arena Swim of the Week: Minna Abraham Delivers 1:43.53 200 Free In Yards Debut

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

It’s never quite clear how an international swimmer who has never raced in a yards pool will transition over to the collegiate format, but Minna Abraham made it look easy last weekend in her debut for USC.

The Hungarian freshman won both of her individual events and provided a pair of quick relay legs to help propel the Trojan women to a surprise win over a field that included #3 Louisville at the SMU Classic.

The standout performance for Abraham came in the 200 free, where she dropped a time of 1:43.53 which is not only blistering for this early in the season, it’s just fast, period.

Last season, that time would’ve qualified for and then finished 6th in the NCAA ‘A’ final, as only four swimmers cracked the 1:43 barrier. Abraham’s clocking is just 1.17 seconds slower than what Taylor Ruck went to win the national title (1:42.36).

Challenged early by Louisville’s Paige Hetrick, who was an ‘A’ finalist last season, Abraham sat in 2nd place at the halfway mark but turned on the jets coming home. After making up some ground and flipping .01 ahead of Hetrick at the 150, Abraham closed in 26.01 to earn the win by nearly two seconds.

Through the first few weekends of dual meets and early-season invites, Abraham and Hetrick rank 1-2 in the NCAA in the event.

Split Comparison

Abraham Hetrick
24.10 24.00
50.68 (26.58) 50.33 (26.33)
1:17.52 (26.84) 1:17.53 (27.20)
1:43.53 (26.01) 1:45.41 (27.88)

Abraham, who is still just 17, certainly didn’t come into the season as an unknown, having notably won a trio of individual silver medals at the 2022 World Junior Championships, including the 200 free. Her lifetime best of 1:58.23 set last September in Lima indicated she could make her presence felt in the NCAA, we just didn’t know it would be this soon.

She’s announced herself as a contender for a top finish at season’s end, no doubt.

In addition to her 200 free performance, Abraham won the 200 IM (1:57.51), had the fastest split on the victorious 800 free relay (1:44.67) and recorded a 21.88 leg on the runner-up 200 free relay.

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4 months ago

1:45.99 at NCAAs in typical Lea Maurer fashion

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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