American SC Champs: Texas’ Larson Posts 4:14 500 Free to Qualify for NCAAs


  • March 5-7, 2020
  • Austin, Texas
  • Short Course Yards
  • Results

Thursday marked day 1 of the 2020 American Short Course Championships, a club meet that also serves as a last chance qualifier for local swimmers to try to make the cut for NCAAs. Texas’ JohnThomas Larson had a breakthrough swim, posting a best in the 500 free for the first time since 2018.

Larson clocked a 4:14.96 in prelims before going on to win the final in 4:15.71. He’s now 19th in the nation, including times from tonight’s Pac-12 meet. Teammate Alex Zettle is ranked 15th in the NCAA with his 4:13.14 from midseason. However, Zettle didn’t compete at Big 12s last week. He swam the 500 free tonight, taking 2nd behind Larson in 4:20.20.

While Larson’s time should safely qualify him for NCAAs, the Longhorn coaches have some decisions to make. They may need to cut 4 or more swimmers based on the number of qualifiers they already had before this meet. Last season, Larson was fast enough to qualify, but was ultimately one of the two swimmers cut from the Texas NCAA roster.

Texas A&M’s Kaloyan Bratanov shaved a few tenths off his best in the 200 IM. His 1:44.07 beat his best from last month’s SECs by about 3 tenths. He’s now ranked #31 in the event after tonight’s Pac-12 finals. Teammate Mike Thibert won the 50 free in 19.85. His season best is a 19.57 from SECs, and he was slightly faster in prelims with a 19.70.

Texas’ Jake Sannem, who took a redshirt this season, competed for the first time this season here. He was 2nd tonight in 19.91. That’s his first time under 20 per the USA Swimming database. However, he was entered in this meet with a 19.87, so the database time may not be accurate.

Badger Swim Club’s Noelle Kaufmann won a pair of events on the women’s side. She was just 4 hundredths shy of her best in the 200 IM as she won in 2:00.84. Minutes later, she won the 50 free in 23.76. Kaufmann had set her lifetime best in prelims with a 23.37. Teammate Caroline Pennington won the 500 free in 4:51.65, her 3rd fastest performance ever in the event.

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Sponge bob
2 years ago

Go where ur needed.

Reply to  Sponge bob
2 years ago

Go where ur needed, unless Texas calls you.

Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago


– go where you want to go.

2 years ago

2 spots for the 4 divers, that leaves 16 swimming spots. Where exactly does he fit in?

Michael Andrew Wilson
Reply to  PacRic
2 years ago

I’d say “out.” Looks likely that 8 invitees will be left home (!!!): Koustik, JT Larson, Neri, Harder, and Peter Larson seem the most tenuous. Scheinfeld and Yeager haven’t been on form but idk if Charlie was truly rested yet at conference. Park would seem likely out. That’s 8 guys left home unless someone else is injured or otherwise out of commission. Unbelievable but a good problem to have I guess.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  PacRic
2 years ago

The first 10 spots feel pretty clear to me: Kruger, Rooney, Kibler, Pomajevich, Katz, Jiang, Corbeau, Foster, Vines, Willenbring. All of them project as 2-3 event scorers.

I assume Harty and Staka will be obvious inclusions as well, just unclear about Harty’s physical health. Staka is an interesting case, but I think is too valuable a relay piece to not be included.

Then we have 4 spots left for these 8 guys: Artmann, Scheinfeld, Zettle, Thomas, Yeager, Collins, Neri, and Koustik. Collins probably has the highest individual expected points right now and gets in, Artmann is second and Scheinfeld gets third. I think the last spot comes down to Thomas vs Zettle vs Yeager, with Neri and Koustik out.

Don’t… Read more »

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

Missing Jake Sannem, but he’s been missing the whole year.

Reply to  DRUKSTOP
2 years ago

Jake Sannem swam 19.91 50 free yesterday and 1:34.90 in 100 free prelims this morning. Speaking of a beautiful freestyle… I had chance to meet him few days ago – a wonderfull, well spoken, and polite young man. A big fan now.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 years ago

You forgot P Larson, E Harder & P Varozza. That’s 4 spots for 11 guys. I think they need to add a distance guy, either Zettle or Yeager.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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