Army’s Kohen Rankin Blasts 51.62 100 Breast At ECAC Championships For Likely NCAA Invite

2024 Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships

  • March 1-3, 2024
  • Annapolis, MD
  • Lejeune Hall
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results

Army sophomore Kohen Rankin highlighted a record-charged Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship meet over the weekend with a sizzling swim in the 100 breaststroke.

The ECAC Championships features swimmers across all three NCAA divisions, typically featuring athletes who didn’t race at their respective conference meets along with those who are going for specific times for potential NCAA qualification.

Coming off winning a second consecutive Patriot League title just over a week ago, Rankin rocketed to a time of 51.62 in the 100 breast, lowering the ECAC, Patriot League and Army school records while all but guaranteeing himself a spot at the NCAA Championships for the first time.

Rankin first broke his own ECAC Record of 52.68 set last season, while also knocking off his Patriot League mark of 52.06 set at this February’s conference championships, in the prelims in a time of 51.99 before getting down to 51.62 in the final.

The 20-year-old came into the postseason with a personal best time of 52.36, set in March 2022 prior to his collegiate career. His fastest swim as a freshman came in at 52.61.

Last season, 51.90 was the time required to earn an invite to the NCAA Championships, so Rankin has seemingly assured himself a spot as we await the last major conference meet, Men’s Pac-12s, to run this weekend before NCAA psych sheets are released. Rankin’s time currently ranks him 20th in the country.

OTHER MEN’S HIGHLIGHTS

In addition to Rankin’s swim, 10 other ECAC Records fell at the meet, six of which were on the men’s side.

Navy was responsible for five of those men’s records, including a pair in the free relays.

In the 200 free relay, the Midshipmen quartet of Lachlan Andrew (20.12), Simon Thompson (19.65), Garrett McGovern (19.90) and Austin Lockhart (19.35) combined for a time of 1:19.02, lowering the previous mark of 1:19.36 set by Navy in 2022.

Lockhart added a meet record of his own in the 100 free, setting a PB of 44.24 in the final after initially lowering the 44.40 mark initially set in 2009 with a 44.35 prelim showing.

The 800 free relay saw Stephan Aguirre (1:37.17), Kellan Pattison (1:38.36), Evan McKelvey (1:38.13) and Ben Mauldin (1:37.17) clock a time of 6:30.83, obliterating the ECAC Record of 6:35.91 set by Navy in 2015.

Navy went on to sweep the team titles, and Mauldin was one of the top individual performers for the Midshipmen with a pair of wins in the 200 free (1:36.74) and 500 free (4:18.41), both new personal bests. He was also the runner-up in the 1650 in a time of 15:06.60.

Navy also saw a big swim come from freshman Coleman Yates, who dropped a massive best time of 3:51.79 in the 400 IM final to knock off the meet record of 3:53.30 set by Columbia’s James Delgado in 2014. Coming into the meet, Yates had only broken 4:00 once, and it came pre-college at the 2022 Florida Spring Senior Championships (3:58.04).

His sophomore teammate George Brooker III also went under the old record in 3:52.84.

We also saw Loyola (MD) freshman Joe Hayburn set a lifetime best and ECAC Record of 47.09 in the prelims of the 100 back, lowering the 12-year-old record of 47.51 set by Pitt’s Adam Maczewsk before winning the final in 47.27.

On Sunday, Hayburn swam the race again in a time trial and broke 47 seconds for the first time in 46.80, also a new Loyola Record.

In the 200 medley relay, it was Princeton getting the job done with a new meet record in 1:27.18, as Yanning Zhang (21.97), Kael Mlinek (23.63), Finn Dowdall (21.13) and Billy Swartwout (20.45) combined to lower Navy’s old ECAC Record of 1:28.88 from 2018, with the Midshipmen also getting under that time in 1:28.19, including a 19.41 anchor from Lockhart.

Final Team Scores – Men

  1. 1. Navy, 894
  2. Columbia, 465.50
  3. Bucknell, 415
  4. Princeton, 331
  5. Loyola, 316
  6. Rider, 237
  7. Fairfield, 159
  8. Pennsylvania, 127.50
  9. Yale, 109
  10. Baruch, 95

WOMEN’S HIGHLIGHTS

On the women’s side, American University’s Mimi Watts had one of the top performances on the opening day in the 50 free, firing off a time of 22.47 in the final to break the 2016 meet record of 22.61 previously held by Penn’s Rochelle Dong.

