Lili Ibañez: Sprint/Mid-Distance Freestyle
Personal Life: Lili Ibáñez, born to parents Bernardo Ibáñez and Socorro Lopez in Celaya, Mexico, attended Colegio Panamericano and competed for the Orcas Celaya swim club prior to her time at Texas A&M. Currently, Ibáñez is the Mexican national record holder in the 50, 100, and 200 meter freestyles, as well as the 50 meter butterfly.
As a freshman at Texas A&M, Ibáñez was a huge part of Aggie success at the conference and national level. She finished with five 2nd place efforts after the 2011 Big 12 Championships. Note that this was before Texas A&M switched from the Big 12 to the SEC. Among her five 2nd place swims, one was an individual swim, the 50 free (22.52). She was also apart of the 200, 400 and 800 free relays, as well as the 400 medley, in which she anchored to a school record breaking performance. Adding to those five efforts, Ibáñez swam to a 5th place finish in the 200 free (1:44.54) and 9th place in the 100 free (49.20). At her first NCAAs, Ibáñez held anchor duties on Aggie 200 free and 400 medley relays, the former of which placed 13th and the latter of which placed 9th. She also swam to a 38th place finish in the individual 50 free, where she clocked in at 22.71, just off of her best at the time.
Due to an injury, Ibáñez redshirted her second season at A&M. She was back, however, to compete for the Aggies in the 2012-13 season, and she showed no signs of injury. At the 2013 SEC Champs, she hit two new personal bests in the 50 and 100 free, placing 6th (22.21) and 9th (48.48), respectively. She was also lead-off leg for the 4th place 800 free relay, and handled anchor responsibilities on the 4th place 200 free relay and 400 free relay as well as the victorious 400 medley relay, in which she split an incredibly impressive 47.85 en route to a time of 3:28.93, only tenths off of the US Open record and setting a new SEC Championship record. At the 2013 NCAAs, she finished 28th in the 50 free (22.54), tie-11th in the 100 free (48.43/48.38p), and 6th in the 200 free (1:44.66/1:44.44p), individually. She also led off the 5th place 800 free relay and 9th place 200 free relay, and anchored the 400 free and medley relays. The 400 medley relay placed 5th, while Ibáñez and her teammates faced a swim off with Minnesota for the 8th A final spot in the 400 free relay. After anchoring in 48.40 in prelims, Ibáñez (as well as the other three legs) dropped big time and threw down an untouchable 47.74 to propel the Aggies into the A final. They had dropped over 1.5 seconds from their prelims swim, although they were unable to replicate quite as fast a time (3:13.85) in finals and settled for 8th place.
In her third season for the Aggies, Ibáñez had her best yards season to date. At the 2014 SECs, where Texas A&M put together a 2nd place performance, being bested only by the future NCAA Champions Georgia, Ibáñez finished 6th in the 50 free (22.07), 5th in the 100 free (48.18), and 5th in the 200 free (1:44.96). Her efforts in the 50 and 100 free earned her new personal bests, and both were very close to their respective NCAA ‘A’ cuts. She again led off the 800 free relay (which would place 2nd) and the 3rd place 200 free relay, and anchored both 400 relays. The Aggies placed 4th in the 400 free relay and won the 400 medley relay, thanks in part to a 47.51 anchor split from Ibáñez. At the 2014 NCAAs, Ibáñez put up big times once more. Her time of 22.07 in the 50 free prelims, matching her best from SECs, catapulted her into the A final, where her time of 22.34 in finals put her at her best 50 free finish at NCAAs ever, in a tie for 13th. She was also 13th in the 100 free (48.21/48.12p), hitting a new best in prelims, and finished 6th in the 200 free (1:43.90), just off of her best. Her 200 free performance tied her best finish at NCAAs in that race. Once again proving to be vital to the Aggie relays, Ibáñez led off the 7th place 800 relay, swam the 2nd leg on their 4th place 200 relay (with a relay best of 21.77), and anchored their 400 relays. She was 47.81 in finals of the 400 medley relay, which finished 2nd only behind Stanford. While her anchor duties on the 400 medley have tended to be better than on the 400 free, she still split under 48.50 on the 400 free relay and helped the Aggies to a 9th place finish in that event. The Aggies’ 4th place finish matched their 4th place finish from the year before as their highest NCAA finishes in school history, and Ibáñez helped them to a school record 336 points en route to their 4th place performance.
Ibáñez has been Mexico’s kingpin freestyler when it comes to distances under 400 meters. She currently holds Mexican national records in the 50 (25.51), 100 (55.70) and 200 (2:00.37), and has represented Mexico internationally for multiple years in a row.
At the 2011 Pan American Games, Ibáñez competed in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle. In the 200 free, she finished 4th overall with a time of 2:02.90, quite a bit off of her 2:01.15 from prelims. She finished 6th in the 100 free (55.74) and finished up with a 26.17 in the 50 free to win the B final in that event. In addition to her individual swims, Ibáñez anchored Mexico’s 2nd place 800 free relay, 4th place 400 medley relay, and 5th place 400 free relay.
Ibáñez competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London for Mexico, where she finished 25th in the 100 free with a new best time of 55.71, and also swam to a 26th place finish in the 200 free (2:01.36).
At the 2013 World Championships, Ibáñez swam her Olympic schedule, but added the 50 free. She finished 20th in the 50 free (25.51) with a new best time, only a few tenths from qualifying for semifinals. Her 200 free was not as impressive in comparison to her Olympic performance, as she was only 2:02.61 for 30th place. In the 100 free, however, she shaved off a hundredth from her Olympic swim, going 55.70 for 26th place. Leading off Mexico’s 11th place 800 free relay, Ibáñez did improve upon her individual 200 free time, going 2:01.45. She also anchored Mexico’s 400 medley relay, splitting a solid 55.78 for a 13th place finish.
–Originally developed by Karl Ortegon