2022 NCAA ‘B’ Finalist Kalia Antoniou Returning to Alabama for 5th Year

2022 NCAA ‘B’ finalist in both the 50 and 100 freestyles Kalia Antoniou will be returning to Alabama for her COVID-19 fifth year of eligibility.

“Here’s to another year with the best team out there @alabamaswimdive ! So thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to see what the coming year holds for us…have a feeling it will be the best one yet!
Stay tuned😎 #5thyear

Antoniou made a huge impact for the Tide at 2022 SECs as she finished second in the 100 free (47.67) and 10th in the 50 free (22.16). She scored a total of 45 individual points. She was the team’s eighth-highest individual scorer even after only swimming two individual events.

She went on to swim at NCAAs where she finished 10th in the 50 free (21.73) and 15th in the 100 free (47.93). She also was a member of the team’s 200 medley, 800 freestyle, 400 freestyle, and 200 freestyle relays. All of those relays scored.

In 2021, Antoniou was an A finalist at NCAAs in both the 50 and 100 free. She swam a 21.85 for sixth in the 50 and a 47.64 for fifth in the 100.

Antoniou’s best times are:

  • 50 free: 21.64 (2022 NCAAs)
  • 100 free: 47.64 (2021 NCAAs)
  • 200 free: 1:47.46 (2021 SECs)

The return of Antoniou is huge for the team. The team is returning a total of six out of their seven senior swimmers from this past season (none of the three senior divers are returning for a fifth year). In addition, five out of their six individual NCAA qualifying seniors will be returning for a fifth year.

Out of the 394.5 points scored by the seven senior swimmers at the 2022 SEC Championships, 354.5 of those will be returning for fifth years. The Alabama women finished in third place only five points behind second place Kentucky at the 2022 SEC Championships. In addition, the Alabama women finished 275.5 behind the championships team Tennessee.

At the NCAA level, the Alabama women had a huge meet this past March finishing fourth as a team. The team now will return every relay member as well as all of their individual points.

The biggest difference between this season’s fifth years and future seasons is the scholarship cap. This past season, 5th year seniors didn’t count toward that cap unless they transferred. In future seasons, 5th year seniors will count against the cap, until the waiver expires. This mean’s that Antoniou’s scholarship will count into the team’s 14 cap.

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oxyswim
1 month ago

I wonder how they are making all of these 5th years work from a scholarship standpoint. They have a pretty class of incoming freshmen as well.

Riccardo
Reply to  oxyswim
1 month ago

If the kids they have coming in are on big scholarships they’re in trouble.

Jjsh
1 month ago

Is anyone anywhere not returning for a 5th year?

SCCOACH
Reply to  Jjsh
1 month ago

Finke… yards is dumb

RTR
1 month ago

Wow! This is outstanding news. What do people think, could Bama challenge for the SEC Championship this year? Tennessee seems to be returning a lot of talent as well….can’t wait to watch!!

RTR
Reply to  RTR
1 month ago

Then again, I’m not sure which is the higher accolade? Earning a top 4 team trophy at the NCAA championships, as Bama did last year, or winning the SEC championship, as Tennessee did last year? Could a team do both, or with taper strategies, is it better to focus on one of these 2 goals?

Swimfan
Reply to  RTR
1 month ago

Winning SECs is a bigger deal than a 4th place NCAA trophy and everyone knows it

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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