2023 Texas Invitational: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


  • November 15-18, 2023 (10am/6pm CT)
  • Austin, Texas
  • Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center
  • SCY (25 Yards)
  • Prelims: 10am (CT) / 6pm (CT)
  • Results

The 2023 Texas Invitational kicks off with a relays only finals session. Like the first night of NCAA Championships, the only two events tonight are the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay, with a 30 minute break between the two.

A quick reminder about how relay qualification for NCAAs works:

  • The simplest way to qualify relays for NCAAs is to hit the “A Cut,” formally known as the “Qualifying Standard” in a relay.
  • Once a team has an “A” standard relay, they can also enter all relays where they’ve earned the “B” standard, formally known as a “Provisional Standard.”
  • Teams with four individual swimmers qualified can swim relay events in which they have at least a “B” standard.
  • Relays are qualified “to the team”, not the individual swimmers so teams can take whichever swimmers they want to use on the relay.
  • Teams must have at least one individual invite to send relays.

The USC women have been on fire to start the season. They’ve suited up several times already, but it will still be interesting to see how they look when they’re presumably semi-tapered. They lead the way here in the 200 medley relay having already hit the NCAA ‘A’ cut with a 1:35.37 from their dual against ASU that ranks #2 in the NCAA. It should be a good race between them and the Longhorns, as Texas sits jus .26 seconds behind them in the season rankings.

On the women’s side, another big storyline to follow will of course be Stanford. Their relays took a big hit when they lost Claire Curzan, Torri Huske, and Taylor Ruck. The 200 medley has historically been one of their weakest relays at the 800 free relay one of the strongest, so we’ll get a look at what both ends of the spectrum have got at the midseason mark. Last season, the Cardinal women were the only team to secure five ‘A’ cuts by the end of midseason invites.

There are similar storylines on the men’s side as well. Both Texas and Stanford have had their relay lineups from 2023 NCAAs decimated by graduations, redshirts, and swimmers turning pro. They’re expecting a lot from their freshmen classes in order to keep themselves competitive this season, and we’ll get a chance here to see what they can do after a few months of training at their new programs.

Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay — Finals

  • NCAA Record: 1:31.73 — Virginia (G. Walsh, A. Walsh, L. Cuomo, K. Douglass) (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:36.24
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 1:37.00

Top 8:

  1. USC ‘A’ (Famous, Dobler, Delgado, Buinaia) — 1:34.07
  2. Texas ‘A’ (Kern, Elendt, Sticklen, Cooper) — 1:34.14
  3. Texas ‘B’ (Bray, Hanley, Longi, Davidson) — 1:35.68
  4. Wisconsin ‘A’ — 1:36.98
  5. Texas ‘C’ — 1:37.35
  6. Stanford ‘B’ — 1:38.15
  7. Wisconsin ‘B’ — 1:39.38
  8. UNLV ‘A’ — 1:40.64

It was a tight race between USC and Texas for the win, but ultimately  the Trojan women held on for the win in a time of 1:34.07–a new program record. It was the front half of the relay that made the difference in the race against the Longhorns. Caroline Famous continued her breakout season with a new 50 backstoke PB, leading off in 23.86. Kaitlyn Dobler followed up with a 25.99, giving USC the lead heading into the back half of the relay.

Annicka Delgado and Vasilissa Buinaia split 22.72 and 21.50, respectively, to hold off a charging Texas team. Emma Kern (24.07 backstroke) and Anna Elendt (26.23 breaststroke) got things started for the Longhorns. Then, Emma Sticklen dove in and began to creep up on the Trojans with a 22.69 split. Grace Cooper anchored in 21.15, just running out of room to catch Buinaia.

Both teams easily cleared the NCAA ‘A’ standard. The Trojan women were also faster than their 2023 NCAA squad; their time tonight would’ve finished 5th.

Notably, Stanford’s ‘A’ relay was disqualified. Their ‘B’ relay team of Natalie Mannion (24.77), Caroline Bricker (27.07), Charlotte Hook (23.73), and Kayla Wilson (22.58) finished 6th, outside of the NCAA ‘B’ cut.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s ‘A’ team logged an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:36.98. Wisconsin began to noticeably improve their relays last year and this shows that they’ve continued that trend as they didn’t have a ‘B’ cut in this relay after invites last season. Hailey Tierney helps massively with that, as she anchored the team of Phoebe Bacon (24.20), Hazal Ozkan (27.32), and Mackenzie McConagha (23.56) in a 21.90.

Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay — Finals

  • NCAA Record: 1:20.67 — NC State (K. Stokowski, M. Hunter, N. Korstanje, D. Curtiss) (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:23.71
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 1:24.32

Top 8:

  1. Texas ‘A’ (Modglin, Scholtz, Crane, Taylor) — 1:24.22
  2. Stanford ‘A’ (R. Maurer, Dang, Gu, Tan) — 1:24.88
  3. UNLV ‘A’ (Potgieter, Beji, Ratiu, Huey)/ USC ‘A’ (Makrygiannis, O’Grady, Chmielewski, Selin) — 1:25.46
  4. (tie)
  5. Wisconsin ‘A’ — 1:26.09
  6. Texas ‘B’ — 1:26.25
  7. Texas ‘C’ — 1:26.38
  8. USC ‘B’ — 1:26.73

The Texas men got the job done in the 200 medley relay and their ‘A’ relay was the only one in the field to grab an NCAA ‘B’ cut. Will Modglin started things off for the Longhorns with a 20.60 backstroke lead-off, which seems to be his fastest 50 backstroke by two-tenths. Will Scholtz (23.58), Cole Crane (20.71), and Camden Taylor (19.33) followed, giving Texas an overall time of 1:24.22 to sneak under the ‘B’ cut by a tenth.

Stanford took 2nd, finishing .66 seconds back from Texas. Another freshman, Rex Maurerled off for the Cardinal, clocking 21.33. Ethan Dang split 24.05 on breaststroke, then Stanford began to close in on the Longhorns, thanks to Rafael Gu‘s 20.36 fly split and Jonathan Tan‘s 19.14 anchor leg. Stanford missed the NCAA ‘B’ cut last year at midseason as well.

Meanwhile, UNLV and USC rounded out the “podium” by tying for 3rd. The Trojans were leading UNLV through the first 150-yards, thanks to Vaggelis Makrygiannis (21.66), Chris O’Grady (23.56), and Krzysztof Chmielewski (20.90). But UNLV’s Bryson Huey had a huge freestyle leg, splitting 19.01 to run down Artem SelinBoth stopped the clock at 1:25.46.

Women’s 800-Yard Freestyle Relay — Finals

  • NCAA Record: 6:45.91 — Stanford (S. Manuel, L. Neal, E. Eastin, K. Ledecky) (2017)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 7:00.86
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 7:05.88

Top 8:

  1. USC ‘A’ (Tuggle, Buinaia, Kozan, Abraham) – 6:53.54
  2. Stanford ‘A’ (Roghair, Nordmann, Mannion, Wilson) – 6:54.94
  3. Texas ‘A’ (Pash, Gemmell, Bray, Coe) – 6:56.37
  4. Wisconsin ‘A’ – 6:59.75
  5. Texas ‘B’ – 7:04.45
  6. USC ‘B’ – 7:05.33
  7. Stanford ‘B’ – 7:06.19
  8. Wisconsin ‘B’ – 7:10.59

The Trojan women came away with their second win of the session in the 800 free relay, beating Stanford by over a second. USC ‘s ‘A’ team posted a 6:53.54, earning another NCAA ‘A’ cut. Perhaps even more than the 200 medley, this relay shows how much they’ve improved since last season as last year, they didn’t even field this relay at 2023 NCAAs. Now, bolstered by the additions of Claire Tuggle and Minna Abraham, they’ve swum a time that would’ve been third last season in Knoxville.

Tuggle swam another best time leading off the relay. She posted a 1:44.54, dropping from the 1:44.81 she swam in February at the Cavalier Invite. In her second event of the night, Buinaia split 1:43.75 then Justina Kozan split 1:43.73. Finally, they got a huge split from freshman Minna Abraham, who brought them home in a 1:41.52.

Stanford’s team of Aurora Roghair (1:44.10), Lillie Nordmann (1:43.99), Natalie Mannion (1:43.49), and Kayla Wilson (1:43.36) combined for a 6:54.94 to finish 2nd. This time is faster than the 6:56.45 they swam a midseason last year and Nordmann was faster here than she was at 2023 NCAAs.

Rounding out the top three was Texas’ squad of Kelly Pash (1:42.64), Erin Gemmell (1:43.22), Olivia Bray (1:44.93), and Angie Coe (1:45.58). The quartet clocked a 6:56.37, which is less than a second off the 6:55.55 they swam for 3rd at NCAAs last year.

Men’s 800-Yard Freestyle Relay — Finals

  • NCAA Record: 6:03.42 — Texas (L. Hobson, C. Carrozza, P. Larson, C. Foster) (2023)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 6:16.02
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 6:18.94

Top 8:

  1. Texas ‘A’ (Germonprez, Carrozza, Modglin, Hobson) – 6:11.66
  2. Stanford ‘A’ (R. Maurer, L. Maurer, McFadden, Cabrera) – 6:12.28
  3. Texas ‘B’ (Aurnou-Rhees, Taylor, Zettle, Haskal) – 6:21.64
  4. USC ‘A’ – 6:22.47
  5. Wisconsin ‘A’ – 6:22.86
  6. Stanford ‘B’ – 6:24.93
  7. Wisconsin ‘B’ – 6:26.57
  8. Stanford ‘C’ – 6:26.78

Texas, reigning NCAA champions and NCAA record holders, took care of business here in the 800 freestyle relay. Even though they still have holes here, this relay looks like it will still be their strongest one as it’s grounded by veterans Coby Carrozza and Luke Hobson.

