College Swimming Roundup
Top Swims, Relays, & Meets of the Week.
COLLEGE SWIMMING ROUNDUP
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🏊♀️ SWIMS OF THE WEEK 🏊🏽♂️
Indiana vs Michigan is usually a pretty competitive dual on both sides, but the Hoosiers laid the beatdown on the Wolverines this year with some impressive swims, taking a 208.5-91.5 decision on the women's side and 212-88 on the men's.
Noelle Peplowski swept the breaststrokes (59.93/2:09.40) and the 200 IM (1:59.69), younger sister Anna did the same with the backstrokes (53.84/1:56.93) and 200 free (1:47.21). On either side of the distance spectrum, Kristina Paegle swept the sprints (22.40/49.60) and Mariah Denigan did the same for the distance frees (4:49.77/9:48.93). In fact, the Hoosier ladies went 1-2-3 in the 1000 free, 200 free, and 200 back, which seems crazy against a team with the pedigree of Michigan.
Some fantastic swims on the men's side as well. The A and B 200 medley relays took 1-2, with the A relay popping a 1:25.74 (21.85/23.67/20.41/19.81), and Gavin Wight anchoring the B in 19.41. Brendan Burns was his usual dominant self - putting up 46.29/1:42.56 backs and 1:42.11 200 fly. Van Mathias is completing his transformation from high school 200 flyer to senior year of college sprinter, with the 2nd fastest 50 free in the nation this week at 19.59, and Rafael Miroslaw and Tomer Frankel raced within a couple tenths until the home stretch of the 200 free, finishing 1:35.28-1:35.89.
The Indiana stars are going to rack up some big points at NCAAs, but they're going to need some of their supporting squad - relay sprinters like Ashley Turak and Finn Brooks - to step up and qualify and score at NCAAs if they want to make it up to the podium.
Navy Hosts a Barnburner
If I asked you which men's team had the most top times on the weekend, your first guess probably wouldn't be Notre Dame on a weekend most of the Big Ten, ACC, Texas, and Florida were all active, but that'd be the right answer. Navy hosted the Fighting Irish and Princeton in a two-day affair and the Notre Dame men came away with 4 top times in the nation for the weekend.
The headliner was Jack Hoagland. After a scooter accident robbed him of the 2021-2022 season, he was back this fall with what seemed to be a bit lackluster midseason invite, but he's firing on all cylinders now. He took on his specialties, winning the distance frees (4:16.78/14:55.28) and 400 IM (3:43.06).
The other top time from the weekend came from Chris Giuliano with a 19.53 50 free. Also particularly impressive for the Fighting Irish was a 1:25.80 200 medley relay (21.51/24.76/20.69/18.84), only .04 off of Indiana's weekend best time, and freshman Tommy Janton going a PR 100 back (46.50) and 1:43.32 200 back. As those relay splits show clearly, this team is a sprint breaststroker away from some ACC champs-challenging medley relays.
Meanwhile, Princeton is starting to look like the team to beat in the Ivy League. Nikki Venema took the 100 and 200 frees in 48.60/1:46.35, and added a 53.24 100 fly, all season bests, and Eliza Brown one-upped that with personal bests in the breaststrokes (1:01.77/2:11.91) and 200 IM (2:00.34). Their 1:30.58 200 free relay (23.00/22.94/22.34/22.30) ranked 3rd and their 3:17.43 400 free relay (49.99/49.66/49.23/48.49) ranked 5th on the weekend behind only major-conference teams.
On the men's side, Raunak Khosla is a known quantity but still impressive to see 1:44.45/3:46.40 IM, 1:54.17 breast (with 51.91 relay split), 1:44.10 fly versatility. His supporting cast was lights-out as well: Dylan Porges finished next to Hoagland in the distance races (4:24.96/15:09.48), Mitchell Schott popped a 1:35.89 200 free, and Nicholas Lim went 47.29/1:44.44 flies.
Virginia Women Still Chugging Along
I don't know when I'm going to stop doing double-takes on Cavalier women's times, but it wasn't this weekend. This time the one that got me was Kate Douglass's 1:52.07 200 IM. Seems like the SCM World Champion in the event is carrying that momentum to second semester college season. She split a very balanced 24.27/28.55/32.47/26.78 here, and also added a 21.64 50 free. The Lady Hoos came together for a 1:35.08 200 medley relay that would rank 5th in the country overall (I'm not sure I trust the official results splits, as the listed 25.01 50 breast for Alex Walsh would be over half a second faster than Lilly King ever was). In the Impressive Off Events category, Gretchen Walsh swam a strong 1:51.42 200 back to add to her seemingly routine 21.26 50 free win.
Nova Southeastern Crowding the Leaderboard
NSU had full end of the week of meets, taking on Florida Southern on Thursday and West Chester, Lynn, and Indian River on Friday, and they made the best of it, with their women putting up 25 top-5 times in the division on the weekend. Florida State transfer Emily Trieschmann was the star, leading the nation in the 200 (1:51.40), 500 (4:58.96), and 1000 (10:16.21) frees and 400 IM (4:25.04). Savannah Best did the same in the breaststrokes (1:04.31/2:20.90), Celina Marquez lead in the 200 back (2:03.60), and Emilia Ronningdal lead the 200 IM (2:06.70).
