2022 SMU Invitational
- November 17-19, 2022
- Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, Dallas, Texas (SMU)
- Short Course Yards (25 yards), Prelims/Finals
- Full Meet Results (PDF)
The SMU Mustangs hosted the 2022 SMU Invitational this weekend. Not to be confused with the early-season highlight SMU Classic, this meet takes on a more traditional invite format.
The SMU men defended home turf against a field of four swimming & diving teams, plus the divers from their neighbors and historical rivals TCU.
On the women’s side, San Diego State ran away with the team title, finishing almost 200 points ahead of runners-up Hawaii.
- SMU – 1,272
- Drury (D2) – 809
- Hawaii – 690
- Wyoming – 502
- TCU (diving only) – 138
The Mustangs were led by three individual wins from their senior and two-time NCAA qualifier Colin Fehery. The 6’7″ Dallas native won all three of his individual events.
That included the 200 breaststroke (1:53.17), the 400 IM (3:43.82), and the 200 IM (1:43.45).
Of those swims, both the 200 breaststroke and the 200 IM were new personal bests for him. The 200 breaststroke undercut his previous best time of 1:54.15, leaving him still 2nd all-time in program history, while his swim in the 200 IM breaks his own school record of 1:44.01 from earlier this year.
Those times are all within a few tenths of what earned invites to the NCAA Championships last year.
That 200 IM swim came on a historic day for the SMU men on the opening day of competition. The team combined to break three school records. Besides Feehery’s individual swim, the school also broke records in the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay to open the meet.
200 free relay splits:
- Justin Baker – 19.75
- Lance Butler – 19.02
- Cole Bruns – 19.19
- Charlie Kaye – 19.21
- Total Time: 1:17.17
That swim also broke a Pool Record that was set by Texas in February 2022, shaving .01 seconds off. That relay included Anthony Grimm, Caspar Corbeau, Drew Kibler, and Daniel Krueger.
400 medley relay splits:
- Cole Bruns (back) – 47.94
- Colin Feehery (breast) – 52.12
- Russell Exum (fly) – 46.03
- Lance Butler (free) – 52.57
- Total Time: 3:08.66
SMU won three of the five relays on the weekend, including a pool-record setting 2:52.95 in the 400 free relay, but it was Division II power Drury that won the other two.
The Panthers dominated the 800 free relay in 6:27.32, almost five seconds ahead of runners-up Wyoming. They won a much narrower victory in the 200 medley relay, touching in 1:26.03, .12 seconds ahead of SMU. The difference-maker on that relay was a 20.15 butterfly split from Croatian-born senior Dominik Karacic. He put SMU in the lead, and Kham Glass hung on for the win.
That time for Drury is the fastest* in NCAA D2 so far this season. That’s especially impressive after the team lost the best sprinter in D2 history, Karol Ostrowski, after last season.
*Editor’s note: we’ve done our best to check all meets for fastest times this weekend, but with so much competition, it’s possible that one hasn’t made it into the rankings yet and was missed.
Among the swimmers on that winning medley relay was the leadoff backstroker Nathan Bighetti. He won the 100 back in 47.01, just shy of his best time, as part of a 1-2 Drury finish with Kham Glass (47.76). He then won the 200 back in 1:52.82, part of another Drury 1-2 finish, this time with Andrew Rodriguez (1:44.62). Bighetti finished in 3rd place in the 200 back at last year’s NCAA Division II National Championship meet.
Craig was a Pac-12 Champion at Arizona State as a freshman in 2018. He eventually transferred to Ohio State, where legal problems derailed his career. He is now back for his last season of eligibility at Drury, where he told SwimSwam earlier this season that he’s “just hoping to do it right,” because he owes it to himself.
That time for Craig is his fastest since November 2019.
The Hawaii men’s lone win came on platform, where diver Mackaby Pennington scored 338.05 points. Mario Surkovic did have the meet’s fastest 200 free time of 1:35.92, though it came in prelims.
- San Diego State 907
- Hawaii 713
- Miami 677
- SMU 666
- Wyoming 364
- Drury 358
- TCU (divers only) – 65
- Arkansas (divers only) – 44
While the Hawaii women picked up the most wins on the weekend with 8, it was San Diego State that used depth to win the team scoring by almost 200 points.
