone, a lot of the scoring load will now fall on Evans’ shoulders. Although they did not compete in the same events, Evans will be counted on to score a lot of individual points while also helping out with relay duties.

Evans finished in the top eight in the mile at the NCAA Championships last year and is coming into the season as one of the nation’s top swimmers in the 500 meters (m) free. She is also a very capable 200m freestyler who scored in the 200m at the NCAAs last year.

The preseason list, which is published annually by Swim Swam, states that Evans, along with two others, would make up the foundation of this year’s Longhorns squad.

Evans comes into the 2017–18 season off a busy summer. She captured two medals at the 29th World University Games last month. She won silver in the 400m freestyle and a bronze medal in the 800m freestyle for The Bahamas. Evans is among the top returning middle distance and distance swimmers at the United States collegiate level. She earned All-American honors in the 200 and 1,650-yard freestyle events at the NCAA Championships.

Last year, Evans was able to build on a breakout freshman season. She joined Cox, Clair Adams and Tasija Karosa to set a Big 12 and school record in the 800m freestyle relay at the NCAA Championships, and also set a school record in the 500m freestyle and was named to the 2017 Academic All-Big 12 First Team. Evans currently has best times of 1:44.22 in the 200m free, 4:07.60 in the 400m free (long course meters), 4:36.97 in the 500m free (short course yards), 8:31.18 in the 800m free (long course meters) and 15:54.46 in the 1,650-yard free (short course yards).

Texas will begin its season on September 28, with its traditional Orange vs. White swim. Texas will travel to Gainesville, Florida, to take on the University of Florida in its first dual meet of the season on October 20.

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