Despite Additions to the Conference, Houston Secures Seventh-Straight AAC Women’s Title


  • Swimming: Wednesday, February 15 – Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • Diving: Monday, February 13 – Wednesday, February 15, 2023
  • Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr McMillion Natatorium, Dallas, TX
  • Defending Champions:
    • Women: Houston (6x)
    • Men: SMU (2x)
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  1. Houston – 1311.5
  2. FIU – 1300
  3. SMU – 1208.5
  4. Rice – 1136
  5. Cincinnati – 865
  6. East Carolina – 681
  7. FAU – 573
  8. North Texas – 506
  9. Tulane – 419


  1. SMU – 1267
  2. Cincinnati – 1134

The Houston Cougars got the job done again, winning a seventh-straight AAC women’s team title. This year’s victory was perhaps Houston’s most-impressive of the seven-year run, as the conference added four more teams this year. It was newcomer Florida International that pushed Houston to the very end, coming in second by just 11.5 points.

SMU managed to beat Cincinnati again for a third-straight year in the men’s meet.

Rice senior Ella Dyson won the women’s 1650 free to kick off the final session of the meet, swimming a 16:24.04. She pulled into the lead around the 1200 mark, and continued pulling away from the field over the final 450 yards. Another freshman, Cincinnati’s Ido Gal, won the men’s 1650 free in 15:14.52. It was an incredibly tight race with SMU freshman Jack Forrest, who came in second in 15:14.71. Forrest was well over four seconds behind Gal at the 1000 mark, but then chased down Gal in a major way on the final 650, though Gal still ended up edging out the win.

Cincy freshmen Lilly Jones and Grace Gavin went 1-2 in the women’s 200 back. Jones led the race wire-to-wire, finishing in a new personal best of 1:56.55. Gavin was less than a second behind, swimming a 1:57.41 for second place.

Cincinnati’s Hunter Gubeno, a junior, won the men’s 200 backstroke in 1:41.80. He held a lead at the halfway point of the race, but it was the third 50 where he really took over.

In yet another incredible performance by a freshman, Lucrezia Napoletano out of SMU roared to victory in the women’s 100 free, swimming a 48.61. She pulled away from the field on the second 50 of the race, splitting 25.19. It was a 1-2 punch for the Mustangs, as Johanna Gudmundsdottir took second with a 49.30.

SMU went 1-2 in the men’s 100 free as well. Junior Lance Butler posted a 43.07, pulling away from teammate Cole Bruns (43.66) on the back half of the race.

In a dominant performance, FIU went 1-2-3-4 in the women’s 200 breast. They were led by junior Christie Chue, who was an NCAA ‘B’ finalist in the event last year. Chue swam a 2:08.73, touching as the only swimmer in the field under 2:10. Freshman teammate Nicole Frank was close, however, taking second in 2:10.46. Another freshman, Ingrid Huszar, came in third with a 2:12.00, while Delaine Goll, a senior, was fourth with a 2:12.33.

The men’s 200 breast saw SMU’s Colin Feehery win decisively, swimming a 1:54.26. The time was just off his personal best of 1:54.15, which he swam at last year’s NCAA Championships.

Rice’s Arielle Hayon won the women’s 200 fly in 1:56.26. Hayon got out to a decent early lead over SMU’s Luana Alonso, but Alonso used a massive third 50 split to even the playing field. Hayon was able to slightly out-split Alonso on the final 50, securing the win. Alonso finished second in 1:56.63.

SMU’s Cotton Fields won the men’s 200 fly in 1:44.27.

Despite SMU going 1-2 in the women’s 100 free, FIU managed to grab the win in the women’s 400 free relay. Chue (49.53), Harliai Curthoyvies (49.53), Jessica Shpilko (49.80), and Kelsie Campbell (49.13) combined for a 3:17.99. SMU’s Gudmundsdottir put up a fantastic anchor of 48.95, but it wasn’t quite enough, and the Mustangs came in second in 3:18.41.

SMU closed out the meet by clocking a new pool record in the men’s 400 free relay. Butler (43.09), Bruns (43.06), Charlie Kaye (43.00), and Feehery (42.81) teamed up for a 2:51.96. They shattered the pool record, which was a 2:52.95 and was set by the Mustangs last year.


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1 year ago

The Panthers overcome so much this week and I’m happy for them. They’ll be back.

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

The panthers were underestimated! They were barely predicted to rank in the top 3 at AAC ACCORDING to swim swam. They’re the new best thing in the AAC and it shows.