The Texas Longhorns are a national powerhouse when it comes to swimming and diving. The men have won every conference championship since 1980, while the women have done it every year since 2013.
The success of the program hinges squarely on the Longhorns’ success in recruiting the top swimmers and divers in the country. And every now and then though they secure a commitment from home-grown talent…
Sadie Runeman, one of the best swimmers in Texas and current Westwood High School athlete, recently announced her intent to swim at the University of Texas.
Runeman recently moved to Austin from Massachusetts and has since fallen in love with The University.
“I first realized how much I loved UT when I moved here last summer. I started swimming with the University’s club program and I got the chance to watch the women’s team almost every day, and I decided to reach out. They were super responsive and were as interested in me as I was in them. After talking to some other colleges, it really only made sense to be at UT,” Runeman said.
At the 2020 Texas 6A state meet, Runeman finished fifth in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 55.81 seconds. Her other personal bests include a time of 1:58.39 in the 200-meter backstroke, 1:04.46 in the 100-meter breaststroke, and 2:04.66 in the 200-meter IM. She specializes in the backstroke but can do anything from freestyle to relays and everything in between.
“I think my favorite individual event to swim is probably the 100 Backstroke,” Runeman said. “It is one of my better events, but I was never a natural-born sprinter so I always feel like I have more to learn and improve on which is why I love the sport so much. However, I think any relay I get to swim in automatically becomes my favorite because it goes back to that positive mentality and team support. There is no more stressful or exciting event like a relay at the end of a meet where the result determines the success of the team.”
Runeman joins a talented class of 2021 Texas recruits that includes Olivia McMurray, Morgan Brophy, and Riley Courtney among others. 2021 looks to be a loaded class for the women of swim and dive and Runeman’s commitment is a huge reason for that.
She has one year left at Westwood High School before she arrives at UT and is looking forward to what her senior season has in store. She attributes her success to the old motto, “happy swimmers swim fast.”
“I attribute most of my personal success to my mental state and my teammates. Hard work is key and swimmers are always giving 110%, but none of it matters if you don’t love what you are doing. There is really no point in doing it. One of my old coaches used to say “happy swimmers swim fast”, and at the time I thought he was crazy, but over time I realized that he was right. I always swim faster when I’m having fun and I am being supported by my teammates,” Runeman said.
Runeman along with going to school in Austin, already also does her club swimming with Longhorn Aquatics. She’s also received USA swimming scholastic All-American honors twice. For a relatively young swimmer, she already has a fairly decorated career. Runeman has an opportunity to build on her already glowing resume when she officially becomes a Longhorn.
“I think the thing I am most looking forward to about becoming a Longhorn is the culture and commitment that it is. Both the team and school atmosphere is unlike any other school that I considered. The people that come through UT are not only very intelligent but also set such a high standard of success for themselves and others that continues even after they graduate. I think most of that mentality comes from the family-like qualities that UT exudes from both its educators and students alike,” Runeman said.
Texas is the best in the Big-12 year-in and year-out when it comes to aquatics. Commits like Runeman are what can push the Longhorns over the edge into consistent national championship contention.
Runeman wants Longhorns fans to know a few things about her before she arrives on campus in 2021.
“All I think fans of the sport, and of me should know is that it takes an immense amount of time, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears to get to this stage in swimming. Any great swimmer who gets up on the block is always giving everything that they have because they have spent years training for one single moment that could be as short as 20 some odd seconds,” Runeman said. “Also fans of me should know that nothing comes without its ups and downs, so they should always support athletes they know and check in on them from time to time because what we do can be relentless, but it is always worth it in the end.”
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