2019 Minnesota Invitational: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


  • Wed. Dec. 4 – Sun. Dec. 8, 2019
  • Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center / University of Minnesota / Minneapolis, MN
  • Wed. Timed finals 6 PM
  • Thu.-Sat. Prelims 10 AM / Finals 6 PM / Diving 12 Noon
  • Short course yards (SCY) format Wed.-Sat. (LCM format Sunday)
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Stream (days 2-4)
  • Live results
    • Also on Meet Mobile. Search “Minnesota Invite 2019”

This morning’s prelims session was highlighted by a huge 21.16 50 free performance by Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil, a nation-leading time of 4:12.17 in the 500 free by Arizona’s Brooks Fail, and an exciting battle in the women’s 500 free led by Texas’s Evie Pfeifer and Michigan first-year Kaitlynn Sims, who were 4:40.00 and 4:40.07 this morning, respectively.

The 400 medley relays, women’s 1-meter, and men’s 3-meter will also be contested in tonight’s finals session.


  1. Sierra Schmidt (Michigan) – 4:38.36
  2. Evie Pfeifer (Texas) – 4:38.44
  3. Kaitlyn Sims (Michigan) – 4:38.73

This race was a stroke-for-stroke battle between Michigan freshman Kaitlynn Sims and Texas junior Evie Pfeifer until the final six lengths, as Michigan’s Sierra Schmidt pulled about even with them.

Schmidt and Pfeifer charged ahead over the final length, and Schmidt overtake the Longhorn to skirt forth with the win at 4:38.36. Pfeifer (4:38.44) and Sims (4:38.73) were close behind. That puts Schmidt and Pfeifer at eighth and ninth in the country this year, while Sims will sit at 11th for now.

Cal’s Robin Neumann touched fourth in 4:41.87, and Arizona’s Ayumi Macias grabbed fifth in 4:42.46.

In the B-final, the field tightened up in the last 100 yards, but early leader Rachel Klinker, a Cal freshman, won it in a lifetime best 4:43.29. Second went to Texas freshman Miranda Heckman at 4:43.59, while Harvard’s Miki Dahlke snapped up third in 4:44.12.


  1. Drew Kibler (Texas) – 4:11.19
  2. Brooks Fail (Arizona) – 4:11.79
  3. Patrick Callan (Michigan) – 4:12.29

This race was all Drew Kibler. Until the final 50, that is, as Arizona’s Brooks Fail fought to get up to his hip. Fail wouldn’t be able to surpass the Longhorn, though, and Kibler prevailed with a burst of speed at the end to touch in 4:11.19, claiming the new nation-leading time.

Fail touched second in 4:11.79, still good for the #2 time this season and improving upon his morning swim. Michigan’s Patrick Callan swam to a third-place finish, clocking a 4:12.29, good for the #4 time in the nation, and Texas’s Alex Zettle posted a 4:13.14 for fourth tonight. Wolverine Felix Auboeck also went under 4:15 to get into the nation’s top ten this year, going 4:14.00.

Out of the B-final, backstroke specialist Austin Katz of Texas led this one the whole way through, not giving up against distance swimmers in tow. He posted a 4:15.13, taking almost a full second off of his old best from 2019 NCAAs, to take the B-final win. He edged out Michigan’s Will Roberts (4:16.50) and Cal’s Sean Grieshop (4:16.91). Katz is now tenth in the nation this season.


  1. Alicia Wilson/Izzy Ivey (Cal) – 1:54.68 *TIE*
  2. Sarah Darcel (Cal) – 1:56.75

Cal’s Izzy Ivey utilized her fantastic fly/back speed to move out to a lead at the halfway point of this race. But her teammate Alicia Wilson, who led prelims this morning, closed that gap over the breaststroke leg. Fighting for the finish, Ivey and Wilson wound up tying at the wall, both going 1:54.68.

Ivey was within a second of her best, while Wilson smashed her own best by over a full second. Both women now hold the #5 time in the country this season. This was a big race for Cal, as Sarah Darcel was able to snag third in 1:56.75.

