2023 AAC Championships Fan Guide: Houston Hunting Seventh-Straight Women’s Title


  • Swimming: Wednesday, February 15 – Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • Diving: Monday, February 13 – Wednesday, February 15, 2023
  • Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr McMillion Natatorium, Dallas, TX
  • Defending Champions:
    • Women: Houston (6x)
    • Men: SMU (2x)
  • Live Results
  • Live Video
  • Championship Central


Monday 2/13

  • Men’s 3-meter diving
  • Women’s 1-meter diving

Tuesday 2/14

  • Men’s 1-meter diving
  • Women’s 3-meter diving

Wednesday 2/15

  • 200 medley relay
  • Men’s platform diving
  • Women’s platform diving
  • 800 free relay

Thursday 2/16

  • 500 free
  • 200 IM
  • 50 free
  • 200 free relay

Friday 2/17

  • 400 IM
  • 100 fly
  • 200 free
  • 100 breast
  • 100 back
  • 400 medley relay

Saturday 2/18

  • 200 back
  • 100 free
  • 200 breast
  • 200 fly
  • 400 free relay



  1. SMU – 1298
  2. Cincinnati – 1113


  1. Houston – 866.5
  2. SMU – 866
  3. Tulane – 641
  4. Cincinnati – 571
  5. East Carolina – 236.5


Houston’s Chase Farris qualified for NCAAs in women’s platform diving last season. She went on to finish 35th in the event at NCAAs. Farris is now in her senior season at Houston.

SMU had five men qualify for NCAAs last year, three of whom are on the roster again this year. Unfortunately, the Mustangs’ lone scorer at NCAAs last year, Parker Hardigree, has since graduated. Hardigree made the ‘B’ final of 1-meter diving last year. Caleb Rhodenbaugh swam both breaststroke events at NCAAs last year as a fifth year, finishing 17th in the 200 breast prelims.

Colin Feehery and Cotton Fields both swam both IM events at NCAAs last year and are on the roster again this season. Feehery also raced the 200 breast, while Fields swam the 200 back. Peter Smithson, a diver, also returns to the Mustangs this season after qualifying for NCAAs last season.

**Florida International had two NCAA qualifiers last season, though they weren’t a member of the AAC at that time. Christie Chue, who was just a freshman, made the ‘B’ final of the women’s 200 breast at NCAAs. FIU diver Maha Gouda also made it to NCAAs last season, competing in 1-meter and platform.

Similarly, Rice wasn’t a member of the AAC last season, but they are now, and freshman Arielle Hayon qualified for NCAAs. She competed in the women’s 100 fly and 200 fly at last year’s NCAAs. 


There’s been quite a bit of movement in the AAC this season. We’ve retained all five teams from last year, while picking up another four women’s teams in Rice, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, and North Texas. That brings the women’s team total up to nine, while there are still only two men’s teams: SMU and Cincinnati.


Cincinnati: Michael Balcerak (Sr – free/fly), Jessica Davis (Jr. – free), Grace Gavin (Fr. – back/IM)

Last year, Michael Balcerak won the men’s 200 free and 500 free, also taking third in the 200 fly. Balcerak is again ranked very highly in his top events this season, so he looks poised to repeat as a top performer this year.

Jessica Davis was on the top women’s sprint freestylers at last year’s championships. As a sophomore, Davis took second in the women’s 50 free, third in the 100 free, and seventh in the 200 free.

Freshman Grace Gavin is looking like she’ll make an impact in her first AAC Championships. Gavin is currently ranked fourth in the conference in the women’s 100 back and seventh in the 200 back this season.

East Carolina: Polina Rukosuev (Sr. – free), Caitlin Reynera (Sr. – breast/IM), Laura Kellberg (So. – free)

Senior Polina Rukosuev is one of the top true distance swimmers in the AAC this season. She came in third in the 1650 last year, and has already swum four seconds faster this season. Rukosuev also won the ‘B’ final of the women’s 500 free last year.

Caitlyn Reynera was a top breaststroker last season. At the 2022 AACs, Reynera finished third in the women’s 100 breast and fourth in the 200. She also qualified for the ‘B’ final of the 200 IM, but unfortunately was DQ’d in finals.

