Cieplucha Swims NCAA A Cut with 4:03 400 IM in Tennessee Invite Finals


  • November 29 – December 1, 2018
  • Knoxville, TN (Jones Aquatic Center)
  • Short Course Yards
  • Live Results

The Tennessee women nabbed 3 individual ‘A’ cuts on day 2 at the 2018 Tennessee Invitational, with 2 of them coming in tonight’s finals. Nikol Popov was the first Vol of the day to nab an automatic NCAA berth with her breakthrough swim in the 100 breast prelims. She was slightly off her prelims time of 58.83, but came close to it with a 59.07 in the final.

Erika Brown was also slightly off her prelims time, but still hit the ‘A’ standard again to win the 100 fly in 50.71. Behind her, teammate Meghan Small (52.05) and Duke’s Alyssa Marsh (52.10) were both under the 2018 NCAA invite standard. Marsh returned later in the session to win the 100 back in 52.27, again clearing the 2017 mark. Another Duke swimmer nearly hit the 2018 qualifying mark tonight. Melissa Pish swam a school record time of 1:45.54 to miss the mark by a tenth.

Tess Cieplucha had a big swim in the 400 IM to achieve her NCAA ‘A’ cut for Tennessee. She came into the meet with a best time of 4:05.43 from last season, but blew that away tonight with a 4:03.81. She was already leading by almost a second at the halfway mark, but really took off on the breast leg to separate herself from the field. Penn State’s Ally McHugh, the U.S. Nationals champion in the 400 IM, was under the 2018 NCAA invite time with a 4:09.15 for 2nd.

On the men’s side, Tennessee’s Joey Reilman swam under the NCAA 2018 mark in 2 individual races. He was just hundredths off his best time to win the 200 free in 1:33.52. Later on, he raced teammate Matthew Garcia in the 100 back. It came down to the touch, but Garcia edged out Reilman 45.96 to 46.08. That was Garcia’s first time under 46 and a lifetime best for Reilman as they were both under last season’s NCAA qualifying time.

On top of the individual successes, there were also 3 ‘A’ cuts made in relays tonight. The Tennessee women (1:36.33) and men (1:24.57) both notched the automatic standard in the 200 medley relay. Popov impressed again there with her 26.81 breast split. 100 fly winner Braga Vergahe had a quick 20.31 fly split for the men. The Vol women also hit the ‘A’ mark with a 7:03.31 in the 800 free relay with Small anchoring in 1:44.29.

Additional Event Winners:

*= under 2018 NCAA invited time

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4 years ago

I think Popov was .04 off the A cut.

Jay ryan
4 years ago


About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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