In the B-final, Cal freshman Ayla Spitz took the win at 1:58.71.


  1. Matthew Willenbring (Texas) – 1:41.83
  2. Ryan Harty (Texas) – 1:41.86
  3. Braden Vines (Texas) – 1:42.71

The Texas men absolutely dominated this one, with Matthew Willenbring having the swim of his life to win it in 1:41.83. Shaine Casas leads the country with his huge 1:40.16, but Willenbring now holds the #2 spot, and #3 is now his teammate Ryan Harty. Harty also broke 1:42, clocking a 1:41.86, nearly giving us another tie.

The Longhorns went 1-2-3-4, as Braden Vines coasted to third in 1:42.71 and Jake Foster clocked a 1:43.16 to snag fourth. It was a big set of improvements: Willenbring took over a second off of his best, Harty took 1.01 seconds off of his 2016 best, and Vines went under 1:44 for the first time in his career.


  1. Abbey Weitzeil (Cal) – 20.90
  2. Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 21.60
  3. Daria Pyshnenko (Michigan) – 22.19

In the swim of the meet so far, Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil became the first woman to break the 21.0 barrier in history in the 50 free. She churned out a 20.90, flipping at a 10-low at the 25 mark, and came back like a freight train to tear up her own American, NCAA, and U.S. Open records which sat collectively at 21.02.

Quietly, behind Weitzeil’s magical and historical moment, Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil turned in a solid 21.60 to take second. She jumps up to #6 in the nation this year. Her teammate Daria Pyshnenko got to the wall third in 22.19, and yet another Wolverine, Miranda Tucker, rocked a 22.26 lifetime best to take fourth.


  1. Ryan Hoffer (Cal) – 18.98
  2. Maxime Rooney (Texas) – 19.24
  3. Pawel Sendyk (Cal) – 19.33

The big swims continued in the men’s 50 free, as Cal’s Ryan Hoffer shot out to the win in 18.98. He’s the first man under 19 seconds this season, and he checks in four-tenths off of his lifetime best of 18.58.

Improving upon his morning personal best of 19.38, Maxime Rooney took his PR to new heights with a 19.24 to edge Cal’s Pawel Sendyk (19.33). Rooney is now sixth in the nation this season.

Michigan’s Gus Borges posted a 19.40 to take fourth, and Texas’s Alvin Jiang, a transfer from UNC, was just under his morning personal best with a 19.46 for fifth.


  1. Cal – 3:28.58
  2. Michigan – 3:29.92
  3. Texas – 3:32.63

While Michigan had a fantastic front-half, led by Maggie MacNeil (50.81) and Miranda Tucker (58.37), Cal reeled the Wolverines back in thanks to a 51.13 fly leg from Izzy Ivey to pull in Wolverine Vanessa Krause (52.57). Abbey Weitzeil dove in with a small gap to close, and she wound up splitting 46.06 to blow past Daria Pyshnenko (48.17).

Cal was led off by Keaton Blovad (52.22) and they had a 59.17 breast leg from Ema Rajic.

The Longhorns finished in third at 3:32.63, keying on a 51.47 back lead-off from Claire Adams. Their other notable split was a 47.95 anchor from Julia Cook, while they used Evie Pfeifer, a distance/IM specialist, again on the breast leg after having her do so on last night’s 200 medley relay. She split 1:01.07.

Minnesota was 3:33.38 for fourth, buoyed by Lindsey Kozelsky‘s 58.42 breast leg, while Arizona touched in fifth at 3:34.40, getting a 52.35 lead-off from Aria Bernal.


  1. Texas A – 3:01.51
  2. Texas B – 3:03.55
  3. Cal A – 3:03.89

In the penultimate heat, Texas’s B relay rocked a 3:03.55, which for a moment held the nation’s top time and the only sub-3:06 performance of the year so far. Chris Staka busted out a 45.35 lead-off followed by a 51.72 from Charlie Scheinfeld, a lights-out 43.82 fly split from Alvin Jiang, and a 52.66 anchor from Luke Bowman. For Jiang, who has never been under 46.0 in his entire career, this is a clear sign of big things to come. He was 53.38 in long course over the summer, a lifetime best, but it looks like he is already responding very well to his new training group at Texas.

