The weekend before Christmas, while most teams buckled-down into heavy training or took in some casual dual meets on southern training trips, Division II program Incarnate Word hosted a sneaky post-finals Invitational in San Antonio, Texas. They set two records by way of Brazil, with a pair of swimmers from Rio de Janiero clearing old standards for the Division II level.
With the NCAA for the first time this year officially recognizing in-season swims as NCAA Records, these two will be officially etched in the record books pending the approval of their paperwork by the NCAA (which has not been submitted yet).
Editor’s note: though the rest of us have always viewed them as such – believe it or not, until this year, only swims at the NCAA Championship meets were counted. The NCAA committee did go back ex-post-facto, though, so any in-season swims in past years also count).
The first record went to senior Tamiris Nascimento in the women’s 100 free. She swam a 49.82 in prelims (not quite a record yet) and then scratched finals to focus on the 400 free relay. In that relay, she led off in a 49.24, which took down Loni Burton’s 2005 swim of 49.33, swum for Cal State Bakersfield.
Nascimento just missed a second record with a 22.67 in the 50 free, set by now-graduated Melissa Gates last season at 22.56.
This is a big recovery from somewhat of a down year in 2012 where she peaked at a 23.0 in the 50 free and a 49.7 in the 100 free, though with NCAA’s coming so shortly before Brazil’s Olympic qualifier meet, it’s probable that her full taper wasn’t for nationals. She had been a 49.37 in the 100 free two years ago as a sophomore.
The other record went to another senior, Thiago Parravicini, who swam a 1:54.67 in the 200 breaststroke. Parravicini is motivated this year; in the 2011-2012 season, he set the NCAA Record in this event twice, only to have the record and NCAA title grabbed by Grand Canyon’s Eetu Karvonen. Karvonen won the title even though Parravicini was another best-time in that NCAA final.
Now both swimmers are seniors, and Parravicini has thrown down an early warning signal by smashing this record by a second-and-a-half: Karvonen’s winning time from last season was 1:56.11. Karvonen’s best this season is just a 1:58.0, though Parravicini is typically a bit faster in-season. That’s still going to be a huge gap to make up.
He was also a 53.04 in the 100 breaststroke.
A pair of Division I teams, the North Texas women and the TCU men, won the meet.
Among other standout swims were a 1:43.25 in the 200 backstroke from Horned Frog sophomore Cooper Robinson, which ranks him 14th in the nation this year and breaks his own school record. That will likely qualify Robinson for the NCAA Championships after TCU didn’t qualify a guy for the meet last year. They’re making a strong showing in their first season in the Big 12, as Robinson is now the conference’s leader in the race.
The TCU women also broke a pair of school records; Gabi Korac took half-a-second off of her own mark with a 2:13.37 in the 200 breaststroke, and en route to a 16:40 in the mile, Sara Brzozowski swam a 9:57.98 to take down that record.
North Texas, a program that has progressed leaps-and-bounds under the guidance of Joe Dykstra, is hitting a peak now with his first recruiting class in their senior years. The program broke multiple school records, including a 2:13.56 from Krista Rossum in the 200 breaststroke and a 3:23.04 in the 400 free relay. Altogether, the Mean Green broke 7 school records, and that for a team that in the 2011-2012 season broke 18 school records. Dykstra’s name has to come up next summer for any big coaching vacancies, as he’s done a masterful job in Denton.