Atlantic 10 backstroke star and World University Games competitor Gustav Hokfelt became just the 4th participant ever from his team at the 2018 Men’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships last week in Minneapolis.
The sole swimmer to represent George Washington University at this year’s NCAAs, Hokfelt is not an outlier, but rather an early success story for a program that is on the rise.
Hokfelt, who represents Sweden internationally, nearly made the finals of the 100 backstroke at NCAAs placing 18th in the 100 with a time of 45.99. Hokfelt qualified for NCAAs at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships in February where he was named Most Outstanding Performer. Additionally, he set four conference records and broke his 100 backstroke record three times, and the Colonial men won the meet for the second year in a row.
Though this was Hokfelt’s first NCAA appearance, former teammate Andrea Bolognesi represented the Colonials at both the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Championships, placing as high as 8th in the 100 breast in 2016 with a 52.06, and then 9th in 2017 with a 52.07.
Hokfelt is only the 4th swimmer to ever represent GWU at the Men’s NCAA Championships, but his success and the success of Bolognesi and the team as a whole over the last three seasons indicates an upward trend for the program, which is led by Head Coach James Winchester.
Now done with NCAA competition, Hokfelt will focus on the Swedish national championships this summer and potentially represent Sweden in more international competitions in the years to come.