Pitt vs. Army
- September 22, 2023
- LCM (50m)
- Trees Pool, Pittsburgh, PA
- Full Results Under “Army at Pitt” on MeetMobile
On Saturday, the University of Pittsburgh and the United States Military Academy opened their NCAA seasons with a long course dual meet in Pittsburgh. Both teams were suited. Pitt was overall the dominating force of this meet, sweeping the relays and winning 17 out of the 24 individually contested events.
Both the Pitt and Army coaching staff agreed to not score this dual meet.
This matchup is significant because it is a battle between two teams that were both on an upward trajectory last season, especially on the men’s side.
The Pitt men, in their first season under Chase Kreitler, scored a 7th-place finish at the ACC Championships—the highest finish in program history. In addition, they also qualified five swimmers individually at the 2023 NCAA Championships and scored their first NCAA relay points since 2002. Meanwhile, the Army men nearly handed Navy their first Patriot League Championships defeat since 2003, losing by a mere ten points in a meet that came down to the very final relay.
It’s worth noting that the landscape of the Pitt women’s team will look very different this season, as nine female swimmers from Pitt entered the transfer portal this past April.
Note: Many of the relay splits were off on MeetMobile, so not all of them are listed in this article.
The star of the women’s side of this meet was Pitt freshman Sydney Gring, who took home wins in the 200 free (2:05.38), 100 free (57.73), and 200 IM (2:21.91). Gring is one of the Panthers’ most promising freshmen, as she has a 200-yard free best time (1:46.26) that is almost four seconds faster than what anyone on the Pitt roster went last year.
Gring’s 200 free time was a personal best by nearly a second, beating the 2:06.14 she set at Juniors this summer. She also approached her best times in both the 100 free (57.55) and 200 IM (2:20.37).
Senior Sophie Yendell, one of Pitt’s two female swimmers who qualified for NCAAs last season, was also a double winner. She was victorious in both the 50 free (26.56) and 100 fly (1:02.67).
Army had two double winners: sophomore Molly Webber and senior Aurelie Migualt. Migault won the 100 (1:11.61) and 200 breast (2:35.97), while Webber took wins in the 800 (9:15.56) and 400 free (4:30.33). Webber saw a big drop in time in the 800 free, beating out the 9:21.38 she set all the way back in high school.
Sophomore Claire Jansen, another one of Pitt’s 2023 NCAA qualifiers, won the 100 back in a time of 1:03.55. Freshman Parker Del Balso and junior Jill Berger won the 200 back and 200 fly, clocking times of 2:18.78 and 2:20.57 respectively.
Pitt’s Jansen, sophomore Jessie Strong, Yendell, and fifth-year Tara Culibrk won the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:54.51, while freshman Avery Kudlac, Del Balso, Berger, and Gring won the 400 free relay in 3:56.65.
Although Pitt took the majority of the races on the men’s side, one Army swimmer who stood out was junior Owen Harlow, who anchored his team’s 200 medley relay in a time of 22.10. He swam alongside his teammates Alex Edwards (27.11 back leg), Kohen Rankin, and Nathan Jao. Together, they combined for a time of 1:43.12, losing to Pitt’s junior Krzystof Radziszewski (26.89), fifth year Jerry Chen (28.83), senior Marcin Goraj (24.85), and fifth-year Dominic Toledo Sanchez (22.32).
Harlow, who clocked the first 18-point 50 free split of the 2022-23 season, won the individual 50 free in a time of 23.49. His personal best sits at 22.85 from March 2023. He also placed 2nd in the 100 free (52.32), finishing behind Pitt’s Stepan Goncharov (51.89).
Goraj, one of Pitt’s NCAA Championship qualifiers, took home wins in the 200 free (1:54.00), 200 back (2:03.56), and 100 fly (55.68). He was the only swimmer to win more than two individual events at this meet. His wins across three different strokes shows his versatility—at NCAAs last year, he swam backstroke individually but raced fly on the medley relays and also swam on the 400 and 800 free relays.
Notably, Goraj’s 200 free time was a personal best, beating out the 1:55.14 he clocked this June.
Both Chen and Polish freshman Michal Piela were double winners on the men’s side, with Chen sweeping the breaststrokes by winning the 100 breast (1:03.72) and 200 breast (2:21.06), while Piela won the 200 fly (2:05.51) and 400 free (4:07.16)—both “off events” for him. Piela, who came into the NCAA as a swimmer who only raced the IMs at World and European Juniors, dropped massive time from his previous bests in both events he raced (2:08.06 in the 200 fly, 4:07.03 in the 400 free).
Piela placed second in the 200 IM (2:06.37) to his teammate and senior Massimiliano Matteazzi, who won by over a second in a time of 2:05.01.
Other winners from Army include sophomore Brice Barrieault, who won the 800 free by over three seconds in a time of 8:40.71. Barrieault was the 2023 Patriot League Champion in the 500 and 1650 free. His classmate Joey Kling won the 100 back with a 58.16. Radzewski, who notably matched Kacper Stokowski‘s 50 back leadoff at ACCs last year, took fifth in the same race (59.95).
To close off the meet, Pitt’s sophomore Stepan Goncharov (51.21), junor Guy Frimis (52.03), Goraj (51.78), and fifth year Dominic Toledo Sanchez (51.39) combined for a time of 3:26.41 to win the 400 free relay.