Sunshine State Action + NC State vs. Texas

Notre Dame topples Ohio State for the first time.

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🏊‍♀️ SWIMS OF THE WEEK 🏊🏽‍♂️

Little late this week but better late than never!

Florida Action

Most of the best Florida schools were in action this weekend. Biggest highlights came from the lower-division schools, as D2 Nova Southeastern took on fellow D2 Rollins and NAIA champ Keiser and Tampa faced NJCAA powerhouse Indian River. Tampa’s men’s sprint crew was the story, with 4 of the top 10 D2 100 frees on the weekend, led by Tibor Tistan’s 44.27, as well as the only D2 200 free relay sub-1:20 on the weekend (Ian Cooper 20.03/Tistan 19.52/Caleb Brandon 19.92/Blake Moran 19.82 for a 1:19.29). Other highlights:

  • A strong women’s 200 fly race at the Tampa/IRSC meet, as Indian River’s Sophia Diaz came close to her PR with a 2:00.75 just ahead of versatile Mady Barnes from Tampa who hit a PR 2:01.00. Diaz is the only NJCAA swimmer under 2:02 this year, while Barnes will be a threat to championship final in any of the backstrokes, flies, or 200 IM come March.

  • Nova Southeastern men have a strong triplet of freestylers covering the whole distance spectrum. Against Rollins, Wingate transfer Marcel Snitko went 20.09/43.76, 2023 200 free champ Thomas Flower went 44.55/1:36.42, and Luca Alessandrini went 1:40.05/4:29.01 plus a 9:28.85 1000 against Kesier.

  • A great men’s 100 breast race in the NSU/Rollins meet as Rollins’s William Slowey hit a 54.77 just ahead of NSU’s Inigo Marina’s 55.15. In his defense, though, Marina went 54.20/1:58.57 against Keiser the day before.

We also got a Florida/FSU matchup Friday afternoon. Florida put four women sub-10:00 in the 1000, led by a strong 9:38.64 from Emma Weyant. Gator and Seminole women put on a show in the 200 medley relay the event before as well, as FSU’s strong middle (Maddy Huggins 27.05/Jenny Halden 22.78) gave them a half second lead, but Gator Micayla Cronk anchored in a 22.04 to give Florida the win by a hundredth, 1:37.77-1:37.78. Izzy Ivey took three wins on the afternoon with a 48.69 100 free, 52.50 100 back, and 1:57.32 200 IM.

On the men’s side, Florida took the big win on their depth, but FSU’s Tommaso Baravelli had perhaps the most impressive individual day, with 53.29/1:55.36 breaststrokes (the latter a PR), and a 1:47.74 200 IM, all big wins by over a second each. Gator freshman Caleb Maldari missed midseasons but looks to be rounding back into form with a 1:43.72 200 back, less than a second off his PR.

Texas/NC State

This was a huge production of a meet last year. Not as high-profile this year but still some fast swimming. NC State’s star backstrokers made the most waves here as Katharine Berkoff blasted a 49.82 and Kacper Stokowski went a 44.37 in the 100.

We also got a nice surprise on the men’s side, as Jake Foster made his debut on the year for the Longhorns with a PR and for now #1 time in the country 51.22 100 breast. He went a #12 ranked 1:53.05 200 breast against Duke the next day too. Lydia Jacoby also made her sophomore year debut (though hers was expected) with a 58.15 100 breast and a scorching 26.02 200 medley relay split. Her teammate Anna Elendt was somehow even more impressive, with a 57.51 and 25.90 in those events.

Other fast stuff:

  • Luke Hobson is shaking off a pretty bad first semester by the standard he’s set - he went a season best 1:31.88 200, plus a 4:16.34 500 and a 42.84 100 free relay split.

  • Texas’s fly/back dynamic duo is looking good in the 100 fly - Emma Sticklen went 50.39, while Olivia Bray hit a 50.90.

  • The Wolfpack’s Lance Norris hit a huge 10 second mile PR with a 14:48.34. That should lock up his NCAA invite pending NC State’s roster count.

  • Speaking of that roster count, last week’s surprise debut Daniel Diehl came within a tenth of his PR 200 IM with a 1:43.11 win. By my count, NC State has a good 21 guys with better-than-average qualifying chances, so going to be some decisions there if everybody swims to par.

Tim Welsh Classic

Smaller but mighty invite hosted by Notre Dame, with a Notre Dame/Ohio State dual on the men’s side and Akron and Indiana State joining in for the women. The women’s 1000 free season leader keeps changing hands this semester and that’s no different this weekend, as OSU’s Maya Geringer went a PR 9:36.55 to take over pole position. OSU’s Charlie Clark dominated the distance races on the men’s side as well, with 4:18.54/8:49.68 swims.

