2023 Tennessee Invitational: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


  • November 15-17, 2023
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center
  • LCM (50-meter) prelims / SCY (25-yard) finals
  • Prelims: 9:30am (EST)/ Finals: 6pm (EST)
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Stream

Day 1 Prelims Heat Sheet

It’s officially invite season, and the Tennessee Invitational gets underway today.

As we reported yesterday, the meet is going to look a little different given that we’re in an Olympic year: prelims are being contested in long course meters, while finals will revert to the traditional NCAA short course yards format. Presumably, the idea behind this is to allow swimmers to get more long course racing in, but also give them a chance to hit their Olympic Trials cuts. This makes prelims a little more interesting than they may usually be; if you’re looking for a Trials cut, you’re going to need to go fast in the morning and at night.

In addition to Trials cuts, swimmers can now qualify for NCAAs in long course. There are conversion factors for each event, which you can find here. In the event bullets for the morning, you’ll see the U.S. Olympic Trials cut, the converted SCY to LCM NCAA ‘A’ standard, and the converted 2023 NCAA Invite time.

The event schedule for prelims Day 1 follows the NCAA championship schedule so we’ve got the 400 freestyle, 200 IM, and 50 freestyle on tap this morning. (The 400 will swap to the 500 in finals).

Women’s 400-Meter Freestyle — Prelims

  • Converted NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 4:07.67
  • Converted 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 4:10.52
  • U.S Olympic Trials Standard: 4:15.49

Top 8:

  1. Cavan Gormsen (UVA) — 4:14.23
  2. Aimee Canny (UVA) — 4:15.22
  3. Lauren Wetherell (TENN) — 4:15.77
  4. Sophia Knapp (UVA) — 4:16.83
  5. Kate McCarville (TENN) — 4:17.05
  6. Aly Breslin (TENN) — 4:17.96
  7. Brooklyn Douthwright (TENN) — 4:18.43
  8. Mackenzie Brandt (BAMA) — 4:18.51

Cavan Gormsen and Aimee Canny got things started for Virginia by taking the top two spots in the women’s 400 freestyle. Gormsen clocked 4:14.23 for the top time of the morning. She swam away from Canny, who was in the lane next to her, at about the halfway mark and took the win by .99 seconds.

On the first swim of her 400 free/200 IM double, Canny swam 4:15.22, which is a personal best by 2.47 seconds. Before this morning, her best was a 4:17.69 from June 2023. At last year’s NCAAs, Canny went with a 200 IM/200 free/100 free lineup, so it will be interesting to see where she chooses to focus tonight.

Lauren Wetherell touched 3rd overall, also posting a personal best. Wetherell, who represents Great Britain internationally, dropped from a 4:16.89 (July 2023) to a 4:15.77 here. It was a strong event for Tennessee as they put four women through to the ‘A’ final. Behind Wetherell, Kate McCarville, Aly Breslin, and Brooklyn Douthwright all made it through for the Volunteers.

Douthwright’s swim was a huge PB. She’s primarily a 100/200 freestyler; this marked her first PB in the 400 free in four years and her first sub-4:20 swim.

*results not yet available on MeetMobile, below are pictures of the full results*

Note: Results describe the 400m free as a time trial so that it will not be scored separately from the 500y free.

Men’s 400-Meter Freestyle — Prelims

  • Converted NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 3:44.87
  • Converted 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 3:48.12
  • U.S Olympic Trials Standard: 3:55.59

Top 8:

  1. Joey Tepper (TENN) — 3:52.15
  2. Jake Narvid (TENN) — 3:54.38
  3. Joaquin Vargas (TENN) — 3:54.76
  4. Charlie Hawke (BAMA) — 3:56.78
  5. Rafael Ponce de Leon (TENN) — 3:57.97
  6. Carson Hick (UKY) — 3:59.25
  7. Sam O’Brien (UVA) — 4:00.50
  8. Tanner Hering (UVA) — 4:02.67

The Tennessee men back up the women’s performances in the 400 freestyle by also qualifying four swimmers for the ‘A’ final. Here in the men’s race, the Volunteers hold down the top three spots, thanks to Joey Tepper, Jake Narvid, and Joauin Vargas‘ 1-2-3 finish in the final heat. Tepper’s 3:52.15 is comfortably the top time of the morning, as no other swimmer broke 3:54. That’s a new program record for Tepper, and betters the 3:52.33 he swam for 18th at 2023 U.S. Nationals.

Narvid was .15 seconds off his personal best with the 3:54.38 that qualified him for finals in second. Vargas rounds out the top three in 3:54.76 which is off his best but notably faster than he swam at 2023 Pan Ams. Their teammate Rafael Ponce de Leon was the other Volunteer to make the ‘A’ final, taking 5th in 3:57.97.

Charlie Hawke, last year’s breakout swimmer for Alabama, finished 4th in the heat two seconds behind Vargas. After dropping big in the 2022-23 yards season, Hawke posted a 3:55.07 PB this summer at the TYR Pro Championships.