Two freshmen Nate Germonprez and Will Modglin joined the upperclassmen on the relay, with Germonprez leading off in 1:34.31, .35 seconds off his personal best. Carrozza split 1:32.05, then Modglin–in his second relay of the night–went 1:34.03. Finally, Hobson brought them home in a 1:31.27, speeding past Andres Cabrera Dupont to grab the win.

Texas and Stanford traded the lead back and forth throughout the relay. Rex Maurer was just four-hundredths off his personal best leading off the Cardinal relay in 1:33.58. That put Stanford in the lead, though they were second at the halfway point even with Luke Maurer‘s 1:32.87 split.

Stanford took over the lead again after the third leg, thanks to Henry McFadden‘s 1:32.69 split. The Cardinal weren’t able to hold off Hobson, but they were still well under the ‘A’ cut with a 6:12.28, 5.07 seconds faster than they were at this point last season.

There was a big gap between the top two teams and the rest of the field. Texas’ ‘B’ team took third with a 6:21.64. Jake Newmark, a breakout star for Wisconsin last season, is reportedly sick, which helps explain his 1:38.46 lead-off leg for the Badgers.

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Sherry Smit
5 months ago

Hot Take… USC Women win the 8FR at NC’s

I miss the ISL
Reply to  Sherry Smit
5 months ago

It’s definitely possible. I feel Tuggle could get down to 1:42 with good taper and if Abraham is throwing down 1:41 in November, then they definitely have a chance.

5 months ago

The texas freshman have been as advertised so far. I’m sold on a firm floor of 6th place for Tex. Hard to see Tennesee topping them but also hard to see them jumping IU/FL/NCS into the top 5

5 months ago

Manning Haskel announces his self as a player. 1:33 split beats his best by 2 seconds and the highly touted freshmen. Inspired performance. well done.

Last edited 5 months ago by austinpoolboy
5 months ago

Texas men looking much better than their duel meets, even factoring in whatever rest they got. Some of their holes like sprint fly are still pretty noticeable though

Reply to  Buttafly
5 months ago

yah. Cole Crane is a very good long course 200 fly guy. Interesting that Peter Paulus on C relay had best fly split at 20.64 for Texas, and 3rd overall in the meet. This would be way cool if a former college club swimmer was on the NCAA 200 MR team for Texas.

Last edited 5 months ago by austinpoolboy
Reply to  austinpoolboy
5 months ago

Something similar happened back in 2013 with Michigan’s 200 medley relay where they got a Kenyan sprinter on their U.S. open record relay. Had the fastest free split in the field during that relay. Only difference is the dude was a former D3 swimmer and a free sprint specialist.

5 months ago

Jacob Newmark not looking fantastic- 7 seconds off PB leading off 8 free relay

Reply to  Swimming
5 months ago

he was born better than you will ever be.

Samuel Huntington
5 months ago

USC women with a 6:53, wow. They look exceptional.

Popovici 1:39.99
5 months ago

USC men yet again disappointing at the meets that matter. Missing another relay B cut and a tie with UNLV of all programs.

Last edited 5 months ago by Popovici 1:39.99
Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
5 months ago

UNLV actually had a top 20 200 free relay at NCAAs last year whereas USC did not (although neither teams had a 200 medley relay), and has been growing a program of some fast guys in sprint events

Popovici 1:39.99
Reply to  BigFriendlySwimCoach
5 months ago

I apologize for the way my comment came off towards UNLV as I pointed out USC’s underperformance. It’s always amazing to see mid-major programs step up to the plate. Kudos to UNLV, shame for USC.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
5 months ago

Stanford also missed the B cut. Yikes.

Reply to  Samuel Huntington
5 months ago

Luckily this isn’t their only chance to qualify. I’m sure they’ll be better at Pac 12s.

Texas Invite
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
5 months ago

The A relay had an A cut time and had a better time by almost a second from NCAAs last year with Claire Curzan on backstroke. The relay was DQd for a clear exchange violation by almost a foot on breast to fly A violation is a violation but a lot to be excited about with Stanford relays which included a 6:54 800 free relay which would have been 3rd at NCAAs last year.

Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
5 months ago

I didn’t think it needed an apology 🙂 I got what you were going for, just wanted to add to your comment and start a conversation

5 months ago

Will Modglin is the truth. This Texas freshmen class on the men’s side could be the boost this program needs after losing some big names last season.

Reply to  randomswimmer2
5 months ago

glazing at its finest

Reply to  randomswimmer2
5 months ago

1.3 seconds off the NCAA time from last year with three freshmen.

Reply to  randomswimmer2
5 months ago

They could even get 6th this year so amazing

Reply to  Taa
5 months ago

I mean they lost Corbeau, both Fosters, Vines, Chan, Larson, and D Krueger so that’s a hard reset for any program.

Reply to  25Back
5 months ago

Plus David Johnson’s 43 points with his redshirt.

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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