Indiana Intrasquad Quadrathalon
- September 23, 2021
- Short Course Yards (25 yards)
- Timed Finals
The Indiana Hoosiers kicked off their season on Thirsday with an intrasquad quadrathalon that saw all participating members of the team, including pro group swimmer Lilly King who is back home from the ISL regular season, swim 50 yards of each stroke.
The freestyle and backstroke times are easily comparable to the usual flat-start swims, and though we rarely get to see swimmers flat-start a 50 breaststroke or 50 butterfly, there were still some clearly-fast flat start swims in those races as well.
The most exciting performances of the day come from super-senior Gabriel Fantoni. He came away with the fastest swims in both the men’s 50 fly (20.85) and the men’s 50 back (20.99), beating out teammate Brendan Burns in both races.
Fantoni is one of 5 Indiana men who are using their 5th season of eligibility this year. The NCAA has given a waiver of eligibility to all athletes who competed in the 2020-2021 season to compete for a 5th year because of the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fantoni finished his day with a 25.74 in the 50 breaststroke and a 20.14 in the 50 free.
Among the other swimmers taking advantage of that waiver is Bruno Blaskovic, who has been out of the water for most of the calendar year with a back injury.
Still seemingly not back at full strength, Blaskovic finished 11th in the 50 free in 20.88. The Hoosiers’ best sprinter two seasons ago, he’ll be crucial to their efforts to climb the rankings at the NCAA Championships this season after the team finished 6th last year. The relays were a weakness for the team, but a full strength Blaskovic gets them at least 20-30 points in those events alone.
On the women’s side, Lilly King, who will be starting a 5 week training block before returning to Europe for the ISL Playoffs, won the women’s 50 breaststroke in 26.87.
Other Highlight Performances – Men
- Senior Zane Backes got off to an inauspicious start to his season, placing just 3rd in an Indiana men’s breaststroke group that is not very deep. His time was 25.46, as compared to the 23.11 he split at the NCAA Championships last year, which was one of the best splits in the country. Backes often has a slow start to his season, though: in 2019-2020, in the team’s opener in a tri meet against Kentucky and Notre Dame, he still split 24.42 on the 200 medley relay. Egyptian Youssef El Kamash out of the pro group actually led the 50 breaststroke in 24.79 followed by sprinter Van Mathias in 24.86
- Mathias was fast all day long, finishing 3rd in the 50 back in 21.74, 4th in the 50 fly in 21.58, and winning the 50 free in 19.80 – the only Hoosier under 20 seconds on the day.
- It looks like the Hoosier freshmen are still adapting to their new training ground. Josh Matheny, the #2 recruit in the class of 2021, was 7th in the 50 breaststroke in 25.71, but was last or nearly last in every other event (including being a second-and-a-half slower in the 50 back). #11 recruit Luke Barr was better, with a few top 5 finishes.
Other Highlight Performances – Women
- While this meet is not designed for the team’s top female recruit, Mariah Denigan, who is a distance swimmer, the Hoosiers’ other big-time addition Brearna Crawford showed that she’s ready to have a huge impact for the Indiana women. She won the 50 fly in 24.25 and was 2nd in the 50 breast behind only King in 27.62. She also swam 23.74 in the 50 free and 25.86 in the 50 back. The Indiana women return most of the key relay legs off a team that finished 15th overall at NCAAs last year. Crawford’s presence should allow sophomore Elizabeth Broshears to shift to the backstroke leg of the medley relays (her 25.44 is already almost as fast as what Indiana got their at the NCAA Championships in March).
- The team’s top returning sprinter Ashley Turak won the 50 free in 22.88, half-a-second better than anybody else in the race. Two years ago, in the team’s last ‘traditional’ season, she opened in 23.56. Last year, she started off her season in January with a 23.81. It looks like Turak is on track for another big year leading the Hoosier sprint group.