The Aztecs were led by Alex Roberts, who swept the backstroke events on the weekend. She swam 52.90 in the 100 back and 1:55.26 in the 200 back for her victories. Her prelims time of 1:54.91 in the 200 back, as well as both her prelims and finals times in the 100 back, were both new lifetime bests.
She placed 5th in the 200 IM for her third event in another personal best of 2:01.39.
Roberts, a junior, is a four-time All-Mountain West performer. Her time in the 100 back from this weekend would have qualified for the 2021 NCAA Championships, though not the 2022 meet.
Their other two wins came from Kristina Murphy in the 400 IM in 4:13.56 and Wilma Johansson in the 200 fly in 1:59.13. Johansson’s time was a new personal best, as was Murphy’s prelims swim of 4:13.24. Notably, Murphy’s swim also would have won the Mountain West Conference title last season.
While Hawaii won 8 of the 21 events on offer, more than any other team, they had only four other top three podium finishes. By comparison, San Diego State had just four wins, but 16 other podium finishes. That gave the Aztecs a +8 advantage on top three finishes in the meet.
Hawaii’s success at the top of the tables was led by Australian Laticia-Leigh Transom, a 5th year transfer and former Pac-12 Champion at USC. She won the 50 free (22.47), 100 free (48.28), and 200 free (1:45.49), and was 2nd in the 100 fly (53.22). Her 200 free swim is .07 seconds short of what it took to qualify for last year’s NCAA Championships.
While those times were all just-shy of school records, she moved up the school’s all-time top 10 lists in five events (including the 100 back) and contributed to two school-record setting relays.
Holly Nelson (22.98), Transom (21.54), Friedrich (22.92), and Gabby Williams-Scudamore (22.19) combined for a 1:29.63 in the 200 free relay on day one of the meet.
The same group bookended the meet, in the same order, with a record in the 400 free relay. In that event, Nelson (49.90), Transom (47.31), Friedrich (49.69), and Williams-Scudamore (49.55) combined for a 3:16.45. That shattered the Pool Record of 3:17.94 that SMU set at the AAC Championships in February.
Hawaii also won the 400 medley relay, by four-and-a-half seconds, in 3:36.43 – including a personal best 52.74 leadoff for Transom; and the 800 free relay in 7:15.43.
The team’s only relay loss in the meet came at the hands of Miami in the 200 medley relay. There, the Hurricanes touched in 1:38.34, which was .22 seconds ahead of the Rainbow Wahine. After Transom gave Hawaii an early lead, Tara Vovk (27.03), Giulia Carvalho (23.87), and Jacey Hinton (22.39) pulled Miami back for the win.
In total, Hawaii set four individual school records, and one relay record (200 free) on the weekend.
Vovk, the breaststroker, set new school records in the 100 breaststroke (58.89), 200 breaststroke (2:10.24), and 200 IM (1:57.22), winning all three events in the process. That 100 breaststroke time should easily qualify her for a return to the NCAA Championships after the Slovenian placed 8th last season, racing for Northwestern, in the event.
While the breaststroke times are her fastest swims since transferring to SMU, the 200 IM is the only of the three that is a personal best.
Miami co-captain Zorry Mason was also under her old school record in the 200 IM, finishing 2nd to Vovk in 1:58.69. Mason underwent hip surgery in the offseason and didn’t compete from February until October, but still managed to go a best time in that 200 IM.
Miami’s 3rd-place 200 free relay of Carvalho, Vovk, Mason, and Hinton also broke the school record, swimming 1:20.16.
Miami was without their vaunted diving crew at this meet. TCU’s Anna Kwong won the women’s 1-meter (320.90), SMU’s Nicole Stambo won the women’s 3-meter (305.45), and Hawaii’s Elma Lunda won platform (258.35).
The Wyoming women picked up two wins when Maisyn Klimczak won the mile in 16:24.24 and the 500 free in 4:47.13. Both times are new personal bests for the sophomore by wide margins. Her previous best in the 500 was 4:51.02 and her previous best in the 1650 was 16:37.14.
Her 1650 time would have won last year’s Mountain West title by six seconds.