College Swimming Roundup: Conference Season Part 2

swimnerd logo


🏊‍♀️ SWIMS OF THE WEEK 🏊🏽‍♂️

Let’s get some more Power Five action here!

Big Ten Men’s Champs

Indiana took a good-sized 300 point win over Ohio State in Columbus. If it was at all in question, the Hoosiers slammed the door with a huge 1-2-3-4 finish in the 200 breast, featuring Jassen Yep (1:50.40 PR), Josh Matheny (1:51.50), Toby Barnett (1:51.95 PR), and Max Reich (1:52.07). They also got titles from Tomer Frankel (44.32 100 fly) and Brendan Burns (44.62/1:39.50 backs), as well as 4 of the 5 relays, culminating with a Raphael Miroslaw (41.56)/Mikkel Lee (41.76) 400 free relay back half to run down a strong Michigan relay, 2:48.19-2:48.45.

Speaking of the Wolverines, Gal Cohen Groumi was named Swimmer of the Meet in winning the 200 IM (1:40.48 PR) and 200 fly (1:39.60 PR), the latter spoiling Hoosier Burns’s attempt at his third consecutive 2back/2fly double champs.

Groumi also PRs his 100/200 frees on relay leadoffs (42.52/1:32.07) and took 2nd in the 100 fly (44.60). Michigan also featured the Freshman of the Meet in Colin Geer who swam the same lineup as Groumi (46.02/1:41.32 flys, 1:42.82 IM, all PRs). Their fly group overall is pretty nasty, with breakout sophomore Tyler Ray (44.77/1:40.80) also scoring big points. Ray’s dropped 5.5 second in that 2fly this year, while Geer has taken his down by 3.5 seconds.

Even missing a couple pieces and with 2-time defending 500 champ Jake Newmark not swimming his typical lineup, Wisconsin had their best Big Ten meet in awhile. Yigit Aslan used a quick stroke rate and a 48.61 final 100 to give the Badgers 3 consecutive titles in the event with a 4:11.20. The same day, Tai Torepe-Ormsby parlayed a fantastic turn and breakout into an 18.76 50 free win. He’s dropped .9 in this event this year. Dominik Mark-Torok defended his 400 IM title with a 3:41.69, and the Badgers won their first relay title in a long, long while with a 1:15.35 200 free relay (Torepe-Ormsby 18.90/Benson 18.49/Wiegand 18.87/Morris 19.09) that came within a tenth of the meet/conference record.

Pac-12 Women’s Champs

Dave Durden’s Cal Bears took the final Pac-12 women’s championship in a battle with USC and Stanford. Isabelle Stadden as usual paved the way for the Golden Bears, sweeping the backstrokes in 50.39/1:50.16 with strong relay legs, but she’s clearly saving some up for NCAAs. Cal also got wins in the butterflys as Mia Kragh took the 100 in a 50.89 PR while Rachel Klinker followed up on her breakthrough Worlds performance with a huge 1:51.74 PR in the 200 - her first improvement since 2022 NCAAs. She took a close win over Lindsay Looney, who’s 1:52.14 was a PR of her own and who also won the 500 free in a 3-second PR 4:35.05.

Stanford’s new IM Queen, freshman Caroline Bricker, was named Swimmer of the Meet after doubling up on the IMs 1:53.31/4:02.31 and taking 2nd in the 2breast in 2:07.20.

Just for kicks, she added a 1:52.07 200 fly time trial. Interesting last day event decision for her coming up. Also notable for the Cardinal, Aurora Roghair continued her season of big improvements with a #2 ranked 15:46.35 mile PR.

USC’s Minna Abraham was the highlight for the runner-up Trojans, winning the 100/200 free (47.69/1:42.42) and taking 5th in the 200 IM (1:55.82 with a 26.44 free split) and providing ace relay splits throughout ( 21.50/46.82/1:42.45). The Hungarian freshman is still only 17 years old.

Big 12 Champs

A few new faces at this meet - Houston, Cincinnati, BYU - but the same general result as Texas took home another double title. As has been the case the past couple years, the Longhorn women were powered by their flyers and breaststrokers - Lydia Jacoby swept in 57.27/2:05.58 over teammate Anna Elendt as the former ramps up after taking the first semester off competition, while Kelly Pash and Emma Sticklen had a fantastic 200 fly race, staying within a couple tenths after the first 50 and finishing 1:51.66-1:51.68 respectively, while Sticklen also took the 100 fly (50.61) and Pash the 200 IM (1:53.80) and 200 free (1:42.97).

Joleigh Crye had the best non-Texas swim of the meet, as the Bearcat hit a .8 second PR 58.24 100 breast that’s ranked #9 nationally. That was her first couple times sub-59, and some big improvements for the sophomore who was 1:01 out of high school. Henrietta Fangli’s 59.29 in the same event and WVU Mountaineer Mia Cheatwood’s 2:09.19 200 breast put them in good position to qualify for NCAAs as well.

