2021 Minnesota Invite: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 22

December 03rd, 2021 College, News, Previews & Recaps


The midseason class of the Titans continues tonight in Minnesota as some of the top Division I teams in the country square off for another finals session.

While there wasn’t anything quite as crazy as Texas freshman Luke Hobson’s National Age Group record in yesterday’s prelims (a mark which he subsequently broke in finals), there was plenty of fast swimming this morning.

The Texas Longhorns led the prelims session with the fastest times in six of the ten events. The biggest swim may have been Carson Foster‘s 3:38.68 in the 400 IM. Foster, the 2nd-fastest man ever in the event, may be aiming for his lifetime best of 3:35.27 tonight. The Longhorns swept the top seeds in the 100 fly, thanks to Emma Sticklen (50.76) and Zach Van Zandt (45.6), and the 100 breast – Anna Elendt (58.78) and Caspar Corbeau (51.07). Olivia Bray also paced the prelims of the 100 back with a 51.72.

Michigan got top seeds from Patrick Callan in the 200 free (1:33.09) and Kathryn Ackerman in the 400 IM (4:07.38). US Open Record holder Maggie MacNeil will be competing in the 100 fly after putting up the 3rd-fastest time this morning.

Two Cal Golden Bears put up the fastest times in their events this morning. Izzy Ivey had the fastest prelims in the 200 free by over a second with her time of 1:44.44, while Daniel Carr was the only man under 46 with a 45.97.

WOMEN’S 100 FLY – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 50.92
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 52.70
  • Pool Record – 49.26
  1. Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 49.97
  2. Olivia Bray (Texas) – 51.07
  3. Emma Sticklen (Texas) – 51.10

Olivia Bray was out just a tad faster at the first wall, but Maggie MacNeil quickly reeled in the Longhorn, then powered ahead on the third length, ultimately winning by over a second with a time of 49.97. With that time, the Michigan senior becomes the first woman under 50.0 this season.

Bray and her Texas teammate Emma Sticklen touched 2nd and 3rd in 51.07 and 51.10, moving them up to #4 and #5 in the NCAA so far this season. Michigan’s Olivia Carter wasn’t too far behind, taking 4th in 51.54. The rest of the A-final finished between 52.47 and 52.69, all just under seasons’ NCAA invite time (although there’s a strong chance those invite times will be substantially faster this year).

MEN’S 100 FLY – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 44.96
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 46.29
  • Pool Record – 42.80
  1. Umitcan Gures (Harvard) – 45.15
  2. Gal Cohen Groumi (Michigan) – 45.16
  3. Alvin Jiang (Texas) – 45.56

Umitcan Gures came within a whisker of his Harvard team record, clocking a 45.15 that moves him to #3 in the nation so far this season. Michigan freshman Gal Cohen Groumi nearly nipped Gures at the touch, finishing just behind at 45.16. That time puts him at #4 in the nation.

There was a fairly sizable gap between those two and the rest of the field, as Texas’ Alvin Jiang took 3rd in 45.56. His Longhorn teammate Zach Van Zandt had the fastest time this morning with a 45.60, and he perfectly matched that time tonight to take 4th behind Jiang.

In a slightly weird twist, the 5th-8th place finishers in the A-final were all slower than their prelim times.

Zooming out to take a look at all five finals, the Harvard men had a good evening overall, as all five members of the Crimson who competed this evening moved up, relatively to their prelim finishes, and Harvard won three of the four heats in which they had swimmers. Jake Johnson won the B-final with a 46.20, which would’ve put him 4th in the A-final, and Mahlon Reihman won the D-final with a 47.53 after going 48.27 in prelims.

WOMEN’S 400 IM – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 4:03.62
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 4:13.19
  • Pool Record – 3:58.12
  1. Alicia Wilson (Cal) – 4:06.43
  2. Megan Van Berkom (Minnesota) – 4:06.92
  3. Kathryn Ackerman (Michigan) – 4:07.42

Cal’s Alicia Wilson put herself into the top ten in the nation this season with a 4:06.43 win this evening. Minnesota’s Megan Van Berkom finished just about a half second behind with a 4:06.92, also moving into the top ten in the nation.

