2020 AAC Championships: Houston Women, ECU Men Break Relay Records on Night 1


The defending champion Houston women opened the 2020 AAC Championships with a new Meet Record in the 800 free relay, winning the event in 7:06.29. Mykenzie Leehy led them off in 1:44.90, clearing the 2019 NCAA invite time and breaking 1:45 for the first time. Zarena Brown also put up a sub-1:45 as she anchored in 1:44.98.

Freshman Adela Vavrinova led off in a lifetime best 1:47.14 to help ECU (7:13.52) to silver. Tulane (7:14.30) also had a freshman lead off in a best time as they took bronze. Elizabeth Byrne put up a 1:47.51 on the leadoff.

Houston swept the relays, missing the 200 medley relay record by less than 3 tenths. Laura Laderoute gave them the early lead with a 24.62 back split. Peyton Kondis came through with a 26.96 breast split, while Katie Higgins clocked a 23.95 on the fly. Leehy anchored them to a 1:37.60 win with her 22.07 free split.

SMU was 2nd there in 1:38.34, highlighted by Erin Trahan‘s 22.76 on the fly leg. Cincinnati (1:39.85) took 3rd as Anhelina Kutsko posted a 23.51 fly split to distance them from UConn (1:40.72). Tulane was 5th in 1:41.72 with a 27.28 breast split from Katherine McDonald.


  1. Houston, University of            135   2. Southern Methodist University     118
  3. Cincinnati, University of          80   4. Connecticut, University of         75
  5. East Carolina University           67   6. Tulane University                  60

The ECU men took down the Meet Record in the 200 medley relay as they won in 1:25.91. They battled closely with UConn and SMU on the front half, but Gustavo Santos‘ 20.35 fly split distanced them from the field. Freshman Pedro Gueiros anchored in 19.72 to secure the win.

Cincinnati freshman Michael Balcerak popped a 20.79 on the fly as the Bearcats took 3rd in 1:27.20. That closed the gap on UConn, but the Huskies’ Kyle Dunlap closed in 19.77 to stay ahead of the Bearcats. UConn earned silver in 1:26.65. SMU was ultimately disqualified.

Cincinnati (6:25.94) and SMU (6:26.98) battled in the 800 free relay, with the Bearcats taking the win. Cincinnati’s Din Selmanovic was just a few tenths shy of a best as he led off in 1:36.25. SMU’s Daniel Forndal then brought the Mustangs into the lead with a 1:35.03 on the 2nd leg. The lead changed hands on the 3rd leg when Cincinnati freshman Balcerak put up a 1:35.26. Alex Fortman anchored for the Bearcats to seal the victory in 1:36.26.

East Carolina’s Blaz Demsar had the fastest split of the field. He anchored in 1:34.73. ECU wound up taking 3rd with a 6:27.14.


  1. East Carolina University          119   2. Cincinnati, University of         102
  3. Connecticut, University of         88   4. Southern Methodist University      85

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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