UVA snuck two swimmers into the ‘A’ final, with Sam O’Brien and Tanner Hering taking 7th and 8th, respectively. Hering’s time is a PB, lowering his mark of 4:03.02 from 2019.

*results not yet available on MeetMobile, below are pictures of the full results*

Note: Results describe the 400m free as a time trial so that it will not be scored separately from the 500y free.

Women’s 200-Meter IM — Prelims

  • Converted NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 2:09.60
  • Converted 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 2:13.29
  • U.S Olympic Trials Standard: 2:16.09

Top 8 Qualifiers: 

  1. Alex Walsh (UVA) — 2:11.24
  2. Ella Nelson (UVA) — 2:13.39
  3. Aimee Canny (UVA) — 2:14.62
  4. Josephine Fuller (TENN) — 2:14.93
  5. Ella Bathurst (UVA) — 2:15.39
  6. Camille Spink (TENN) — 2:15.44
  7. Zoe Skirboll (UVA) — 2:16.68
  8. Abby Harter (UVA) — 2:16.77

The Virginia women dominated the 200 IM, securing six of the eight finals lanes. Unsurprisingly, it’s 2020 Olympic silver medalist Alex Walsh who sits at the top of the standings after prelims. Walsh won the final heat in 2:11.24, touching over three seconds ahead of teammate Aimee Canny.

Walsh led her heat the entire way, opening with a 28.25 butterfly split and following up with 33.82/38.29/30.88 splits. Canny touched in 2:14.62 for 3rd overall. The time is about 1.3 seconds off her PB from April 2023. Sandwiched between Walsh and Canny is fifth-year Ella Nelson, who just missed the converted 2023 NCAA Invite Time with a 2:13.39.

The two non-Cavaliers in finals are Josephine Fuller and Camille Spink, who both swim for Tennessee and recently competed at the 2023 Pan Am Games. Fuller claimed the 4th seed in 2:14.93. Spink, who swam in heat 1 as she was entered with no time, slots in behind Ella Bathurst with a 2:15.44. Her lifetime best is a 2:13.96 from December 2022.

The top six swimmers were all under the U.S. Olympic Trials cut (though Canny represents South Africa internationally).

Men’s 200-Meter IM — Prelims

  • Converted NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:56.52
  • Converted 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 1:58.96
  • U.S Olympic Trials Standard: 2:03.49

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Landon Driggers (TENN)/Sebastien Sergile (UVA)  — 2:01.93
  2. (tie)
  3. Max Berg (UKY) — 2:03.02
  4. Kaique Alves (BAMA) — 2:03.35
  5. Noah Nichols (UVA) — 2:03.56
  6. Tommy Hager (BAMA) — 2:03.90
  7. Kamal Muhammad (UVA) — 2:04.06
  8. Colin Bitz (UVA) — 2:04.11

From separate heats, Landon Driggers and Sebastian Sergile both posted a 2:01.93, tying for the top seed in the men’s 200 IM heading into finals. If they’d been swimming next to each other, it would’ve been Sergile with the early lead, as the 19-year-old Cavalier opened in 26.05/30.98 on the front half.

After splitting 27.23 on fly, Driggers began to creep up on Sergile. He swam 29.93 on backstroke, closing the gap to just .13 seconds. He outsplit Sergile on the back half as well, posting 35.50/29.27 to Sergile’s 35.52/29.38. This marked a new personal best for Sergile, undercutting the 2:02.66 he swam at Richmond Futures in July. Driggers was just off his 2:01.18 PB from this summer as well.

Behind them, Max Berg qualified 3rd, hitting 2:03.02 which is just over a second off his PB from 2021.

This finals field will have more school variety than the women’s race but Virginia will still make up half the field. In addition to Sergile, Noah Nichols, Kamal Muhammad, and Colin Bitz made the final for the Cavaliers.

Women’s 50-Meter Freestyle — Prelims

  • Converted NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 24.55
  • Converted 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 25.14
  • U.S Olympic Trials Standard: 25.69

Top 8 Qualifiers: 

  1. Gretchen Walsh (UVA) — 24.69
  2. Cadence Vincent (BAMA) — 25.34
  3. Mona McSharry (TENN) — 25.37
  4. Camille Spink (TENN) — 25.38
  5. Kailyn Winter (BAMA) — 25.75
  6. Maxine Parker (UVA) — 25.79
  7. Jada Scott (BAMA) — 25.86
  8. Aimee Crosbie (UVA) — 25.99

Gretchen Walsh took over the women’s 50 freestyle. She blasted a 24.69, which is faster than she went in both prelims and semifinals at 2023 Worlds. (In Fukuoka, she finished 13th with. 24.71). Her time here is .38 seconds off her personal best of 24.31 from 2023 U.S. Nationals.

Sprinting has been a early season bright spot for the Alabama women and they showed up big by getting three women into the ‘A’ final. Leading the way for them is freshman Cadence VincentVincent posted 25.34, which marks her first time going sub-26. Her previous best was 26.01 which she swam this summer, making this a PB by .67 seconds.