Michigan Wolverine Kathryn Ackerman finished 3rd in 4:07.42. She’s now 11th in the nation this season with her season best of 4:07.38, a time which she initially hit in October, and then matched again in this morning’s prelims. Ackerman was an A-finalist in this event at last season’s NCAA Championships, as was Texas’ Evie Pfeifer, who finished 5th tonight with a 4:11.53.

MEN’S 400 IM – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 3:39.16
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 3:45.67
  • Pool Record – 3:35.29
  1. Carson Foster (Texas) – 3:37.35
  2. Jake Foster (Texas) – 3:40.56
  3. Braden Vines (Texas) – 3:42.92

The Longhorns swept the top three spots, led by Carson Foster‘s 3:37.35. Foster improved on his 3:38.68 from this morning, and still ranks 2nd in the country behind ASU’s Leon Marchand, who went 3:35.62 two weeks ago. Foster’s lifetime best of 3:35.27 makes him the 2nd-fastest performer ever in the event, and in between those two, defending NCAA champion Bobby Finke, and plenty of other great 400 IMer in the field, this should be a great race come March.

Carson’s brother Jake Foster finished 2nd in 3:40.56, shaving a bit off of his 3:40.68 from this morning. Both Fosters were in the A-final in this event at last year’s NCAA Championships, as was teammate Braden Vines, who took 3rd tonight in 3:42.92 and David Johnston, who placed 6th today with a 3:45.05. All of the above, plus Michigan’s Jared Daigle (3:44.39) and Cal’s Sean Grieshop (3:44.61) were under last year’s NCAA invite time, although, again, that could be substantially faster this year.

WOMEN’S 200 FREE – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:42.98
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 1:46.25
  • Pool Record – 1:40.31
  1. Izzy Ivey (Cal) – 1:43.13
  2. Kelly Pash (Texas) – 1:44.84
  3. Ayla Spitz (Cal) – 1:45.37

Izzy Ivey went out fast and steadily built her lead during the race, ultimately touching way ahead of the rest of the field with a 1:43.13. That swim moves the Cal senior to #2 in the nation this season, behind only Stanford freshman Torri Huske (1:42.59). Ivey’s teammate Ayla Spitz finished 3rd in 1:45.37.

Longhorn Kelly Pash took 2nd in 1:44.84, placing her just a bit outside the top ten this season nationally. Pash finished 3rd at NCAAs in this event last season with a 1:43.50 after going 1:43.45 in prelims.

MEN’S 200 FREE – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:32.05
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 1:34.04
  • Pool Record – 1:29.50
  1. Gabriel Jett (Cal) – 1:32.52
  2. Patrick Callan (Michigan) – 1:32.77
  3. Coby Carrozza (Texas) – 1:33.06

It looked like 4 or 5 swimmers could win this race heading into the last turn, but it was Cal freshman Gabriel Jett who rocketed off of the wall and into the finish, busting out a 1:32.52 that makes him the 2nd-fastest man in the NCAA this season. Jett’s been getting a lot of hype in our comment section, and deservingly so, it seems, as today he’s improved his lifetime best from 1:35.30 to 1:32.52.

Michigan’s Patrick Callan finished just behind Jett at 1:32.77, putting up at #5 in the nation this season. Texas’ Coby Carrozza took 3rd in 1:33.06, just ahead of his teammate Luke Hobson. The freshman Hobson was the breakout star of the first two days after splitting 1:31 on the Longhorns’ 800 free relay and breaking a Michael Phelps’ NAG record yesterday in the 500.