  • We keep coming back to Notre Dame as the new Backstroke U, but they keep doing great stuff. Maddie Christman PRd her 200 back a couple weeks ago, and upped the ante again, this time by .8 seconds, with a 1:53.27. She’s almost at NCAA scoring range at this point. The men’s side saw great efforts from Tommy Janton (45.83/1:40.42), Marcus Gentry (45.77 PR/1:42.29), Tanner Filion (46.98/1:42.26), Lucas Logue (46.82 PR/1:46.18), and Kaden Smesko (47.34/1:43.35 PR).

  • Buckeye Amy Fulmer was a relay monster, offering up 21.51/47.47/1:44.92 flying start splits, but also PRd her 100 back with a 51.76.

  • Akron’s Abby Daniel got in on the fun with a strong 51.71 100 fly win. She also PRd her 100 free with a 49.01, and her 23.04 50 fly relay split was fastest in the field.

Other Fast Stuff

  • Some great swims at the Butler Invite. In the men’s 100 breast, Ball State’s Joey Garberick went a 53.71 to get the best of UIndy’s Brayden Cole (54.13) and Lewis’s Ahmed Ismail (54.88). UIndy also put up two strong 100 flys, with Oscar Sawicki (47.88) and Jeron Thompson (48.41).

  • UIndy also dualed Depauw earlier in the week with some nationally-relevant times. On the women’s side, Savannah Mueller and Leticia Vaselli went top-20 50s (Mueller 23.39 PR, Vaselli 23.42 season best). On the men’s side, Mihir Ambre went a 46.83 100 fly PR for #8 in the country, while Jeron Thompson’s 47.00 100 back sits him a #3.

  • Louisville is doing their usual second semester ramp up. Against Kentucky, Christiana Regenauer (21.95) and Julia Dennis (21.98) were the only two women on the weekend sub-22 in the 50 free and Gabi Albiero (48.10), Regenauer (48.27), Dennis (48.57), Lucy Mehraban (48.58), and Ella Welch (48.69) represented half of the top 10 100 frees on the weekend.

  • Georgia Tech’s Mert Kilavuz had a strong distance weekend, going 4:20.08/8:51.21/14:44.15 across two duals.

  • Cornell’s Paige DaCosta was a triple Ivy League medalist in 2020 before the COVID pause and suffered through a couple major down years, but he looks like he might be back to himself this year. His 46.84 100 back against Brown is the fastest he’s been since that 2020 conference meet. He added a 22.29 50 back leadoff, 1:46.21 in the 200 back, and a 43.50 100 free relay split.

  • Also from this meet, Brown’s Jack Kelly offered up awesome 52.24/1:54.73 breaststrokes, both #2 behind Foster on the weekend.

  • Sophia Verkleeren was on fire for Williams against NYU and MIT. She went 55.11/2:00.83 backstrokes and a 4:21.79 400 IM. The 100 back and 400 IM move her up to #3 and #2 in the country for D3 respectively.

  • Sachi Tanizaki-Hudson had a big 200 fly for Chapman - her 2:02.30 was a PR by almost a second and would have put her in 6th place in the event at D3 NCAAs last year. She took the win over Pomona-Pitzer’s Alex Turvey, one of the best sprinters in the division swimming up for a 2:02.80 PR of her own.

  • Chicago’s Jesse Ssengonzi took another crack at the D3 100 fly national record, finishing in 46.52 against IUPUI. Not quite there and not quite what he went against Northwestern, but this has gotta cement him as the favorite in the race come March.

🏊🏽‍♂️ Weekend Preview 🏊🏼

Some stuff going on though not as much with D2 and NAIA teams speeding toward conference season in a couple weeks and D1 and D3 not far behind.

Highlight will be the Harvard-Yale-Princeton “HYP” meet. Usually some really fast times in this rivarly.

Indiana/Wisconsin/Louisville should be a good one. Plenty of competition to go around on both the men’s a women’s side here. USC takes on the Cal/Stanford Bay Area dual meet gauntlet as well.

Got some Power 5 vs Mid Major matchups as NC State goes up against UNC-W and Texas A&M faces SMU. Also the Power 5 vs D3 flavor with Georgia vs Emory.

And a couple early conference meets - D3 North Atlantic Conference, CUNYAC, Great Northeast, and Wisconsin Private Colleges, and NAIA Mid South Conference.

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