But in the final heat, Texas’s A relay surpassed that with a 3:01.51, with Ryan Harty (45.28) and Caspar Corbeau (51.08) getting things started. Maxime Rooney was a tick behind Jiang (44.38), while Daniel Krueger ripped a 40.77 anchor. Texas’s A and B relays own the top times in the country right now.

Cal’s A relay finished just behind Texas’s B. Daniel Carr was 45.83, then Reece Whitley dropped the field’s best breast split (50.72). Ryan Hoffer split 45.06 on the fly leg, and Pawel Sendyk brought it home in 42.28.

Arizona (3:07.21) and Michigan (3:07.61) were fourth and fifth, respectively, with the Wildcats getting a 46.03 lead-off from Thomas Anderson. Michigan had Tommy Cope splitting 51.97 on breast and Miles Smachlo 45.38 on the fly leg.

Texas’s C relay (3:08.06) had a 45.84 back leg from Jason Park and a 45.82 fly leg from Jacob Huerta, while Minnesota (3:10.31) got a 50.75 from Max McHugh.


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2 Cents
2 years ago

Hahaha, that picture looks pretty funny where the cap just has the big A and then “Fail” under it. I hope and would assume that Arizona never uses a picture of him in that cap in their promo material. He swam very well, but even if he was on the same level as Phelps and Dressel with the same name recognition, I dont think a picture like that would ever not look bad or funny. If his middle name starts with F, he should put BFF on his caps.

2 years ago

Did Texas A tie the American Record? Or no because Corbeau has dual citizenship but competes for the Netherlands?

(G)olden Bear
Reply to  JeahBrah
2 years ago


Horns up
Reply to  JeahBrah
2 years ago

Yes. Texas ties the American Record.

2 years ago

Cal stocks slipping

2 years ago

I don’t know if Texas (or any program) has fully qualified AND had every swimmer/diver score, but Texas looks like it could.

Reply to  wethorn
2 years ago

I would think that the problem wouldn’t be “ability of all qualifiers to go scoring worthy times” so much as it is “to have that many swimmers hit their taper well enough to peak at NCAAs in the same year.”

Someone’s bound to get sick or have a bad weekend.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Don’t disagree, which is why I don’t think it’s happened before. But if they qualify something like 20-22 guys, the seeds and odds of the guys who go are much better.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

I’m told by someone pretty informed that the 2003 Auburn team had every swimmer score.

Reply to  wethorn
2 years ago

Was trying to see if I could validate that, but we only have the finals results from 2003 in our archives: https://cdn.swimswam.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2003-Division-I-NCAA-Championships-Men-results1.pdf

Haven’t counted to see if it was a max roster yet.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Update: confirmed, they took 19 athletes (2 divers) and all scored. Good find! They also scored in all 21 events.


Man was that a dominant team. I don’t know if we’ll ever see a team dominate like that again. The sport has gotten so much deeper…

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Thanks for confirming.

Right Dude Here
2 years ago

Texas fastest composite time 3:00.95.

2 years ago

Where is Zheng Quah and Hugo Gonzalez for Cal?

Reply to  Ervin
2 years ago

Quah is at the SEA Games. Not sure about Gonzalez.

Reply to  Ervin
2 years ago

what about Vargas from Michigan. Absent in the distance.

The Man Himself
2 years ago

Texas is so so deep. If there was no limit on swimmers/relays they would easily win year in and year out. I mean, even with roster caps they’ve won 4 out of the last 5 championships, so it’s scary to imagine how dominant they could be.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  The Man Himself
2 years ago

Yep, it’s obscene that they have people splitting 45 fly and back on their C relay

Reply to  The Man Himself
2 years ago

Most years probably about the same. Even their most dominant years it’s not like all 20 guys they bring are A finalists. The end of the roster is always going to be guys that bring a handful of points at most, even for Texas. That said, this year might be the exception.

WV Swammer
2 years ago

Texas you’re actually scaring me rn chill!!

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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