Ben Sampson, a sophomore at Colorado Mesa University, became the sixth-fastest Division II swimmer and fastest Division II American to swim the 100 backstroke, with a time of 46.46.
Sampson swam a personal best in the event, and won the 100 backstroke at the A3 Performance Invitational. He split 22.29/24.17 during finals.
Marius Kusch, who swam for Queens University of Charlotte, currently holds the fastest DII 100 back time at 45.09, set in 2019. The top five 100 backstrokers all came to college from other countries, making Sampson the fastest American to swim the event at a DII level; he’s also the only American in the entire top 10 list. Sampson is from Colorado.
Top 10 DII Swimmers: 100 Backstroke
1. Marius Kusch, Queens NC (2019), Germany: 45.09
2. Paul Pijulet, Queens NC (2018), France: 45.88
3. Iskender Baslakov, Fresno Pacific (2019), Belarus: 46.23
3. Giulio Brugnoni, Delta State (2020), Italy: 46.23
5. Marco Palacios Martin, Florida Southern (2016), Spain: 46.27
6. Ben Sampson, Colorado Mesa (2021), United States: 46.46
7. Krzysztof Jankiewicz, Lindenwood (2015), Poland: 46.48
8. Karol Ostrowski, Drury (2021), Poland: 46.55
9. Serghei Golban, Lindenwood (2016), Moldova: 46.56
10. Andrei Ungur, Carson-Newman (2020), Romania: 46.57
Sampson won Male Swimmer of the Meet for his performance not only in the 100 back, but also in the 200. Sampson won the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:43.91, another personal best. In the 200, he led a 1-2-3-4 CMU sweep of the event.
He broke the school record in both events. The previous records — 47.78 in the 100 and 1:46.55 in the 200 — were both held by Justin Hastings, who is now an assistant swim coach at CMU.
Last season, Sampson was named the RMAC Freshman of the Year. He competed at the DII championships, swimming, among other events, the 100 backstroke. Though he only placed eighteenth last season, his time at the Invite would have won the event at the championships. His 200 back time from the Invite would have earned him third place at the DII championships.
CMU will return to the pool in January for the Air Force duals.