2024 NCAA Runner-Up Owen McDonald Transferring from ASU To Indiana

Former Arizona State swimmer Owen McDonald has announced his transfer to Indiana about three weeks after entering the transfer portal.

McDonald just finished up his sophomore season with Arizona State. As a freshman, McDonald made the Pac-12 A final in the 100 back, 200 back, and 200 IM, scoring 46.5 individual points. At 2023 NCAAs, he made the A final of the 100 and 200 backstrokes, finishing 5th in the 200 and 6th in the 100.

McDonald was the 3rd highest scorer for Arizona State at the 2024 NCAA Championships with 46 points. That would have been the most of an Indiana swimmer this past season at 2024 NCAAs as they were led by divers. McDonald finished 2nd in the 200 IM, 3rd in the 200 back, and 6th in the 100 back at 2024 NCAAs.

The Indiana men finished 4th at 2024 NCAAs, just two points behind 3rd place Florida. The addition of McDonald helps fill the gap that fifth year Brendan Burns graduates as Burns won the 100 backstroke and was also an ‘A’ finalist in the 200 backstroke.

McDonald also will look to help fill Burns’ relay role. Burns swam a 44.43 backstroke lead-off for the Hoosiers at NCAAs and the team had no other swimmer under the 45-second mark in the 100 back this past season. The addition of McDonald keeps the Hoosiers as contenders with his potential to lead off on backstroke.

In addition to his medley relay potential, McDonald’s flat-start best of a 1:32.06 in the 200 free would have been the 2nd fastest on the Indiana roster this past season. The Hoosiers finished 6th in the 800 free relay at 2024 NCAAs with only one sub-1:32 split.

McDonald also brings in strength to the IM group as the Hoosiers did not have an A finalist in the 200 IM as Luke Barr finished 10th overall.


100 back 47.21 44.85 44.25
200 back 1:42.63 1:39.01 1:36.63
200 IM 1:46.18 1:41.60 1:39.23

Owen will arrive this fall alongside his younger brother Cooper McDonald who committed last November. Owen has two years of eligibility remaining.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
James Beam
2 months ago

Well, the 2025 Men’s NCAA championships just got a tad more interesting….and it is the swimming & DIVING championships….I think Cal and Florida will outscore them in the pool- not as much as this year… diving could be the difference maker for the Hoosiers..and hats off to them for having the best divers in the NCAA. And for those who say diving should be a separate sport, it isn’t, so there is not much you can do.

Gail Jones
2 months ago

I think 🤔 that every since Bob Bowman left ASU and said that he had only nine Americans who qualify and he is going to the French team for the Olympics, swimmers had put their names in the portal, it is sad because they are not 🚭🚫 getting the new senior coach a chance just to be fair and even the French swimmer left, and the Hungarian swimmer left ASU because they sought out Michael Phelps ‘s coach and continued to do so until they graduated!! It’s nice 🙂 that brothers would attend the same university and I hope that it will go well with them both and to bring up the progress of the IU swimmers to make that… Read more »

Reply to  Gail Jones
2 months ago

Are you the same not smoking guy as last time?

Long Strokes
2 months ago

4th place here they come 🔥

Reply to  Long Strokes
2 months ago

That would be NC state🔥🔥

Honest swim fan
2 months ago

Ironic. I didn”t see this coming. I was talking with Owen a year and a half ago about trying to get his brother to change his inclination toward IU to come swim with him at ASU. Now it happens in the reverse order.

It is alright, I guess. I win either way as an ASU fan and IU alum. Classy kid. Hope he is a happy Hoosier and swims fast.

I wasn’t necessarily surprised he didn’t follow Bob to Texas as BB kind of messed with his head in not using Owen on 4×200 FR (used Kos(PB 1:33.59) at NCAAs (1:32.1 at NCAA rolling start) after Owen swam 1:32.06 flat PB trying earn relay spot), but I didn’t anticipate… Read more »

Reply to  Honest swim fan
2 months ago

I don’t know the swimmer at all but I too would would feel the relay slight as a source of bitterness.

tea rex
2 months ago

Bob Bowman took a dream job, which was probably only available this one time. I don’t know of any better way he could have handled the transition, but still there’s got to be some charred bridges in Tempe. For Owen, I expect either ASU or Texas would be a step down from last year’s environment, so it’s probably smart he went somewhere established that he will be supported.

ASU is going to be rebuilding (obvious):
Bowman took over a hanging-by-a-thread team, transformed the culture, recruited absolute studs, built a topnotch coaching staff, attracted a pro team. It was a fairytale story. Then at the moment of triumph to pull the rug out and “oh yeah I’m taking the… Read more »

2 months ago

All these comments about folks not going to Texas have me wondering about the team size at Texas and whether there’s a limit? Beyond scholarships, surely they have some kind of limit on their varsity swim team size? And there’s the perennial discussion about being on a team where you might get cut from the NCAA team due to caps, so I can imagine folks wanting to go elsewhere for that reason.

2 months ago

Why couldn’t he wait for WVU to hire a new coach and transfer there?

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 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

Read More »