1 Year After Canceling Varsity Swim, Michigan State Wins College Club Nationals

2022 College Club Swimming National Championships

Last weekend, hundreds of college-aged swimmers competed at the College Club Swimming National Championships at the McAuley Aquatic Center at Georgia Tech. College Club Swimming is an organization that works in coordination with U.S. Master Swimming to provide training and competitive opportunities to American-based college students that want to continue swimming but are not members of their college or university varsity team. The 2022 CCS National Championships, though not recognized or funded by the NCAA, nonetheless featured a cohort of former NCAA-worthy athletes from Michigan State University.

Michigan State University was the team champion overall with a combined men’s and women’s score of 1070 points, beating the University of Virginia by a mere 5 points. MSU’s victory is noteworthy given that the Spartan varsity team was cancelled following the 2020-2021 season. Overall, MSU had 7 individual event winners who captured a total of 16 individual event titles. MSU also won 4 relay titles, including the inaugural mixed 200 freestyle relay. Each of Michigan State’s 6 individual champions are former members of the now defunct varsity swim team.

Sydney Kelly, Kasey Venn, Travis Nitkiewicz, and Stephen Freitag were MSU’s biggest winners, each coming away with multiple gold-medal performances. Kelly dominated the 400 IM with a 4:33.17, winning by 10 seconds, and also picked up a victory in the 200 fly (2:06.45), and the 200 freestyle (1:52.93).

Venn won the women’s 100 and 200 breaststrokes, posting times of 1:03.45 and 2:17.17, as well as the 50 butterfly in a 25.45. Despite winning the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, Venn did not race the 50 breast, leaving it to teammate Anne-Kathrin Bucher, who won in 29.20.

Venn also won the 100 IM in 58.07.

Venn is Michigan State’s varsity record holder in the 100 fly (54.82), but didn’t swim that event at this meet.

The Spartan women picked up two more individual victories with Sophia Balow in the 1000 freestyle (10:50.96) and Sheridan Phalen in the 50 free (23.85). The women from MSU also picked up a victory in the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:36.52.

On the men’s side, Nitkiewicz swept the 50 (25.03), 100 (54.49), and 200 (2:00.27) breaststrokes, and won the 200 IM (1:50.80). Freitag won both the 100 butterfly (48.82) and the 100 IM (50.41). The Spartan men also won the 200 medley relay (1:31.79) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:22.14). MSU finished off the meet with a victory in the 200 mixed freestyle relay with a 1:29.59.

Michigan State’s club swimmers have not lost hope of representing their school in varsity competition. Nitkiewicz, speaking to The Detroit News, said “I hope that this would send a message to the university that we are obviously still here, and we are still in competition form,” and “[w]e are ready to resume at the varsity level as soon as they are.”

The University of Virginia club team also put on a strong showing in Atlanta, similar to the Cavalier varsity teams weeks prior. Individual event winners from UVA include Emma Treadwell in the 100 fly (57.44), Emmett Hannam in the 400 IM (4:00.74) and 200 free (1:40.66).

With the exception of Michigan State, the makeup of the top-8 teams is similar to what you’d expect to see among the top-8 finishers at the NCAA Championships, with usual suspects Virginia, Florida, and Georgia also making a big splash in Atlanta.

Top-8 Team Scores – Combined

  1. Michigan State Swim Club – 1070
  2. Club Swim at the University of Virginia – 1065
  3. Florida Club Swim & Dive – 765.5
  4. Club Swimming at Ohio State – 736.5
  5. Club Swimming at UGA (Georgia) – 703.5
  6. Georgia Tech Swim Club – 699
  7. Purdue Swim Club – 671
  8. Notre Dame Swim Club – 628.5

Top-8 Women’s Team Scores

  1. Club Swim at the University of Virginia – 696
  2. Michigan State Club Swim – 555
  3. Club Swimming at Ohio State – 459
  4. Florida Club Swim & Dive – 451
  5. Notre Dame Swim Club – 371.5
  6. Swim Club UW-Madison (Wisconsin) – 342
  7. Georgia Tech Swim Club – 327
  8. Cal Poly Swim Club – 313

Top-8 Men’s Team Scores

  1. Purdue Swim Club – 574
  2. Club Swimming at UGA (Georgia) – 512.5
  3. Michigan State Swim Club – 465
  4. Florida State Swim Club – 394
  5. Liberty University Men’s Swimming – 374
  6. Georgia Tech Swim Club – 354
  7. Club Swimming at the University of Virginia – 333
  8. Swim Club at Berkeley (Cal) – 277

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HOO love
9 months ago

UVA women >>>

9 months ago

Do the club teams have coaches or the swimmers do their own thing for workouts?

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
9 months ago

It depends on the school. Some teams have a head coach and some have assistant coaches as well. While other might be coached by a swimmer on the team. It really depends on how much funding the school is willing to give to the club and the size of the team.

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
9 months ago

We have team members that are appointed to be coaches… it’s all run by students/teammates

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
9 months ago

They have coaches, just like masters swimming has coaches

9 months ago

Purdue Men’s Team was slept on, deepest team ever assembled

Informed Person
Reply to  Purdue
9 months ago

Very Zach Crowe thing to say

9 months ago

Watch for next year…

Last edited 9 months ago by Purdue
9 months ago

Berkeley 8th with 8 men’s swimmers lmao

Reply to  Scabby
9 months ago

They put 3 men up in the 200 IM final, their team must have had the highest average points per swimmer

Reply to  PVSFree
9 months ago

only 5 of 8 scored lmao

Reply to  Scabby
9 months ago

Msu had 4 boys score points and got 3rd

9 months ago

The real story here is Lube Lubester

9 months ago

Also won men’s club nationals for water polo back November

Reply to  Daddy
9 months ago

NGAF But yea Zaddy!!!

Reply to  612
9 months ago

Bro I go to school in Boston just wanted to show the boys some love come on now

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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