2021 Minnesota Invite: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 58

December 02nd, 2021 College, News, Previews & Recaps


The Texas men have been dazzling through the first two sessions of the 2021 Minnesota Invite. Last night, the Longhorns put up a pair of fast relays in both the 200 medley relay and the 800 free relay. This morning, freshman Luke Hobson broke Michael Phelps’ National Age Group record in the 500 free, while Cameron Auchinachie became the first man to break 19 in the 50 free this season.

Those will swim out of lane 4 in tonight’s finals, but they’re certainly not the only swimmers worth keeping an eye on.

The first event of the night, the women’s 500 free, will feature top seed Evie Pfeifer, plus two other women, Michigan’s Kathryn Ackerman and Cal’s Ayla Spitz, who also went 4:41 in prelims. US Olympian and Pfeifer’s Longhorn teammate Erica Sullivan will also be in the A-final. Cal’s Izzy Ivey had this morning’s fastest time in the 200 IM, and she’ll compete agains an A-final that includes Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon, a US Olympian in the 200 backstroke. Meanwhile, the 50 free promises to be a barnburner after six women went between 22.05-22.27, including Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil, who will swim in lane 4.

On the men’s side, Hobson will be aiming to win tonight, but he could be pushed by any number of swimmers, including his teammates Coby Carrozza and Alex Zettle, Michigan’s Patrick Callan (another US Olympian), and Arizona’s Brooks Fail, among others. Carson Foster opted not to swim the 200 IM today, but his brother Jake Foster holds the top seed after going 1:42.56 this morning. Watch out for Cal’s Destin Lasco, however, who was less than a half second behind Foster this morning and finished 3rd in this event at NCAAs. The 50 free could be another wide-open event. While Auchinachie was the only man under 19 this morning, he’ll face a stacked field that includes the 2021 NCAA runner-up, Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger.

Tonight’s session will wrap up with timed finals of the 400 medley relays. The Longhorn men and women each won the 200 medley relays last night, and on paper, they look to be the favorites again tonight.

By the way, there will be five heats for each event tonight, so for those of you anxiously refreshing live results…it’s going to be a while.

Women’s 500 Freestyle

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:35.76
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline: 4:44.77
  • Pool Record: 4:32.53, Brittany Maclean (UGA), 2014
  1. Evie Pfeifer (Texas) – 4:40.39
  2. Ayla Spitz (Cal) – 4:41.36
  3. Mia Motekaitis (Cal) – 4:42.72

Mia Motekaitis was the early leader, as the Cal junior showed some outside smoke from lane 7. She eventually came back to the field, although she hung on to knock three seconds off of her prelims time and take 3rd in 4:41.72.

Texas’ Evie Pfeifer ultimately emerged as the leader, and she took about a second off of her prelims time to win tonight in 4:40.39. That time moves to #9 in the NCAA this season. Pfeifer was the runner-up at the 2021 NCAAs with a time of 4:35.02. Cal’s Ayla Spitz took 2nd in 4:41.36, not too far off of her NCAA time of 4:39.70, which put her 5th.

Kathryn Ackerman of Michigan (4:43.09) took 4th in what appears to be her 2nd-fastest time ever, followed by Cal’s Sarah DiMeco (4:43.56) and Texas’ Erica Sullivan (4:43.85). Sullivan owns a lifetime best of 4:34.07 from last May, so watch for her to be substantially faster as the season continues. All told, in between prelims and finals, ten women finished under last season’s NCAA invite time of 4:44.77.

Men’s 500 Freestyle

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:11.62
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline: 4:16.75
  • Pool Record: 4:08.60, Townley Haas (TEX), 2018
  1. Luke Hobson (Texas) – 4:09.72
  2. Brooks Fail (Arizona) – 4:10.32
  3. Patrick Callan (Michigan) – 4:12.60

Texas freshman Luke Hobson went out even faster than he did this morning, and he kept in control the whole way, ultimately winning with a 4:09.72. That time breaks his own 17-18 National Age Group record that he set this morning. In one day, Hobson lowered his lifetime best in this event from 4:16.56, which would not necessarily be guaranteed to earn a NCAA invite, to a time that would’ve placed him 4th at last season’s NCAA championships. Texas has now won every so far this meet.

Arizona’s Brooks Fail pushed Hobson a bit, ultimately touching 2nd in 4:10.32. Fail took 3rd at NCAAs last year with a 4:09.54 after going 4:09.41 in prelims. Tonight’s time appears to be the 3rd-fastest of his career.

Patrick Callan of Michigan took 3rd in 4:12.60. He was 4:12.29 at this meet in 2019 before hitting a lifetime best of 4:11.79 at the 2020 Big Ten Championships.

Hobson, Fail, and Callan now rank #1, #2, and #5, respectively, this season. Florida’s Kieran Smith (4:10.72) and Alfonso Mestre (4:11.36) sit at #3 and #4.

Hobson wasn’t the only freshman with big drops, as Cal’s Gabriel Jett clocked a 4:13.90 after lowing his lifetime best from 4:22 to 4:15 this morning.