Other impressive times from these meets came from West Chester's Ann Carozza, possibly the best butterflier in the division, with 54.58/2:00.06 in her specialties, and NSU's Jarryd Baxter showing some of his versatility with 23.63/51.04/1:49.89 backstrokes, 1:53.23 200 fly, and 1:52.01/4:02.87 IMs.
D3 Triple Dual
The fastest meet in Division 3 on the weekend was a triple dual in Ohio between Denison, Carnegie Mellon, and Calvin. The Denison women won convincingly, led by Quinn Brown's 5:02.61/10:18.25 distance wins, Amber Croonquist's 56.73 100 fly, and Tara Culibrk's 52.46/1:54.55 sprint free wins. Carnegie Mellon's Savannah Xu was impressive in defeat, sweeping the backs (57.14/2:03.91) and the 400 IM (4:30.03), all the top times in the division on the weekend.
The men's meet showcased the leaders of each team. Denison's Richie Kurlich took the flies in 48.63/1:50.98, Calvin's 50 free national leader Noah Holstege took his specialty in 20.50, and Carnegie Mellon's Christian Lanuza took the breaststrokes in 56.65/2:05.65, within spitting distance of his best times in both.
🏊🏼 RELAY OF THE WEEK 🏊♀️
Oakland Men's 400 Medley Relay
Oakland put up the fourth fastest 400 Medley Relay of the weekend in their triple dual with IUPUI and Youngstown State. This is actually one of the fastest 400 MRs in school history - less than two seconds from their 3:09.70 record from midseason. The Golden Grizzlies have a storied history, winning 5 D2 national championships prior to their conversion to D1 in 1998 as well as amazingly being undefeated in conference championships for their entire existence, but have only once swam men's relays at D1 NCAAs, in the 2003 edition of the meet. The B standard in this relay is 3:06.84, so they still have some work to do besides qualifying an individual for the meet (best shot is Khotynetskyi with a 1:42.21 200 back PR or Bart with a 52.56 100 breast PR) but it's definitely on the table here.
🏊🏽♂️ MEET OF THE WEEK 🏊🏼
Ohio State and Texas at Alabama
An interesting triple dual for all three teams.
Ohio State's a team that typically builds as the season goes on, never showing all their cards until Big Tens. They've started that process here, handing Texas their first dual meet loss since 2019 and hanging tough with the Longhorn women throughout the two-day meet.
Alex Quach served as a Carson Foster counter, winning head to head battles in the 100 IM (48.23) and 100 back (46.88), while also contributing to wins in all four relays. He also won the 100 fly in 46.34. The Buckeye women swam the most impressive free relays of any team in the nation, taking the 200 FR in 1:29.22 (22.47/22.02/22.37/22.36) and the 400 FR in 3:15.70 (49.29/50.08/48.24/48.09)
The Alabama men have their stars but are shallower than they have been in recent years. Charlie Hawke led the action for the Crimson Tide men, going 20.19/43.61/1:34.64/4:29.00 frees.
The women's team strength going into the season was the depth of their sprint crew. That's going to be tested with the early retirement of 2022 SEC Swimmer of the Year Morgan Scott as well as Cora Dupre taking the rest of the season off to focus on health. They'll have a challenge defending their podium spot in March, but still looked decent here with Olympian Rhyan White taking the 200 back in 1:54.03 and Kensey McMahon sweeping the distance events in 4:47.43/9:44.97.
Texas, meanwhile, looks like a team going in two different directions. The Longhorn men as always have their IM and distance free groups - David Johnston went 4:18.49/8:50.54, while Sasha Lyubavskiy had a breakout 1000 (8:55.03, an almost 20-second drop from first semester), and can still put together strong relays 400 and up, but have no solid answer in sprint back and fly and only one elite true sprinter in Danny Krueger.
The women, however, are looking like a team that might be able to challenge Virginia in depth. Kelly Pash took four individual event wins on the weekend, with 48.37/1:46.45 frees and 54.28/1:58.24 IMs, Lydia Jacoby is still chugging along with 59.21/2:11.14 breaststrokes, while Emma Sticklen (52.10/1:56.31 fly, 56.08 IM) and Olivia Bray (53.50/1:56.25 back, 53.32 fly, 57.15 IM) are there to fit in wherever needed.
🏊🏽♂️ WEEKEND PREVIEW 🏊🏼
Some fast duals coming up this weekend. In D1 major conference action, we've got an ACC matchup with NC State, Virginia, and North Carolina, the Auburn/Alabama Iron Bowl, a couple of Pac-12 matchups as Cal (first Hugo Gonzalez sighting of the year?) travels to University of Arizona and Stanford visits Arizona State Friday (first Hubert Kos sighting of the year?) and the two California schools switch up opponents on Saturday, and an in-state rivalry with Florida State vs Florida.
In other interesting meets, Missouri State and Drury finish up their annual home-and-home rivalry series. This is always an interesting meet because Drury inevitably unveils a midseason acquisition or two that could swing the national meet. Another interesting D1 vs D2 meet is Air Force hosting BYU and Colorado Mesa. Air Force is a bit down this year so we could have an upset brewing. Wayne State vs Calvin pits two strong sprint schools together. Nova Southeastern vs Keiser pits deep NSU squads against the current dominant force in NAIA swimming.
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