2022 AAC Fan Guide: SMU Women Favored To Overthrow 5x Champs Houston

2022 AAC Swimming and Diving Championships



  • Men’s one-meter diving
  • 800 freestyle relay
  • Women’s three-meter diving
  • 200 medley relay


  • 500 freestyle
  • 200 IM
  • 50 freestyle
  • Women’s one-meter diving
  • 200 freestyle relay


  • 400 IM
  • 100 butterfly
  • 200 freestyle
  • 100 breaststroke
  • 100 backstroke
  • Men’s three-meter diving
  • 400 medley relay


  • 1650 freestyle
  • Women’s platform diving
  • 200 backstroke
  • 100 freestyle
  • 200 breaststroke
  • 200 butterfly
  • Men’s platform diving
  • 400 freestyle relay

On the Lookout (Stars & Showdown Races)

Houston controlled the women’s 50 free last season with seniors Mykenzie Leehy and Katie Power. While Power is using her 5th year of eligibility, Leehy graduated which leaves the door open for SMU sophomores Johanna Gudmundsdottir and Indra Vandenbussche who have the fastest times this season.

Similar story in women’s 100 free where SMU’s Alex Stevens and her sophomore teammates Indra and Johanna look to be in the ‘A’ final again.

SMU having a handle on sprinting is not a new story on the men’s side – the Peruna’s made up 6 out of the 8 swimmers in the men’s 100 free ‘A’ final last season. Now that defending champion Daniel Forndal has graduated, the torch is passed onto sophomore Lance Butler to lead the charge again. His junior teammate Cole Bruns has the fastest time this season (43.88).

Watch out for Houston sophomore Abby Jackson who placed 2nd last season in the 100 fly to her now-graduated teammate Katie Higgins and 2nd in the 200 fly to SMU senior Olivia Grossklaus of SMU who has the fastest 200 fly time this season (1:59.63).

SMU junior Colin Feehery dominated the 400 IM last season, winning by more than 3.5 seconds. He has gone undefeated in both of his college championship meets and looks to three-peat it with the fastest time this season.

The women’s 100 back will be a relatively fresh crowd: the top 6 last season were all seniors besides Tulane’s Danielle Titus who placed 2nd. She will still have to answer to SMU’s Gabi Grobler who is one of two swimmers using her 5th year of eligibility from that ‘A’ final, the other being Power. Grobler tops the 100 back times this season by .25. Titus is projected to snag 2nd in the 200 back as well, improving her 2021 finish by 1 place.

Cincinnati’s Hunter Gubeno was on a whole other level his freshman year, placing 2nd in the 200 back in 2021, 2.7 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. 5th year senior Blake Hanna of Cincinnati is still the defending champion, but he only out-touched Gubeno by .5.

Cincinnati seniors  Matea Sumajstorcic and Sydney St Rose-Finear could go 1-2 again in the 1650. SMU junior Frederica Kizek is the most likely to prevent that; she has the second-fastest season-best time behind Rose-Finear.

Cincinnati junior Kevin Leibold and sophomore Ricky Williams could do the same on the men’s side – they have the fastest 1650 free times this season.

When it comes to diving, SMU is dominant on the men’s side. Last season, junior Peter Smithson won 3-meter by 60 points and platform by nearly 50 points. HIs senior teammate Parker Hardigree also took down the 1-meter event substantially.

The women’s side looks to be a tighter race – last season’s stars included SMU junior Nicole Stambo who  won 1-meter narrowly, about 3 points ahead of her now-graduated teammate Katie Crown. On 3-meter, Houston’s Katie Deininger won 3-meter by 4 points ahead of the now-graduated Taylor Ohlhauser of SMU.

Swimulator Results – Women

  1. SMU – 813.5
  2. Houston – 766.5
  3. Tulane – 545.5
  4. Cincinnati – 363.5
  5. East Carolina – 265

SwimSwam Picks – Women

  1. SMU
  2. Houston
  3. Tulane
  4. Cincinnati
  5. East Carolina

This could be the first time in 5 seasons that Houston women don’t win the AAC Championship title.

Super senior Gabi Grobler is projected to be SMU’s highest scorer with 60 points. Her season-best times predict she will win the 100 back, 200 breast, and 200 IM (here she is the only swimmer under 2:00 this season with a 1:59.12 from the 2021 SMU Classic). Her chances of winning are even higher now that Houston’s Ioanna Sacha, the defending 200 IM champion, has graduated.

Houston’s highest scorer is predicted to be freshman Mary Catherine Jurica Houston with a projected 48pts. Her season-bests place her 3rd in 50 free in the AAC, 3rd in the 200 free, and 3rd in 500 where her season-best is only one second off the woman projected to get 2nd,  Junior Lilly Byrne of Tulane.

Byrne is set to be the highest scorer for Tulane with a predicted 49 points earned by winning the 200 free, 2nd in the 500, 7th in the 1650.

Swimulator Results – Men

  1. SMU – 211
  2. Cincinnati – 105

SwimSwam Picks – Men

  1. SMU
  2. Cincinnati

The meet will be a duel between SMU and Cincinnati like last season’s championship meet after East Carolina and UConn both cut their men’s swimming and diving programs in 2021.

Junior Colin Feehery is projected to score the most points for SMU (27), as his season-best times earn him 1st in the 100 breast with a season-best time just .04 ahead of his teammate Evan McCormick who’s set to get 2nd here and go on to win 400 IM.

This would be an upset as Feehery has won the 400 IM at the AAC Championships during both of his seasons so far. Feehery is also the defending champion in the 200 IM and set the AAC Conference record in the event with a 1:45.14 from February 2021.

Michael Balcerak, also a junior, is projected to be Cincinnati’s biggest scorer with 20 points. His season-best times have him sweeping both the 100 and 200 fly, then placing 4th in the 500 free. He is the defending champion in both the 100 fly and 500 free.

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About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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