Sprinter Jack Armstrong will continue his collegiate career next season at Division II Henderson State University with two years of eligibility remaining.
Armstrong, one of the top mid-major swimmers in the country last year for Grand Canyon, has swum at two different colleges in his first two years of varsity swimming. In the 2019-2020 season, he swam at Auburn. He then sat out the 2020-2021 season before transferring to Grand Canyon for his sophomore year in 2021-2022.
In his sophomore year at Grand Canyon, he swam 19.30 in the 50 yard freestyle at the team’s mid-season invite, which took .25 seconds off the old school record in that event (which stood for almost nine years). His 42.77 in the 100 free from that same meet ranks him 2nd in program history, and his 47.23 in the 100 fly ranks him 4th.
At the 2022 WAC Championships, he placed 4th in the 50 free (19.61), 2nd in the 100 free (43.01), and was 4th in the 100 fly (47.41), the only event where he swam a best time at that meet.
In total, he scored 47 out of the 402.33 individual points scored by Grand Canyon at the meet, making him the team’s highest scorer.
He wound up as the 8th alternate for the NCAA Championship meet, though only three swimmers from that list were ultimately called-up to compete. He wound up ranked 39th in the NCAA in the 50 free, missing an NCAA invite by just .02 seconds.
Armstrong says that because this is his second transfer, the path forward was cleaner at the Division II level. He will be finishing his undergraduate degree this summer at Grand Canyon and will start his MBA in data science in the fall at Henderson State. He likely would have been able to swim again immediately at the Division I level if he had chosen a graduate degree that Grand Canyon didn’t offer, but between timing and course offerings, he decided that Henderson State was his best option.
Armstrong provides an immediate shakeup to NCAA Division II swimming. His best time in the 50 free would have been 3rd at last year’s NCAA Championship meet, and his best time in the 100 free would have placed him 2nd. Along with his 100 fly, he projects to be an immediate three-event NCAA scorer for Henderson State.
The Reddies placed 21st at last year’s NCAA Championship meet under firs year head coach Scotty Serio. Along with his relay impact, Armstrong could be enough to launch Henderson State into the top 15 next season with most of their core swimmers returning.
Armstrong swam at last summer’s US Olympic Trials. At the slower Wave I meet, he won the 50 free in 22.55, which earned him a spot in the Wave II meet. There, he finished 25th in the 50 free and 44th in the 100 free.