The B-final proved to be a great race, but Michigan’s Jake Mitchell ultimately beat Wisconsin’s Yigit Aslan and a pair of Texas swimmers with his time of 4:14.58.

Women’s 200 IM

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:53.66
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline: 1:57.62
  • Pool Record: 1:52.50, Maya Dirado (STAN), 2014
  1. Izzy Ivey (Cal) – 1:53.90
  2. Kelly Pash (Texas) – 1:55.33
  3. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 1:55.98

Cal’s Izzy Ivey nearly hit a lifetime best, clocking a 1:53.90 that moves her to #3 in the nation this season. Her best of 1:53.87 came at the 2019 NCAA Championships, while tonight’s time would’ve finished 3rd at last season’s NCAAs.

Texas’ Kelly Pash took 2nd in 1:55.33, faster than the 1:55.55/1:55.72 she swam in prelims and finals at NCAAs, where she ultimately finished 7th.

Phoebe Bacon was also in the NCAA A-final in this event last season, finishing 4th in 1:54.55. Tonight she took 3rd in 1:55.98, just ahead of Michigan freshman Letitia Sim (1:55.99), who knocked over a second off her lifetime best.

Minnesota’s Megan Van Berkom (1:56.48), Cal’s Isabelle Stadden (1:57.32) and Cal’s Alicia Wilson (1:57.46) all finished under last year’s NCAA invite time.

Men’s 200 IM

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:41.34
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline: 1:44.15
  • Pool Record: 1:39.54, Jan Switkowski (FLOR), 2018
  1. Destin Lasco (Cal) – 1:41.53
  2. Caspar Corbeau (Texas) – 1:41.62
  3. Gal Cohen Groumi (Michigan) – 1:41.99

This was one of those fun races where all three of the top three men led at one point or another. Ultimately, Destin Lasco got his hand on the wall first thanks to a 23.80 free leg, touching just ahead of Texas’ Caspar Corbeau, 1:41.53 to 1:41.62. Michigan freshman Gal Cohen Groumi finished just behind at 1:41.99.

Lasco could be a contender for the NCAA title this year after he finished 3rd as a freshman last year with a 1:40.01. Corbeau made the B-final last year with a prelims time of 1:42.73, and knocked over a second off of that time, his previous lifetime best tonight, thanks in part to a blistering 28.6 breast split.

Texas’ Jake Foster, this morning’s top seed, couldn’t match his prelims time, finishing 4th in 1:42.98. Michigan’s Jared Daigle hung with the lead pack for most of the race, but faded with a 25.84 freestyle leg, touching in 1:43.83, still under last year’s NCAA invite.

Women’s 50 Free

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 21.66
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline: 22.32
  • Pool Record: 20.90, Abbey Weitzeil (CAL), 2019
  1. Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 21.50
  2. Lindsay Flynn (Michigan) – 22.21
  3. Elise Garcia (Cal) – 22.33

2021 NCAA runner-up Maggie MacNeil won this event going away tonight with a time of 21.50. That’s faster than her NCAA prelims time of 21.58, and not too far off of her her NCAA finals time (and personal best) of 21.17. It also moves her to #2 in the nation this season, behind NCAA champion Kate Douglass.

MacNeil’s teammate, freshman Lindsay Flynn, took 2nd in 22.21, which would’ve just barely qualified for the B-final at NCAAs. Cal’s Elise Garcia took 3rd in 22.33.

Men’s 50 Free

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 18.96
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline: 19.46
  • Pool Record: 17.63, Caeleb Dressel (FLOR), 2018
  1. Cameron Auchinachie (Texas) – 18.80
  2. Drew Kibler (Texas) – 19.19
  3. Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) – 19.23

New Longhorn Cameron Auchinachie improved his standing as the fastest man in the NCAA season, thrown down a 18.80 after going 18.94 this morning. No one else in the NCAA has broken 19 this season. Auchinachie came into today with a lifetime best of 19.13, which came in 2019 when he was an undergrad at Denver. That time moves him into the top 20 all-time in the event.

Texas’ Drew Kibler and Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger dueled it out for 2nd, with Kibler getting the touch, 19.19 to 19.23. Those times move those two men into the top ten in the nation this season.

Kibler opting for the 50 free over the 500 today will probably generate some discussion about his NCAA lineup. He swam the 50 free at NCAAs as a freshman, then shifted focus to the 500 as a sophomore and junior, going 4:08 last October, then 4:10 for 5th at the 2021 NCAAs.

Seeliger was the NCAA runner-up last season, going 18.71 to finish 2nd behind now-graduated teammate Ryan Hoffer’s 18.33.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 3:31.66
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 3:33.78
  1. Michigan – 3:27.22
  2. Texas – 3:27.53
  3. Cal – 3:30.70

Maggie MacNeil staked the Wolverines to an early lead with a 50.33 leadoff leg. Letitia Sim (58.31), Olivia Carter (51.28), and Lindsay Flynn (47.30) held off the Longhorns to give Michigan their second win of the night with a time of 3:27.22.

Texas got a 51.07 leadoff from Olivia Bray. Anna Elendt (57.65) and Emma Sticklen (51.19) combined to put Texas in the lead by 0.01s with the anchor leg to go, and Kelly Pash‘s 47.62 anchor leg wasn’t enough to match Michigan, was enough to easily secure 2nd.