WOMEN’S 100 BREAST – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 58.46
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 1:00.12
  • Pool Record – 57.23
  1. Anna Elendt (Texas) – 57.90
  2. Letitia Sim (Michigan) – 59.06
  3. Jade Neser (Arizona) – 59.63

Anna Elendt clocked a Longhorns team record in the 100 breast with her win of 57.90. That time improves her own lifetime best — and team record — of 58.06, which she set last December. Elendt couldn’t quite match that time at NCAAs, where she went 58-high twice and finished 12th, but a 57.90 would easily make the A-final and would’ve put her 5th last season.

Michigan freshman Letitia Sim just missed her own lifetime best, touching 2nd in 59.06. Her personal best is 59.01 from almost exactly one year ago. Arizona’s Jade Neser took 3rd in 59.63.

MEN’S 100 BREAST – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 51.59
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 52.40
  • Pool Record – 49.69
  1. Caspar Corbeau (Texas) – 50.79
  2. Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 51.07
  3. Reece Whitley (Cal) – 51.22

There were 4 or 5 men in this race at the final wall, but Texas’ Caspar Corbeau was the only man to swim a sub-27 second 50, winning in 50.79. That’s Corbeau’s second new personal best of the day and moves him to #1 in the NCAA this season.

Defending NCAA champion Max McHugh finished 2nd in 51.07, followed by Cal’s Reece Whitley at 51.22. Those are now the top three times in the nation this season.

WOMEN’S 100 BACK – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 50.93
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 53.01
  • Pool Record – 49.16
  1. Olivia Bray (Texas) – 50.93
  2. Isabelle Stadden (Cal) – 51.00
  3. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 51.38

This was a pretty stacked 100 back final, and it was Texas’ Olivia Bray who got her hand on the wall first with a 50.93, tying the NCAA ‘A’ cut. That time would’ve put her 6th at last season’s NCAA championships. Coincidentally, Bray’s teammate Julia Cook actually took 6th at NCAAs, and she finished 4th tonight with a time of 51.62.

Two more women from last season’s NCAA A-final were in the field. Cal’s Isabelle Stadden took 2nd tonight in 51.00; she placed 5th last year at NCAAs as a freshman. Meanwhile, last season’s NCAA 3rd place finisher, Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon, took 3rd tonight with a 51.38.

MEN’S 100 BACK – Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 44.94
  • 2021 NCAA Cutline – 46.37
  • Pool Record – 44.58
  1. Cameron Auchinachie (Texas) – 45.01
  2. Destin Lasco (Cal) – 45.53
  3. Daniel Carr (Cal) – 45.76

Texas teammates Cameron Auchinachie and Anthony Grimm flipped nearly simultaneously at the first wall, but Auchinachie got the win with a new lifetime best of 45.01. Auchinachie has been on the fire this week, clocking lifetime bests in the 50 back, 200 free, 50 free, and now the 100 back. Prior to today, his best time in the 100 back was a 46.23 from two years ago, when he was swimming for Denver.

Grimm faded a bit on the final 25, settling for 4th with a 45.77.

Just ahead of Grimm were a pair of Cal teammates, Destin Lasco and Daniel Carr. Lasco took 2nd in 45.53, while Carr finished a scant 0.01s ahead of Grimm with a 45.76. Both Bears have been sub-45, with Lasco having gone 44.49 at last year’s NCAA championship and Carr’s going 44.86 in 2019.

Women’s 200 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:28.43
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 1:29.21
  1. Michigan – 1:27.64
  2. Cal – 1:28.10
  3. Texas – 1:29.06

The Wolverines got the win here, thanks to three sub-22 splits. Maggie MacNeil led off in 21.72, just a bit off of her winning time in the individual 50 free last night. Claire Newman followed with a 21.99, then Olivia Carter (22.22) and Lindsay Flynn (21.72) closed it out for a 1:27.64. That puts Michigan at #6 in the nation and gives them a NCAA ‘A’ cut.

Cal got a 22.23 leadoff by Izzy Ivey, then Emily Gantriis (21.94) and Elise Garcia (21.86) had a pair of sub-22 splits before handing it off to anchor Emma Davidison, who split 22.07 as the Bears also got an ‘A’ cut with a 1:28.10

Texas was under the NCAA ‘B’ cut with a 1:29.06, while Arizona tied the ‘B’ mark exactly with a 1:29.21.