The story of the men’s side was the Texas freshmen. The Longhorns probably don’t have the firepower this year to contend for an NCAA podium spot, but they showcased that they do have a strong potential core for the next few years. They opened up the meet with a 1:22.46 all-freshman 200 medley relay featuring Will Modglin (20.49), Will Scholtz (23.17), Nate Germonprez (19.82), and Camden Taylor (18.98). Modglin and Germonprez would go 1-2 and for PRs in the 200 IM (1:41.01-1:41.29), and while Taylor probably won’t make NCAAs individually, his 19.58/42.53/1:33.90 frees were big PRs and he showed strong relay chops with a 41.69 400 free relay anchor.

Meanwhile, BYU had a big weekend. Jordan Tiffany, already a revelation after transferring from Tennessee and taking a year off NCAA competition, set new PRs with 42.25 100 free, 44.51 100 fly, and 1:41.88 200 IM. He obviously has A finalist potential in the latter two, plus the 100 back. Brad Prolo also booked a sure spot for NCAAs with a 1:41.15 200 fly win - this is a guy who’s consistently dropped a second per season in that event since coming back from his Mormon mission in Ukraine.

Another guy who’s made huge strides over his college career is Cincinnati’s Hunter Gubeno. A 1:47 2back out of high school, he’s steadly dropped chunks of time and popped his first sub-1:41 and sub-1:40 last week, staying close to Modglin for a 1:39.95 NCAA lock.

More Mid-Major Action

Another batch of D1 mid-major meets this week as titles are crowned and NCAA berths are booked:

  • Miami-Ohio Redhawk Nicole Maier had another banner meet at MAC women's champs as perhaps the best mid-major swimmer in the NCAA. In individual events, she went 47.77 100 free (PR), 4:40.30 500 free, and 4:09.38 400 IM. In relays, she added a 1:43.90 200 free PR and 21.79/47.13 free splits. Akron took this meet though behind their fly/back trio of Abby Daniel (22.27 free 51.60/1:55.50 fly), Maddy Gatrall (23.09 free, 52.10/1:55.29 back), and Weronika Gorecka (1:46.22 free, 52.90/1:53.53 back).

  • As in the past couple years, the story at the CAA was Towson’s Brian Benzing. This year he outdid himself again, blazing 51.30 breast and 1:43.13 IM (PR) wins and a PR 46.10 3rd place 100 fly.

  • Benzing’s 22.55 50 breast relay split again stands as one of the fastest in history. Kuba Kwasny took the win in that 100 fly (45.61) and also doubled up in the 200 (1:43.77), while UNCW got the meet win on the strength of breakout freshman Will Carrico (4:21.66 500 free and 3:46.64 400 IM wins).

  • Cameron Snowden powered the UNCW women to a win with 22.53/49.69 sprint free runner-up finishes and a 52.72 100 fly win, also providing a 49.66 free relay split and 23.45/52.59 fly relay splits.

  • Harvard won yet another Ivy League men’s championship. Ben Littlejohn was the catalyst here, with 43.11/1:33.24/4:15.20 frees and a 1:42.58 200 fly. Those latter two will be just on the wrong side of the NCAA bubble, but breaststrokers Matt Fallon (Penn) and Jack Kelly (Brown) are firmly on the qualifying side. Fallon made a triumphant return to championships season with a nation leading 1:49.75 200 breast, while Kelly’s 51.58/1:51.63 are PRs and potential NCAA scoring swims. Harvard’s Will Grant went a 1:42.83 200 IM that puts him smack dab on the bubble, sitting 27th with only Pac-12s and last chance meets left.

  • Northern Arizona women took a big win - their 11th straight - at WACs. Maddie Rey was part of three wins, taking the 500 free in a PR 4:46.60, a last 25 come from behind 200 fly in 1:58.80, and was the second fastest split (1:48.14) in NAU’s winning 800 free relay. Meanwhile, Cal Baptist’s Sofia Maksimova, a Rutgers transfer (how about that differential in weather!), sliced half a second off her 50 for a 21.79 that ranks #12 in the country.

  • UNLV won their fourth straight men’s WAC champs. George Raitu collected six golds (43.09 100 free, 46.21 100 fly, 4 relays), while Bryson Huey got five (the same 4 relays plus a 19.23 50 free PR).

  • Jack Januario led Georgetown to a Big East men’s championship with 3 PRs (4:22.43 500 free win, 3:48.48 400 IM win, 15:25.90 mile), while Audrey Pastorek (1:55.48 200 back and 1:59.20 200 IM PR/wins) was a highlight of the Villanova women’s win.

🏊🏽‍♂️ Weekend Preview 🏊🏼

Not much left! Pac-12 and MAC men finish up conference season. NAIA and NJCAA National Champions are decided.