Those are now the 4th and 5th fastest time in the nation this season. Cal and Arizona were also under the NCAA ‘A’ cut with times of 3:30.70 and 3:30.95.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 3:05.47
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 3:07.65
  1. Texas – 3:02.48
  2. Michigan – 3:05.11
  3. Cal – 3:05.97

Auchinachie hit yet another lifetime best as he led off Texas’ A relay in 45.55, improving on his previous best of 46.23. On breast, Caspar Corbeau split 50.58, just a few tenths slower than his split from NCAAs. Alvin Jiang (45.15) and Daniel Krueger (41.20) easily secured the victory for the Longhorns, whose time of 3:02.48 is the now the fastest in the nation by over 1.5s.

Michigan took 2nd in 3:05.11, also under the NCAA ‘A’ cut. Wyatt Davis led off in 45.92, followed by Will Chan (52.18), Gal Cohen Groumi (45.26), and Cam Peel (41.75). That’s about two seconds faster than that same quartet was back in October.

Cal finished 3rd in 3:05.97. The Bears went with a lineup of Destin Lasco (46.73), Reece Whitley (51.72), Dare Rose (45.84) and Bjorn Seeliger (41.84). Daniel Carr went 45.62 leading off Cal’s B relay, but Lasco has a lifetime best of 44.49, while Whitley split 50.58 at NCAAs, so watch for the Bears to be a lot faster come March.

Unofficial Scores

According to Minnesota, the coaches of the competing schools collectively decided that this would be an unscored meet, but we did receive unofficial scores through day 2, and here they are:


  1. Cal – 755
  2. Michigan – 561
  3. Texas – 489
  4. Wisconsin – 449
  5. Minnesota – 374
  6. Arizona – 269
  7. Harvard – 191


  1. Texas – 722
  2. Cal – 614
  3. Michigan – 503
  4. Arizona – 390
  5. Harvard – 323
  6. Minnesota – 251
  7. Wisconsin – 226

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Farson coster
9 months ago

Was hoping Jake foster would pull out the 200im win 🏆

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
9 months ago

Did Txas have a B 400 medley? What were the splits?

9 months ago

And just like that, on Dec. 2, Texas already has 13 guys qualified for the Show in March…with 2 days left in the meet. Boom.

Reply to  Enchantedrock
9 months ago

I know the Bears will be ready when it counts. I’m sure Durden has a plan. Nc’s will be another war. That’s how these two teams roll. Rivalry makes people better.

Reply to  Enchantedrock
9 months ago

Not. This. Year.🤘🏻

Reply to  Swimfan
9 months ago

Yes.This.Year. Yes.Every.Year. Cal obviously did not taper everyone. Grishop has a long beard.

9 months ago

I don’t know what Lasco is doing taking his 100 BK out in a 23.0. You can’t go 21.2 in a 50 then take your 100 out like that. He wasn’t great in the 400 medley at NCs last year either before going way faster individually.

Last edited 9 months ago by oxyswim
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
9 months ago

Didn’t he slip at NCAA’s too? In the 4 medley?

Farson coster
9 months ago

Still don’t get the logic behind Carson Foster sitting out the 200im… SC worlds, NCAAs, and world champ trials are arguably much more important taper meets… whats he got to prove by going for a 400im record this meet (see bradens comment on prelims page). If anything carson neeeds to solidify his end-of-season performances – we know he’s fast in season

ski u mah
9 months ago

Anyone know Mchugh’s split? Minnesota A DQ’d

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
9 months ago

Meet Mobile has it at 50.7 as well

Reply to  ski u mah
9 months ago

Don’t think it was a DQ. Meet results don’t show that. Looked like the stroke and turn judge didn’t know that breaststrokers can legally go past 15m underwater. McHugh has legendary pullouts off the start and always goes past 15m. I think the reasoning is that because breastrokers are limited on their pullouts to one dolphin, one pull down, one breaststroke kick, the 15m rule isn’t applied because no one is proceeding past it with continued propulsive movements. Kudos to whoever can get past it and be fast doing it. 99/100 breaststrokers can’t do it and be fast.

9 months ago

Corbeau has always been great but he seems to have reached a new level so far this season

9 months ago

Auchinachie 18.80. I thought his transfer was a big boost, didn’t think it would be this valuable.

Reply to  oxyswim
9 months ago

Dude looks like a beast right now. It’s almost the equivalent to Ryan Hoffer transferring to Texas. Is he doing 100 back tomorrow should be interesting

Reply to  Taa
9 months ago

That is a stretch.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
9 months ago

A stretch? You mean comparing him to Hoffer? Let me be the first to go on record that Cameron will surpass Hoffer…in SCY but also in LCM… he’s just getting started.

Reply to  Swimfan
9 months ago

Hoffer did win 3 individual NCAA titles his senior year and I believe another 1 his junior year.

Reply to  oxyswim
9 months ago

Swam against him in a few club meets also he and PK nolan were on the same club team. And now they are again teammates at Michigan.

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