Kailyn Winter (5th, 25.75) and Vincent’s classmate Jada Scott (7th, 25.86) also made it back for finals. Scott’s time appears to be a personal best as well, even though she was entered with a 25.83.

Spink pulled off a tight 200 IM/50 free double and qualified for another ‘A’ final here in the 50 free with a 25.38.

Men’s 50-Meter Freestyle — Prelims

  • Converted NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 21.63
  • Converted 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 22.08
  • U.S Olympic Trials Standard: 22.79

Top 8 Qualifiers: 

  1. Jordan Crooks (TENN) — 21.95
  2. Gui Caribe (TENN) — 22.52
  3. Connor Boyle (UVA) — 22.68
  4. Tim Korstanje (BAMA) — 22.71
  5. Matt Brownstead (UVA) — 22.82
  6. Nikoli Blackman (TENN) — 22.95
  7. August Lamb (UVA) — 23.09
  8. Flynn Crisci (TENN) — 23.12
  9. Zarek Wilson (BAMA) — 23.13

UPDATE: Virginia’s Connor Boyle had a bad touch at the finish. He has since been added back into the ‘A’ final with a 22.68, bumping Zarek Wilson into the ‘B’ final. 

In the men’s 50 freestyle, it was Tennessee’s time to flex their depth. The Volunteers put four men into the ‘A’ final with their superstar sprinter Jordan Crooks topping the table. Crooks was the only man to break 22 seconds in prelims, getting under the barrier with a 21.95. It’s the fourth time that Crooks has gone under 22 seconds; the first three times came earlier this year at 2023 Worlds.

His teammate Gui Caribe qualified 2nd in 22.52, more than half a second behind Crooks. Caribe owns a personal best of 22.01. Also making it back for Tennessee was freshman Nikoli Blackman, the 2023 World Juniors champion in this event. Blackman qualified 5th in 22.95, slightly off his times from the Pan Am Games.

The final Volunteer to make it back was Flynn Crisci, who transferred in this season from Pitt. He swam a personal best 23.12 to make it back, dropping from his previous PB of 23.25 from 2021.

Tim Korstanje qualified 3rd overall, knocking a hundredth off his personal best. Matt Brownstead won the penultimate heat in 22.82, which held up for 4th overall. Both will have a teammate in the ‘A’ final; August Lamb qualified 6th for UVA and Zarek Wilson snuck into the ‘A’ final in 8th.

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ct swim fan
5 months ago

What does “a bad touch” mean. Wouldn’t it be up to the swimmer to touch the wall correctly?

VA Steve
Reply to  ct swim fan
5 months ago

A touch is a touch if legal.

Reply to  ct swim fan
5 months ago

It means the touchpad did not register his finish.

Human 2.0
5 months ago

Could you please put Fina A cuts with the ncaa/oly trials cuts for comparison in finals?

Pieter H
Reply to  Human 2.0
5 months ago

Finals are in SCY

5 months ago

What happened to Tess Howley in 4 fr?

I miss the ISL
Reply to  Noah
5 months ago

Her first 200 split was a 2:01. Her next 50 was a 42. I’m going to assume she swam a 2 free, stopped, and then used the rest of the race to warm down.

Reply to  Noah
5 months ago

looks like she went for a 200 time

Reply to  Noah
5 months ago

took it out in a 2:01.6 – was probably just see what she could throw down then swam easy the rest.

5 months ago

Kentucky has such a large rebuild ahead of them. Hopefully the new coach can bring and influx of talent soon.

This Guy
Reply to  ChrisP
5 months ago

Yeah, it’s not going to be fast. He’s got his work cut out

Reply to  ChrisP
5 months ago

I’m from the UK area and I’ve got some friends at the school and I’ve been hearing it’s really rough over there rn

I miss the ISL
Reply to  TheSalmon
5 months ago

Rough in what way? I don’t doubt that it is, but is it a morale thing? Team culture? Coaching? Lack of talent?

The Winchester
Reply to  I miss the ISL
5 months ago

Are they missing talent compared to the past? Yes. But I have heard great things about the team, culture and staff. They will be better than before, it will just take time.

5 months ago

Gui’s best time is a 21.8…….why always getting his pb wrong https://swimswam.com/gui-caribe-crushes-2187-lcm-50free-brazilian-junior-record/

5 months ago

What are the results of the 400 free?

Christopher DeBari
5 months ago

G Walsh 20.5 tonight? A Walsh 2:07?

Reply to  Christopher DeBari
5 months ago

Would hope Alex swims faster than a 2:07 tonight in finals……..

Reply to  Christopher DeBari
5 months ago

I am guessing G Walsh 20.88 and A Walsh 1:51.88

Reply to  Christopher DeBari
5 months ago

20.9 in a dual meet in a practice suit
Can’t wait to see what she goes in a fast suit at a big meet.
She doesn’t normally drop much with a suit but hopefully we see a 20.7.

5 months ago

Woah 21.95 for crooks!

Last edited 5 months ago by PFA

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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