Watts was slightly quicker the week prior, however, setting a PB en route to winning the Patriot League title in 22.38.

Two other ECAC Records from 2016 went down in the women’s 200 free and 100 breast.

In the 200 free, Penn State’s Catherine Meisner set a season-best time of 1:46.29 to get under the previous mark of 1:46.65 held by Virginia’s Eryn Eddy.

Meisner, who was .01 slower in the Big Ten consolation final one week earlier to place 11th, holds a PB of 1:45.95 at the 2023 Big Tens. She also won the ECAC title in the 100 free in 49.98, three-tenths shy of her lifetime best.

Yale’s Jessey Li clocked 1:00.44 in the 100 breast prelims to break the old record of 1:00.82 held by Rutgers’ Rachel Stoddard, with Li going on to win the final in 1:00.50.

Li was the Ivy League runner-up last week (1:00.34) after winning the conference title last season in what remains her best time of 59.96.

The 400 medley relay saw the Rutgers quartet of Martyna Piesko (54.54), Tina Celik (1:00.34), Vika Kostromina (55.27) and Ella Hall (52.15) touch in 3:42.30 to lower the 2016 meet record of 3:42.93 held by UVA.

Loyola senior Lily Mead was another standout at the competition, winning the 200 back and 200 IM while setting a personal best time en route to a runner-up finish in the 400 IM (4:16.44)—which was won by JMU’s Jess Pryne (4:16.27).

In the 200 IM, Mead’s time of 1:59.17 was faster than she went the week prior at the Patriot League Championships where she was 2nd.

Final Team Scores – Women (Top 10)

  1. Navy, 747.50
  2. Bucknell, 587
  3. Pennsylvania, 409.50
  4. Columbia, 372.50
  5. Loyola, 303
  6. Rutgers, 201
  7. Rider, 138
  8. Manhattan, 133.50
  9. James Madison, 129
  10. Frostburg State, 85

Major Award Winners

  • ECAC Women’s Open Swimmer of the Meet: Lily Mead from Loyola
  • ECAC Women’s Open Coach of the Meet: John Morrison from Navy
  • ECAC Men’s Open Swimmer of the Meet: Ben Mauldin from Navy
  • ECAC Men’s Open Coach of the Meet: Bill Roberts from Navy

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applesandoranges
1 month ago

Kohen Gadol

ercaptain
Reply to  applesandoranges
29 days ago

Indeed

randomswimmer2
1 month ago

Ben Irwin of Navy also broke the Patriot League record in the 200 back in a time trial with a 1:40.71

zThomas
1 month ago

While not likely, its not inconceivable that Army is leading the 400 medley relay at the 200 mark at NCAA in 2026

Admin
Reply to  zThomas
1 month ago

That’s crazy to think about. Johnny Crush/Kohen Rankin? That’s national-class.

Rankin was 53.19 out of high school. So he dropped 1.5 seconds. If Crush dropped the same in the 100 back, he’d be 44.20. If Rankin gets another half-a-second, plus hits a good relay exchange…44.20/50.19? 1:34.39? Only Indiana and Arizona State were better at NCAAs last year.

Swimbor
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

52.3 out of high school. Columbia Sectionals March 2022

Admin
Reply to  Swimbor
1 month ago

Good catch, missed that one.

jablo
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

wait, crush is going to army? did i miss that?

Admin
Reply to  jablo
1 month ago

Yep https://swimswam.com/46-5-100-backstroker-johnny-crush-verbally-commits-to-army-west-point-2024/

They’ve got a couple of really good recruits coming in the next few years. 47.0 butterflier too.

UCswim
1 month ago

Random question–Why do Yale and Columbia have ECAC teams? Aren’t they in the Ivies? Thanks!

UCswim
Reply to  UCswim
1 month ago

Never mind, I should read the article 🙂

snailSpace
1 month ago

I wonder how that’s gonna affect his rankin’ for the season.

MLB
1 month ago

Well desereved for Kohen! Congrats to him and the army staff

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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