2022 Commit Ben Grottle Joins Deep Cincinnati 200 Backstroke Lineup

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Cambridge High School junior Ben Grottle has verbally committed to the University of Cincinnati, scheduled to arrive in the fall of 2022. He is Cincinnati’s first commitment in the class of 2022.

A member of the SwimAtlanta club in Atlanta, Georgia, Grottle’s older sister Abby Grottle is a freshman on the team at Pitt.

I am so excited to announce my verbal commitment to study and swim at the Univeristy of Cincinnati! I would like to thank my coaches, family, and friends for supporting me along the way.
Go Bearcats!🔴🐻⚫️

Grottle is a classic and true mid-distance swimmer, specializing in races 200-500 yards (or meters) long.

Last season, Grottle qualified for the Georgia High School State Championship meet as a sophomore but declared false starts in both the 200 IM and 500 free after getting sick the week of the meet.

With the coronavirus pandemic coming on, that meant the loss of his big taper meet from last season, but he’s already making up for lost time since competition has restarted this year: since October, he’s gone best times in the 100 back, 200 back, and 200 IM in short course.

Best Times in Yards:

  • 200 free – 1:42.23*
  • 500 free – 4:35.88*
  • 100 back – 52.80
  • 200 back – 1:52.02
  • 200 IM – 1:55.92
  • 400 IM – 4:03.50*

* – Times from December of 2019

That 200 IM time has been the biggest revelation post-pandemic: Grottle hadn’t been under 2 minutes prior to the quarantine, but this past weekend he swam a lifetime best of 1:55.92.

Another event he hasn’t had the chance to race yet post-quarantine is the 200 long course back, where at July, 2019’s Georgia Senior State Championship meet, he swam a best time of 2:07.36, which is a Winter Juniors cut. He was only 15 at the time, and during that season, it ranked him 26th among American 15 & unders.

The Cincinnati men finished 2nd out of 4 teams at last year’s AAC Championship meet, just 7 points behind winners East Carolina. The future of that meet and their conference is up-in-the-air after the #1 and #4 teams in those rankings, East Carolina and UConn, cut their men’s swimming & diving programs. That leaves only Cincinnati and SMU to sponsor men’s teams in the conference.

The 200 backstroke was a strength for the Bearcats last season, with Blake Hanna and Joey Puglessi finishing 2nd and 3rd, respectively in the event at the AAC Championships.

Hanna is back at it this season for Cincinnati, having already been 1:44.0, while freshman Hunter Gubeno leads the team in that event this season with a 1:43.51.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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Kadee Whipple
1 year ago

Congrats Ben!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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