Sophomore Laura Kellberg, a transfer from Grand Canyon, is looking to make an impact in the women’s sprint free events. Kellberg is currently tied for fourth in the conference in the 50 free this season. She’s also tenth in the 100 free.

Florida Atlantic: Roberta Circi (So. – back/IM), Amelia Robertson (Fr. – back), Dolores Margni (So. – fly/IM)

Roberta Circi and Amelia Robertson make for a quality duo in the women’s backstroke events. Circi has been 1:58.52 in the 200 back this year, while Robertson has been 1:59.42. They’ve both been 55-point in the 100 back. Circi also has ‘A’ final potential in the 200 IM.

Dolores Margni is the top 200 flyer on the team, having been 2:01.33 already this season. Margni is also the second-fastest 200 IMer on FAU this year behind Circi.

Florida International: Christie Chue (So. – breast/free/IM), Nicole Frank (Fr. – IM), Maha Gouda (Gr. – diving)

Christie Chue is perhaps the most accomplished women’s swimmer in the conference this year. As a freshman last year, Chue went to NCAAs, where she made the ‘B’ final of the 200 breast. She also leads the AAC in the women’s 200 IM so far this season.

FIU freshman Nicole Frank is looking to make waves in her first college conference championship meet. Frank is currently ranked second in the women’s 400 IM this season, also coming in at third in the 200 IM.

Maha Gouda, a grad student, qualified for NCAAs last season in diving. She’ll look to give FIU a boost on the boards as they fight for the team title.

Houston: Mary Catherine Jurica (So. – free), Chase Farris (Sr. diving), Abby Jackson (Jr. – fly/free)

Last year as a freshman, Mary Catherine Jurica was a force in the women’s mid-distance and distance events. She took second in the 200 free, fifth in the 500, and fifth in the 1650 free. Jurica hasn’t been nearly as fast so far this season, but at this point we don’t have any reason to doubt she can once again be one of the best freestylers in the conference.

Chase Farris was one of the top divers in the conference last year, and the only women’s diver who would go on to qualify for NCAAs. Last year, she won AACs in 3-meter, also coming in third in both 1-meter and platform.

Abby Jackson won the women’s 200 fly last year as a sophomore. She also took third in the 100 fly and 11th in the 500 free.

North Texas: Laura Mazzotta (So. – breast/IM), Shaena McCloud (So. – free/fly), London Farris (Sr. – free)

Sophomore Shaena McCloud is looking like North Texas’ top sprinter this season. She’s currently ranked in the top ten in the conference in the women’s 50 free and 11th in the 100 fly this season.

London Farris, a senior, is North Texas’ top 100 freestyler this season, coming in at 11th in the conference this year.

Sophomore Laura Mazzotta is looking like a solid contender for the ‘A’ final of both breaststroke events. She’s tenth in the conference in the 100 breast this season and 10th in the 200 breast as well.

Rice: Arielle Hayon (So. – fly/free), Lauren McDougall (Sr. – free), Zoe Spitz (Sr. – back/free), Ella Dyson (Fr. – free)

Arielle Hayon is an exceptional flyer, having qualified for NCAAs last year as just a freshman. She enters her first AAC Championships as the top seed by a significant margin in the women’s 200 fly. She’s also the second seed in the 100 fly and 50 free.

Senior Lauren McDougall is a versatile freestyler, coming in as the top seed in the women’s 500 free and 200 free, as well as third in the 100 free. McDougall is the top seed in the 500 by just 0.02 seconds, coming in just ahead of freshman teammate Ella Dyson. Dyson is also the top seed in the women’s 1650.

Zoe Spitz has been the top women’s 100 and 200 backstroker in the conference this season. Notably, she’s also the fourth-fastest 200 freestyler in the AAC this season, which is notable because if she wants to race that event at AACs, she’ll be doing a double with the 200 free and 100 back on that day.

