2014 NCAA 200 back champion Brooklynn Snodgrass will take an Olympic redshirt season in 2015-2016, sitting out of the NCAA schedule to prepare for Canada’s Olympic Trials.
Snodgrass would have been a senior for the Hoosiers, and one of the team’s biggest contributors. But Canada’s Olympic Trials fall in the spring, shortly after the NCAA Championships, which makes it difficult for swimmers to tailor their training around both. A number of top Canadian swimmers in the NCAA are choosing to sit the college season out for that reason, including Minnesota’s Kierra Smith and Georgia’s Chantal van Landeghem.
Snodgrass has won the Big Ten 100 and 200 back titles in each of her three collegiate seasons, and won the NCAA’s 200 back in 2013. She was 8th this past year.
Indiana has traditionally been loaded in the backstrokes, but Snodgrass now joins an exodus of Hoosiers out of that event. IU graduated Big Ten finalists Justine Ress, Cynthia Pammett and Alexandria Day last spring as well. Rising sophomore Marie Chamberlain will now look to take over as the team’s top returning backstroker.
Snodgrass’s redshirt season also adds some intrigue to the Big Ten team battle. Minnesota has topped Indiana for four straight conference titles, but lost their NCAA 200 breast champ Kierra Smith to a redshirt season. Now, both teams will sit out their best overall swimmers for the same reason (Canadian Olympic Trials), which should put the conference battle back into a dead heat, and may allow Michigan to get into the hunt as well.