Alabama’s 200 Medley Relay Reaction Times Add Up To .01


Last year, it was the Florida men’s relay exchanges that were the talk of the town. However, the Alabama Crimson Tide may have just taken the title of “best relay exchanges in the building” from the Gators.

In the 200 medley, the first event of the 2023 Men’s Division I NCAAs, Alabama’s quartet of Matthew Menke, Derek Maas, Mateo Miceliand Tim Korstanje finished 11th with a time of 1:22.70. The most impressive part of their swim? Maas’, Miceli’s, and Korstanje’s reaction times all added up to a grand total of…a hundredth.

No, that’s not a typo. Here’s the proof:

We don’t keep any stats about reaction time sums, but this is definitely up there for lowest total reaction time for a non-disqualified relay. Though all three were exceptionally quick, the one who was closest to the edge was the freshman Korstanje, as anything faster than -.03 earns a disqualification.

Despite his speed, Korstanje didn’t have the fastest legal reaction time in the race. That honor belongs to a fellow freshman, Georgia’s Kris Pitshugin, who hit exactly a -.03 reaction time.

Their reaction times helped them drop over a second from their seed time, which was the 1:23.72 they swam during a time trial at the SEC Championships.

2023 NCAAs 2023 SEC Time Trial
Matthew Menke 20.88 21.34
Derek Maas 22.39 22.92
Mateo Miceli 20.64 20.31
Tim Korstanje 18.79 19.15
Total 1:22.70 1:23.72

Menke, Maas, and Korstanje were all markedly faster at NCAAs than they were during the SEC time trial. That said, it should be noted that Menke, Maas, and Miceli all swam on the scored 200 medley relay earlier in the session where they also did the time trial.

Notably, Maas also tied Max McHugh for the second-fastest 50 breaststroke split in history. The top four were all swum in this session, with Marchand and McHugh also getting under McHugh’s old mark of 22.40.

Men’s 50 Breast Splits: Top 5 Performers Of All Time

  1. Leon Marchand, Arizona State — 22.27 (2023)
  2. Max McHugh, Minnesota/Derek Maas, Alabama – 22.39 (2023/2023)
  3. (tie)
  4. Van Mathias, Indiana — 22.53 (2023)
  5. Brian Benzing, Towson – 22.54 (2023)

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2 months ago

Alabama got 4th in this relay last year. An 11th place relay with very lucky exchanges constitutes an article? Ok.

IU Swammer
2 months ago

Looks like there’s been an across-the-board breakthrough on breast sprinting. New technique, new race strategy, new training focus—I don’t know what it is, but it’s neat to see.

2 months ago

It would make sense the guy with the fastest 400 im of all time would also have the best 50 breast ever. Breaststroke is dumb

2 months ago

Hi, where can I find the rule about the -.03 being legal? I thought that the range from +/-.09 is solely the timing systems decision and that a reaction of -.01 through -.09 is an automatic disqualification. Thanks,

Reply to  Mick
2 months ago

It depends on the setpoint of the touchpad. The Daktronics systems at Ivies, for example, had a 0.00 setpoint. In other words, testing showed that the pad shows the swimmer as gone when they’re gone. Other systems have shown that a swimmer can still be in contact with the bad for -.03 to -.04 seconds after the pad has already registered their departure (those pads use pressure, Daktronics uses something else).

Rule book here:

Section 14, Article 6, point c.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

Thank you, I appreciate it.

2 months ago

Derek Maas may be flirting with 49 this week!

2 months ago

So ELITE. Never heard of any relay getting reaction time total so fine. Well done gentlemen.

2 months ago

Incredible! .01

Col. Trautman
Reply to  Joe
2 months ago

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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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