Baylor Nelson Wins Three Events As Texas A&M Sweeps SMU

#10/#17 Texas A&M vs. #22/– SMU

  • February 2, 2024
  • College Station, Texas
  • Results
  • Final Scores:
    • Women: Texas A&M – 176, SMU – 111
    • Men: Texas A&M – 190, SMU – 109

Texas A&M hosted SMU on Friday for the Aggies’ Senior Day celebration. Texas A&M came out on top on both sides of the meet, out-scoring the Mustangs by 65-points on the women’s side and 81-points on the men’s.

With their victory, the Texas A&M men moved to 9-0 in dual meets, marking their first undefeated season since 1955-56. On the women’s side, this dual meet marked the final with long-time head coach Steve Bultman, who announced that he will be retiring following the conclusion of the season

Men’s Recap

Leading the Aggies to victory with three individual wins was Baylor Nelson. The sophomore kicked things off with a dominant performance in the 200 freestyle, clocking a 1:34.07 to come within a tenth of his personal best time in the event. He then led a 1-3 Aggie finish in both the 200 backstroke (1:42.44) and 400 IM (3:45.40). 

Also contributing multiple wins for Texas A&M was Alex Sanchez, who posted the top time in both breaststroke events. Sanchez, a senior, logged a 53.34 in the 100 to beat his teammate Logan Brown by about half a second (53.89). In the 200, Sanchez recorded a 1:55.02 to win the event by nearly two seconds.

Despite falling short to the Aggies, the Mustangs saw some promising performances from their grad transfers. One of which was Danny Kovac, who set season best times en route to winning both butterfly events. Kovac, a transfer from Missouri, clocked a 1:42.98 in the 200 fly to improve on his season best from January by about five seconds. He also clocked a 46.04 in the 100 fly, which is a second off what he swam at NCAAs in 2022. Both of his swims rank 2nd all-time in SMU program history.

Jack Hoagland, also a Notre Dame transfer, had a fantastic showing in the 1650. Hoagland took down two program records on his way to winning the event, as he split an 8:53.80 at the 1000 on his way to a final time of 14:44.08. Hoagland’s time currently ranks 6th in the NCAA so far this season.

Jack Forrest, who previously held the school record in the 1650, delivered a victory for the Mustangs in the 500. He stopped the clock at 4:23.53, marking his fastest dual meet time of the season in the event. 

Other Event Winners:

  • Texas A&M’s ‘A’ team (Shomper, Sanchez, Foote, Reno) clocked a 1:25.35 to beat their ‘B’ team by (1:26.16) in the 200 medley relay.
  • Thomas Shomper won the 100 back in 46.87, putting him within a second of his personal best. 
  • Connor Foote was the only athlete in the field to crack 20-seconds in the 50 freestyle with a winning time of 19.93. 
  • Collin Fuchs clocked a season best time of 43.50 to win the 100 freestyle.
  • Texas A&M’s ‘A’ team (Foote, C. Nelson, Fuchs, B. Nelson) closed the meet with a win in the 200 freestyle relay (1:18.70). 
  • Victor Povzner swept the diving events for Texas A&M with wins on 1-meter (396.98) and 3-meter (443.78).

Women’s Recap

The Aggies won all but two events on their way to beating the Mustangs by a 65-point margin. Senior Abby Grottle kicked off the individual events with back-to-back victories in the 1000 and 200 free. In the 1000, she knocked over five seconds off her previous best time to post a 9:40.14. She then touched 1st in the 200 free at 1:46.75, which also takes her under her previous personal best in the event.

Freshman Miranda Grana was another key piece to Texas A&M’s victory, as she contributed to the team’s 200 medley relay win in addition to her two individual titles. She delivered a 24.88 backstroke split on the 200 medley relay (1:39.77), then swam a 52.95 in the 100 back to win the event by about half a second. Grana then notched a personal best on her way to winning the 100 fly (53.60).

Grana was joined by Bobbi Kennett, Olivia Theall, and Chloe Stepanek on the 200 medley relay (1:39.77). All three also secured individual wins of their own, with Kennett taking the 100 breast (1:01.5), Theall winning the 200 IM (2:00.60), and Stepanek hitting a 1:56.13 to win the 200 back.

Johanna Gudmundsdottir picked up two wins for SMU across the spring freestyle races. The senior got her hand on the wall 1st in the 50 free at 22.95, making her the only swimmer to break the 23-second barrier. She then led a 1-2 Mustang finish in the 100 free, finishing in 49.50 with her teammate Tiffanie Ruan snagging 2nd in 51.04.

Other Event Winners:

  • Freshman Katie Walker won the 200 fly by nearly four seconds with a time of 1:59.61.
  • Hannah O’Leary, also a freshman, set a best time by almost four seconds to win the 200 breast in 2:13.19.
  • Hayden Miller dominated the 500 free with a time of 4:45.90, putting her about two seconds off her season best in the event.
  • Joslyn Oakley swept the springboard events with scores of 315.83 and 371.55 on 1-meter and 3-meter, respectively.

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2 months ago

Sweep suggests more to me that they won every event than winning both genders. Especially when both schools have separate programs.

2 months ago

Once again, Texas A&M proves they’re a force to be reckoned with, sweeping SMU with Baylor Nelson leading the charge. Yet, amidst the Aggies’ celebration, the real conversation should be around the underrated prowess of teams like UNC, who consistently show heart and skill but don’t always get the spotlight. While A&M’s undefeated season is impressive, it’s high time we shift focus and give credit to other rising programs that are just as deserving of recognition. The Aggies’ victory, albeit significant, shouldn’t overshadow the broader landscape of collegiate swimming where true talent runs deep and wide.

2 months ago

Wow. On one weekend in two pretty high end dual meets, two different women double, and win back to back, both, in the 1000 and 200 free.

Amy Grottle, TAMU, in this meet against SMU(9:40.14, followed by 1:46.75) and on the left coast, Aurora Roghair, Stanford, against USC, with 9:35.29, followed by 1:42.44.

Pretty impressive. Continued success, ladies.

Baylor Nelson Lover
2 months ago

I love Baylor Nelson. Absolute dawg

2 months ago

what happened to the SMU hype?

Reply to  chazoozle
2 months ago

what happened to this ratio?

#stopthesteal #rollmustangs

Reply to  chazoozle
2 months ago

SMU men ran 10 miles that morning and were doing locker room push ups in sets of 100 in between events. They will flex when the time is right.

SMU enjoyer
Reply to  Woods
2 months ago

While we did not run 10 miles that morning we did indeed come off an intense but fun winter training schedule of triples almost every day