SMU: Colin Feehery (Sr. – IM/Breast), Cotton Fields (So. – IM/Back), Peter Smithson (Sr. – diving), Johanna Gudmundsdottir (Jr. – free)

SMU returns three NCAA qualifiers to their men’s team this year. Senior Colin Feehery won the men’s 400 IM last year at AACs, also coming second in the men’s 200 breast and third in the 200 IM. Cotton Fields, now a sophomore, won the men’s 200 IM last year a freshman, also winning the 200 fly and coming in second in the 400 IM. Diver Peter Smithson was the top men’s diver at AACs last year, winning platform and 3-meter, and taking second in 1-meter.

On the women’s team, Johanna Gudmundsdottir was excellent last year as a sophomore. She won the women’s 50 free and 100 free last year, also taking 11th in the women’s 100 fly.

Tulane: Gianna Spremullo (Jr. – IM/back), Danielle Titus (Jr. – IM/back), Mya Drost-Parra (Sr. – back/fly/IM)

Gianna Spremullo was exceptional at last year’s AACs, winning the women’s 400 IM. She also took second in the 200 back and fifth in the 200 IM. Spremullo works as a duo with fellow junior Danielle Titus, who is also an IM/backstroker. Last year as a sophomore, Titus won the women’s 100 back and 200 back, also taking 15th in the 200 IM. Notably, Titus and Spremullo went 1-2 in the women’s 200 back last season.

Mya Drost-Parra came in fourth in the women’s 400 IM last year. She was also an ‘A’ finalist in both the 200 back and 200 fly.



This is shaping up to be a great race, as the top three seeds are very tightly packed. Leading the way this season is SMU’s Valenti Becerra Quintanilla, who swam a 52.90 at the SMU Classic in October. As of now, she’s the only swimmer in the conference who has been under 53 seconds this year.

Quintanilla leads Arielle Hayon, the Rice sophomore who qualified for NCAAs last year. Hayon has been 53.05 this season, coming in just behind Quintanilla. Importantly, Hayon’s personal best is a 51.82, putting her well ahead of Quintanilla’s season best.

Coming in as the third seed is SMU’s Luana Alonso, who has been 53.17 this year. In all, this should be one of the more exciting races of the meet.


It’s not often that a mile makes it into a showdown section, but in this case, it’s very much warranted. The top three seeds come in just two seconds apart, led by Rice freshman Ella Dyson. Coming in at 16:34.84, Dyson’s AAC-leading time was set at Houston’s Phil Hansel Invite in November. Teammate Shannon Campbell is second in the conference this season, having swum a 16:36.45 at Phil Hansel.

East Carolina senior Polina Rukosuev came in third in the event last year at AACs, swimming a 16:40. She’s already bettered that time this season, swimming a 16:36.86 at mid-season.


The men’s IM events should be an awesome battle between SMU teammates Colin Feehery and Cotton Fields. The duo both qualified for NCAAs last year in the IMs. Last year, they split the events, with Feehery winning the 400 IM and Fields the 200 IM at AACs.

Also entering the fray is SMU’s Angus Corbeau, who is currently second in the conference this year in the 200 IM with a 1:45.47. Corbeau is also third in the conference in the 400 IM.



  1. SMU
  2. Cincinnati


  1. Houston
  2. SMU
  3. Rice

For the men’s meet, SMU won by a decent margin last year, and it doesn’t seem like enough has changed to justify putting Cincinnati over them in these projections.

Picking the women’s finishes has proven to be much more difficult. Houston has won the meet six years straight, and they absolutely could make it seven in just a handful of day, but a lot has changed in the conference. The addition of four new teams does change the dynamic of the conference a bit.

In all, it still seems like Houston has earned the right to be projected as the favorites to win the women’s AAC title this year. They retained most of their highest scoring swimmers from last season, and they don’t have too many holes in the roster. Distance free and backstroke look like a little bit weaker disciplines for the Cougars, however, they make up for it with excellent breaststroke and IM squads.

That being said, we could see the women’s AAC title going to any of the top three teams listed, so this should be a thrilling team battle that unfolds over the course of this week.

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1 year ago

Let’s go Green Wave!!!

1 year ago

Seems to me like the Panthers of FIU will be in the race for the team title too. Don’t count them out just yet…

1 year ago

FAU womens team is competing at this meet as well.