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Joel Thompson of UK boarding school Ellesmere College has chosen to continue his education and swimming career at Louisiana State University this fall.
- 100 SCM free – 49.69 (44.76 SCY conv.)
- 200 SCM free – 1:47.27 (1:36.63 SCY conv.)
- 400 SCM free – 3:52.48 (4:25.69 SCY conv.)
- 400 SCM IM – 4:13.93 (3:48.76 SCY conv.)
- 100 LCM breast – 1:04.24 (56.07 SCY conv.)
- 200 LCM IM – 2:04.29 (1:49.54 SCY conv.)
Thompson is a versatile talent, with solid mid-distance freestyle speed and great IM times. He competed at the 2019 European Junior Championships for Great Britain in both IM races, making it to the semifinals of the 200 IM. He wound up 15th in that event and 17th in the 400 IM.
LSU is hot right now after developing Brooks Curry into an SEC Champion after just one season in Baton Rouge. He came into the program with freestyle bests of 20.65/44.53/1:38.88, and at SECs as a freshman a few months ago, he blasted times of 19.30 in the 50, 41.81 in the 100, and 1:32.43 in the 200. He won the 100 free SEC crown and took a narrow runner-up finish in the 200 free.
Thompson fits into a mid-distance free/IM mold, and past Curry, LSU didn’t have a ton of depth there last year. Only one other swimmer was under 1:38 in the 200 free, for example, in Karl Luht at 1:34.98. The Tigers also had zero 400 IM scorers at SECs and tallied just a single point in the 200 IM.
Thompson’s 400 IM converted time would’ve been good for a 20th place finish at the 2020 SEC Champs.
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