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The Missouri Tigers have picked up a big late addition for their men’s swimming & diving recruiting class of 2020. Polish national Mikolaj Malec will join the Tigers in the 2020-2021 season.
Malec says that he was able to take a trip to the University of Missouri, and that the atmosphere on the school’s campus and the coaching staff convinced him that the program would be a good fit to continue his training.
The 18-year old from Lodz is primarily a backstroker, and has shown success to this point of his career in both long course and short course pools. He represented Poland at the 2019 European Junior Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, where he had a best finish of 9th place in the 200 backstroke.
In that 200 backstroke, his best event, Malec showed massive gains in 2009. His best time coming out of 2018 was a 2:04.32, and in the 2019 calendar year, he undercut that in 8 different swims, dropping 3-and-a-half seconds to a best of 2:00.89. He showed similar improvements in other events.
He finished 3rd in the same 200 backstroke at the 2019 Polish Championships at just 17-years old. The men’s 200 back is a revered event in Poland, thanks in large part to the successes of Radoslaw Kawecki, who won 3-straight World Championships in short course meters in that event. His teammate Jakub Balcerak finished 4th in that event.
Best Times in LCM/SCM, SCY Conversions from SCM Times:
|400 free (500y)||—||3:52.78||4:26.03|
He joins a Missouri team that has had a lot of backstroke success in recent years. At 92 points, the 200 back was the men’s team’s highest-scoring event at the 2020 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships. The team’s two A-finalists in that event, Nick Alexander (7th) and Daniel Hein (8th), have both exhausted their eligibility, however, leaving rising junior Jack Dahlgren and rising senior Carter Grimes at the top of the depth chart in the event.
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