2x NCAA Champ Andrew Capobianco Leads Quartet of IU Men’s 5th Years for 2022-23

by Spencer Penland 6

September 07th, 2022 Big Ten, College, News

Indiana University benefitted greatly from the NCAA policy which allows athletes a 5th year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic last season, and they look to do so again this year. After IU had 4 swimmers return for a 5th year last season, they’ll have another 4 use their 5th year eligibility this year as well. Notably, IU won the men’s Big Ten team title last season, and finished 5th at NCAAs, recording the top finish by a Big Ten team.

Andrew Capobianco, Mikey Calvillo, Jack Franzman, and Van Mathias will each be returning for a 5th season with the Hoosiers. Capobianco is a unique case, as this will actually be his 6th year training in Bloomington, although it will still only be his 5th season as an active member of the Indiana varsity team. Capobianco completed his freshman (2017-18) and sophomore (2018-19) seasons at IU, then took the 2019-20 season as an Olympic Redshirt as he prepared for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Of course, the Tokyo Olympics would be delayed to 2021 due to the pandemic, and Capobianco returned to competition with IU for the 2020-21 season, his redshirt junior season.

Following the 2020-21 season, Capobianco and fellow Hoosier Michael Hixon won silver at the Tokyo Olympics in synchronized 3-meter. The 2021-22 season marked Capobianco’s redshirt senior season, so that would make the 2022-23 season his redshirt 5th year season.

Capobianco has experienced international success, having won silver in Tokyo and bronze at the 2019 World Champs (also in synchronized 3-meter with Hixon), but he’s also been one of the best divers in the NCAA during his collegiate career. Capobianco has won 2 NCAA diving titles in his career, winning the NCAA Championships in 3-meter at both the 2019 and 2021 Championships. At the 2022 NCAAs, Capobianco took 2nd in both 1-meter and 3-meter, as well as 9th in platform. He was one of only 3 divers at the meet to score in all 3 events.

Capobianco was also exceptional for IU at the 2022 Big Ten Championships, winning all 3 diving events, as well as Big Ten Diver of the Year for his efforts.

Jack Franzman has been a critical relay member for IU over his 4 seasons with Indiana. He’s been on several All-American relays with IU and has been on 6 Big Ten title winning relays over his career. Franzman has been a mainstay on the IU 200 free and 400 free relays since he arrived at IU, and he’s occasionally been the anchor on the 400 medley relay as well. Individually, Franzman has recorded 6 ‘A’ finals appearances at the Big Ten Championships, highlighted by a 2nd place finish in the 50 free at the 2021 Big Tens.

Here are Franzman’s lifetime bests in his top events:

  • 50 free – 19.14
  • 100 free – 42.45
  • 200 free – 1:34.87

Van Mathias has also been a key relay member for the Hoosiers over his career in Bloomington. Last season, Mathias didn’t qualify for NCAAs individually, though he swam on the IU 200 free, 400 free, and 800 free relays, which finished 8th, 7th, and 9th respectively. He was also on the IU 800 free relay at the 2022 Big Ten Championships, which won the conference title. At the 2022 Big Ten Championships, Mathias anchored the 200 free relay in 18.59, marking the fastest split in the field. Mathias was also great on the Big Tens 400 free relay, anchoring in 41.86. He was just off that time at NCAAs, but was still able to split under 42, providing a 41.94 to help IU to their 7th place finish.

Individually, Mathias has tallied 7 ‘A’ finals appearances at Big Tens over his career. He’s a very versatile swimmer, although he’s primarily seen as a butterflier. His sprint free times are of course there, but he’s also fast enough at breaststroke to get tapped to handle breast duties on IU’s medley relays at in-season meets, and a great 200 IMer as well.

Here are Mathias’ lifetime bests in his top events:

  • 100 fly – 45.90
  • 200 fly- 1:42.30
  • 200 IM – 1:43.50
  • 100 breast – 54.74

Mikey Calvillo finished 10th in the 1650 free at the 2019 NCAAs as a freshman, swimming a 14:40.59. That time still stands as Calvillo’s personal best in the event and his only scoring performance at NCAAs, though Calvillo did also qualify for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 NCAAs. Calvillo has also been a huge contributor for the Hoosiers at Big Tens, recording 7 top-8 finishes in his career, spread across the 500 free, 1650 free, and 400 IM.

Here are Calvillo’s lifetime bests in his top events:

  • 500 free – 4:15.94
  • 1650 free – 14:40.59
  • 400 IM – 3:46.12

 

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Meathead
2 months ago

Such great history at this program….. doc, spitz, king, pieroni, Hall, as well Hinsdale greats Kinsella and TR, great to see these 5th years coming back

Marlin
2 months ago

Between these guys and their usual 20 year old freshman they are by far the oldest college team in the nation.

Garry Pratt
3 months ago

Thanks for sharing!! Very proud!

TWU
3 months ago

I feel bad for the freshmen swimmers who have lost their opportunities to compete collegially to the 5th-years. I feel bad for those who lost their 2020-2021 season too, but they are more mature now and are supposed to be able to handle the loss a lot better.

Thomas
Reply to  TWU
3 months ago

There are a large number of mid-major schools that have retained very few 5th years. I don’t think there’s a lack of roster space in the NCAA for a swimmer of IU’s caliber. It might mean forfeiting scholarship your freshman year, or transferring after you’ve grown and gotten stronger at a mid-major…but there are plenty of opportunities.

Hell, you could even train at home for another year while you earn a significant amount of college credit at local school.

Old Swim Coach
Reply to  TWU
2 months ago

Look at the accomplishments of the above group and tell me how many high school seniors would be going head to head with them for a roster spot? Not many. From the program’s perspective, they are able to get someone for one more year who is proven at a high level. Why wouldn’t they do everything they can to retain/recruit them, even if it is for just one year? As a fifth year student-athlete, you can either finish your undergrad or begin a grad program. It’s a win-win situation. High schoolers still have lots of opportunities in all divisions. I don’t feel bad for them.