Defending MSHSL 100 Back Champion Hunter Connelly Commits to Minnesota

Red Wing Swim Club’s Hunter Connelly has given his verbal commitment to the Minnesota Gophers. Connelly is a pure backstroke sprinter, with a Winter Jr National cut in the 100y backstroke.

Connelly’s Best Times

  • 50y back – 23.69
  • 100y back – 50.53
  • 200y back – 1:52.53
  • 50m back – 27.92
  • 100m back – 58.76
  • 200m back – 2:10.58
Connelly (above) in his Minnesota gear.

Connelly (above) in his Minnesota gear.

At last year’s MSHSL Class A Championships, Connelly (Red Wing HS) won the 100 backstroke with his current best time of 50.53. He was the only swimmer to break 51 seconds at the meet. In addition to his state title, Connelly led off Red Wing’s 4th place 200 medley relay in 23.69 for the fastest back leg in finals, and swam 2nd in their 9th place 200 free relay. He had the best split (21.89) of his relay.

Other than Daryl Turner‘s 46.85 in the 100 back at the Big Ten Championships last season, the Gophers had no other 100 backstrokers under 48 seconds, and only the now-graduated Chris Johnson joined current junior Turner under 49 seconds. The backstroke ranks are looking pretty thin this season for Minnesota– at their dual meet at Florida State, the Seminoles put up a 1-2-3-4 finish over the Gophers in the 100 backstroke. Granted, Turner wasn’t swimming as he’s recovering from a knee injury, but the back core needs some help looking ahead.

While Connelly isn’t ready yet to contribute individually at the Big Ten Championships (it took a 48.2 to make it back in the 100 back C final last season), he’s going to strengthen the backstroke group in Minnesota, and could develop into a key member of that group should he improve over the next few seasons. He joins Garner Kohrell in the Gopher men’s class of 2020.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email to [email protected]

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About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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