Men’s 200 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 1:17.07
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 1:17.80
  1. Texas – 1:15.49
  2. Cal – 1:16.46
  3. Harvard – 1:16.61

This event was pure Longhorn domination, almost from beginning to end. Daniel Krueger led off in 19.20, which briefly put Texas in 2nd. But then Cam-the-man Auchinachie split 18.61 as he continued his string of torrid performances this week. Drew Kibler split 18.93, and Caspar Corbeau anchored in 18.75, good for a 1:15.49. That’s actually faster than Texas’ time from the 2021 NCAA Championships, and that would’ve placed them 3rd overall at that meet. That’s also the fastest time in the nation this season by nearly a second.

The 2nd-fastest time this season, however, now belongs to the Cal Bears. Bjorn Seeliger, last year’s NCAA runner up in the 50 free, led off in 19.02. That’s faster than he was yesterday in the individual 50, and the moves him to #2 in the nation this season. Jack Alexy (19.19), Liam Bell (19.33), and Daniel Carr (18.92) combined with Seeliger for a total time of 1:16.46.

Harvard wasn’t far behind Cal. They got a 19.41 leadoff by Raphael Marcoux, then a 18.81 split from Dean Farris on the second leg, and nearly-identical splits of 19.19 and 19.20 by Umitcan Gures and Mahlon Reihman for a total time of 1:16.61. Michigan was also under the NCAA ‘A’ cut, thanks to a pair of 19.00 splits from Bence Szabados and Will Chan, while Arizona nabbed a ‘B’ cut with a 1:17.71.

For what it’s worth, the Longhorns’ B relay was also under the NCAA B cut, with a 19.04 from freshman Anthony Grimm as the standout split.

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2 years ago

It’s pretty clear to me that we’re seeing some great results from a great Olympic year and post-Olympic, Long Course summer season leading us into a super-fast “year-after” short course explosion. These times for November and December invites are really impressive. It would be great to score the men and women in a top 16 pseudo N.C.A.A. meet before Christmas.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Bevo
2 years ago

Which great Olympic year? The original one, or the postponed one? The postponed one was obviously terrible for training. Tough to say there’s a “year-after” explosion when people were having a hard time finding a pool.

Scott Jett
2 years ago

Thanks for all the updates and news from the meet. Fun checking in. Some really fast swims over the past few days! Fun to see the NCAA season shaping up after a strange 2020.
Go Bears!

Reply to  Scott Jett
2 years ago

Scott, you should be really proud. Gabriel is doing amazing and really continues a great legacy of fast swimming in central CA. From a fellow central CA/RCA alumni!

Scott Jett
Reply to  James
2 years ago

Hey thanks James. So fun to watch these kids swim at the next level!

2 years ago

Ivey such an underrated talent. Putting up top times in the country in events she doesn’t even swim at NCAAs.

Right Dude Here
2 years ago

Braden, or other admin, can we get more unofficial scoring?

Time Keeper
Reply to  Right Dude Here
2 years ago

Texas a lot, everyone else a little.

2 years ago

18.8 split for Farris and a 19.0 leadoff for Bjorn Seelinger!

2 years ago

Anyone else think the Cal women can make a statement at NCAAs in March?

swim mom
Reply to  Jackson
2 years ago

I hope so

Reply to  Jackson
2 years ago


Reply to  Jackson
2 years ago

B.and C finals is accurate in Pac-12. Cal has a roster of 30 swimmers vs Stanford swim roster size now at 20. So that is a lot more swims. Stanford can only control how their team performs, which will be fast and their divers will add a very large number of points. Other teams will have some great swims but i dont perceive a change in top 2

2 years ago

Lets see if Hobson goes nuts in the 200

Reply to  Taa
2 years ago


Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

oh I jinxed him

Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

Jett 1:32.5

2 years ago

Kragh had 51 relay split yesterday not sure it was accurate though.

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