French backstroker Baptiste Leger is leaving Queens University (NC) after two seasons, and he’ll transfer to Columbia University in Division I’s Ivy League. When off-season in France, he trains with the club ES Massy.
He earned All-American status at the 2018 and 2019 NCAA DII Championships in the 200 backstroke, placing 4th as a freshman and 6th as a sophomore.
I am thrilled to announce I am transferring to Columbia University for my last two years of eligibility. I would like to thank Jeff Dugdale and everyone at Queens for their support and for two great years, both athletically and academically. I would also like to thank Jim Bolster for this opportunity. I am looking forward to being a Lion!
- 50y back – 23.47
- 100y back – 48.23
- 200y back – 1:44.52
- 200y IM – 1:49.41
- 50m back – 26.33
- 100m back – 56.14
- 200m back – 2:02.01
Leger is primarily a backstroker. His best times in yards in the 100 and 200 back are from 2018 NCAAs, while he broke 1:50 for the first time in the 200 IM at the 2019 Bluegrass Mountain/Carolinas Conference Championships. He placed 2nd in the 200 back, 3rd in the 100 back, and 4th in the 200 IM at that meet.
He’ll add backstroke strength to the Columbia Lions next season. Columbia scored 14 points at the 2019 NCAA DI Championships, all from diver Jonathan Suckow, a rising junior. The Lions were 4th at the 2019 Ivy League Champs, just three points ahead of Yale, and not very far back from 3rd place Penn and 2nd place Princeton.
The Lions were led by rising senior Cole Stevens and rising sophomore Joey Licht in the back last season. Stevens helped their medley relays to 3rd (400 medley) and 4th (200 medley) at Ivies, while he scored in B finals in both backstrokes. Licht made the 200 back A final as a freshman and contributed points in the 100 back B final.
Leger is about a second off of B final scoring cutoff range in the 200 IM at Ivies, but he looks like a solid bet for an A final appearance in at least the 200 back.
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