D-III Champion Frank Applebaum Transferring From Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to Cal for 5th Year

Two-time NCAA Division III champion Frank Applebaum is transferring from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to Cal for his fifth year of collegiate eligibility next season.

Applebaum held the Division III record in the 200-yard butterfly for two years until earlier this month, when the two-time defending national champion was dethroned by Connecticut College’s Justin Finkel (1:43.21). He entered the transfer portal in December with an extra year of NCAA eligibility since Claremont-Mudd-Scipps did not compete during his freshman year in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am excited to announce I will be taking my fifth year at Cal,” Applebaum told SwimSwam. “Thank you to everyone who pushed me to make this decision and who helped me along the way.”

Applebaum won national titles the past two years in NCAA D-III records of 1:43.96 last season and 1:44.01 in 2022. At a dual meet in December, he lowered that standard to 1:43.87 before posting another personal-best 1:43.39 on his way to a runner-up finish at NCAAs last week. That time ranked 65th across all NCAA divisions during the 2023-24 season and would have made the B-final at the last-ever Pac-12 Championships last month.

The Ohio native also placed 3rd in the 100 fly at the NCAA Division III Championships with a personal-best 47.13. He lowered his lifetime best in the 200 IM to 1:46.38 en route to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) title in February.

Best SCY Times

  • 100 fly – 47.13
  • 200 fly – 1:43.39
  • 200 IM – 1:46.38

His best 200 fly time is well under the NCAA ‘B’ cut of 1:45.89 while his best 100 fly and 200 IM times are just off the ‘B’ cuts of 47.08 and 1:46.16, respectively.

The Cal men won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2022 and 2023 before Arizona State dethroned them on Saturday, but they did extend their run of top-2 finishes to 14 years in a row. The 2024-25 season will be the Bears’ first in the ACC, where they’ll compete against the likes of Stanford, NC State, and Virginia. Cal head coach Dave Durden, a former 200 fly specialist himself back in the day at UC Irvine, has been at the helm of the program for the past 17 seasons.

Applebaum will add depth to a 200 fly group in Berkeley that already includes senior Dare Rose and junior Gabriel Jett, who placed 2nd (1:38.61) and 5th (1:39.72) at NCAAs on Saturday night, respectively.

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T-money
1 month ago

Wow, CMS and now Cal-Berkeley? He must be super smart!

SwimmerDude
1 month ago

Just take a good look at that man. The broad shoulders, the little twinkle in his eye – he simply exudes greatness

FrankFan101
1 month ago

Not a lot of people know this, but Frank actually had a crippling fear of water until the age of 12, when he was kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Somalia. He conquered his fear and learned to swim to escape them.

CMC4LIFE
1 month ago

He’s so handsome too

GoBears1990
1 month ago

Best gosh darn 200 flyer on either side of the Mississippi

Big fella
1 month ago

“We have Tanner Filion at home”

CMC4LIFE
Reply to  Big fella
1 month ago

Tanner Filion 🤡

GoBears1990
1 month ago

Best gosh darn 200flyer on his side of the Mississippi

Texas Swimming
1 month ago

Low key can not wait for this 5th year nonsense to be over

SoCal Swammer
Reply to  Texas Swimming
1 month ago

Frank has only competed from his sophomore year through his senior year (did not compete his first year as CMS was not competing during COVID), so this isn’t his “fifth year” of eligibility, it’s his fourth year that he has yet to use

another socal swammer
Reply to  Texas Swimming
1 month ago

I’m also ‘24 and spent my entire freshman year at home. This isn’t “5th year nonsense” it’s just his final year of eligibility. Some of us seniors are 20/21 and up to a year or 2 younger than current dudes swimming without 5th years. I’m excited to see what frank can do with di training and support and hope he is able to smoke that Texas pack next year at ncaas lol

THEO
Reply to  another socal swammer
1 month ago

out of curiosity, does that mean he has two years of eligibility left, or still only one?

Hannah
Reply to  THEO
1 month ago

I believe it means he has one. COVID did not magically grant everyone a 5th year it just meant that the 2020-2021 season did not count for eligibility purposes.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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