Karol Ostrowoski has decided to withdraw from the NCAA Transfer Portal, for now, and finish the 2021-2022 season as a member of the team at Drury, before looking for a new program this summer.
“I want to help the team win a championship,” Ostrowski told SwimSwam on Wedneady.
One of the fastest swimmers to ever swim at the NCAA Division II level, and one of the fastest swimmers at any level to enter the NCAA Transfer portal, Ostrowski is the defending NCAA Champion in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles, and also placed 9th in the 100 back. He is the first man to go under 19 seconds in the 50 yard free from outside of Division I of the NCAA.
He then represented his native Poland at the Olympic Games, splitting a long course 48.67 on a men’s 400 free relay leadoff leg in prelims.
While the 22-year old hasn’t yet raced in formal competition since the Olympics, when SwimSwam arrived in Springfield in November to film a Practice & Pancakes, Ostrowski was still training with the team.
The Drury men finished 2nd at last year’s NCAA Division II National Championship meet, just 30 points behind the Queens men, who have now won 6 straight Division II titles.
Even without Ostrowski, Drury currently projects to finish 3rd in swimming points behind Queens and UIndy based on Swimulator scoring of season-best times to date.
If we factor in Cole Earl, one of the best divers In Division II, plus Ostrowski’s points, that significantly closes the 182-point gap to Queens. Cole is worth at least 30 points to the Panthers, while Ostrowski should conservatively score 50 individual points, though Drury’s relays are very highly-ranked even without him, so there’s not as much room to pick up there.
The team directly ahead of them, UIndy, is a wildcard right now after their head coach Jason Hite was fired in December.
Ostrowski, who originally committed to Florida State before winding up at Drury, says that joining a Division I program is still his goal.
“I really like Drury and (Drury assistant) coach Zach (Mertens) is a great guy. But my goal is to compete with the best in Division I,” Ostrowski said. He says that helping Drury win a national championship will be his ‘thank you gift’ to his Drury coaches for helping him get to the Olympics.
He also says that he still isn’t sure where he’s going to wind up, but will evaluate his options in the summer.
With best times of 18.92 in the 50 free and 41.15 in the 100 free, plus a 46.55 in the 100 back as a kicker, Ostrowski will have the attention of every college coach in the country.