German Freshman Silas Beth Debuts With LSU Record in 1000 Free, But Texas A&M Sweeps Tigers

by Riley Overend 2

January 21st, 2024 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC

LSU vs. Texas A&M

  • Jan. 20, 2024
  • LSU Natatorium
    • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • PDF results
  • Team scores
    • Men: No. 6 Texas A&M 182, LSU 118
    • Women: No. 11 Texas A&M 171, LSU 126

German freshman Silas Beth broke the LSU school record in the 1000-yard freestyle in his first meet as a Tiger — and his first time ever swimming the event — but his arrival wasn’t enough to prevent SEC rival Texas A&M from pulling off a sweep on Saturday afternoon.

With his winning time of 8:56.50, Beth erased Craig Hamilton‘s LSU record in the 1000 free (8:57.90) from 2012. However, he wasn’t the only one breaking records during this dual meet.

Aggies sophomore Baylor Nelson showed off his versatility by shattering pool records in the 200 free (1:34.68) and 200 IM (1:45.49) while also blazing the third-fastest 500 free time in program history (4:19.06). He dropped almost 10 seconds off his previous-best 4:28.83 from November of 2022. One of the top recruits in the class of 2022, Nelson’s season-best times in the 200 free (1:33.97), 200 IM (1:41.33), and 500 free (4:19.06) rank 35th, 4th, and 45th in the NCAA, respectively.

“We again changed some events up at that first break,” said Texas A&M head coach Jay Holmes, whose Aggies trailed 72-59 at the first break. “This time we took Baylor [Nelson] out of the 200 back and put him into the 500 free. When we asked him how fast he could go if we moved him to the 500 he called his shot and said he would go under 4:20, and he did just that for the win. He did just about everything today. He won all three individual events and then anchored our winning 400 free relay. He has developed in himself an incredible knack of doing what it takes to win. It is a pleasure watching him do it time after time.”

Texas A&M senior Thomas Shomper swept backstroke events with wins in the 100 back (47.38) and 200 back (1:44.98). His season bests of 46.04 and 1:43.00 rank 33rd and 55th in the NCAA, respectively.

“Putting Baylor in the 500 was only feasible because we were confident Thomas Shomper would still win the 200 back,” Holmes said. “If Tommy hadn’t already proven himself it would not have made sense to move Baylor, but Tommy did his job today winning both backstroke events.”

Aggies freshman Logan Brown took the 200 breast title in 1:56.14, but LSU captain Mitch Mason outdueled him in the 100 breast (52.76 vs. 54.04). Mason also split 23.51 on the breaststroke leg of the Tigers’ 200 medley relay (1:25.69) that beat the Aggies (1:26.56) while breaking the pool record in the process.

Croatian freshman Jere Hribar continued his promising rookie campaign for LSU with wins in the 50 free (19.64) and 100 free (43.27). His season bests of 19.45 and 42.97 rank 36th and 65th in the NCAA, respectively. Hribar also split a blistering 18.77 on the freestyle anchor leg of the triumphant 200 medley relay.

Tigers sophomore Jacob Pishko also claimed the 200 fly crown in 1:46.09, taking almost half a second off his season best to move up to 105th in the NCAA.

“I thought LSU did a great job today,” Holmes said. “There were several pool records set from both teams. LSU had several in their early event wins and Baylor did too. Baylor’s 200 free, 200 IM and our 400 free relay broke their pool records. It was two teams getting after it. We are not sharp yet, and January is like that. But February is coming at everyone fast.  We still have a lot to get done, but for today we are again thankful to get the win.”

Women’s Recap

Texas A&M freshman Miranda Grana, senior Olivia Theall, and sophomore Giulia Goerigk won two individual events apiece to power the No. 11 Aggie women past LSU, 171-126.

Grana touched first in the 100 back (55.01) and 200 back (1:57.80), events in which she’s a contender to score at the NCAA Championships this March. Her season bests (51.67/1:53.30) that rank 15th and 11th in the NCAA, respectively.

Theall picked up victories in the 100 fly (53.51) and 200 fly (1:58.96). She has a chance of scoring in both events at NCAAs as her season-best 100 fly (51.96) ranks 20th and her season-best 200 fly (1:55.15) ranks 18th.

Goerigk, a native of Germany, reached the wall first in the 200 breast (2:16.53) and 200 IM (2:03.44). Texas A&M senior Chloe Stepanek also had a busy afternoon with a victory in the 200 free (1:47.69) along with runner-up finishes in the 50 free (23.11) and 100 fly (55.79). Rachel Love (4:53.21 500 free) and Abby Grottle (9:55.79 1000 free) swept the distance events for the Aggies.

LSU sophomore Michaela de Villiers captured the 50 free crown in 22.98, about half a second shy of her season-best 22.46 that ranks 61st in the NCAA. Tigers senior Katarina Milutinovich prevailed in the 100 free (50.41) over de Villiers (51.23).

Texas A&M is back in action on Feb. 2 for a home meet against SMU. LSU returns to the pool next weekend for another SEC battle at Tennessee.

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Former Big10
5 months ago

surprised that puts him 3rd all-time (500), as A n M has had some solid teams over the years.

Texan
Reply to  Former Big10
4 months ago

Not surprising at all. While they’ve had some good teams, I think the only teams in the last 30+ years that would challenge what they are doing today in terms of being competitive nationally were the teams around 1999 – 2001. They didn’t do well in 2000 because they red shirted the seniors so they could finish their career at home at NCAAs the next year, then someone got injured that year and killed hopes of a top five finish. Still, I don’t remember A&M having much of a middle distance / distance group. Sprinting (and diving) was their strength back then. I feel like the program today is becoming deeper and has the potential to achieve the momentum they… Read more »

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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