He Swam for Eastern Michigan, Then East Carolina; Ben Gingher Transfers Again

Having to transfer schools because the swim team got cut is emotional and difficult; Ben Gingher is doing it for the second time in his NCAA career.

Gingher started his collegiate career at Eastern Michigan, initially making a verbal commitment in November 2016. After one full season at EMU, the program got cut, so he transferred to East Carolina, where he swam for two seasons until this past May when the school announced they were cutting the men’s and women’s teams.

Now, Gingher is heading to Youngstown State in Ohio with one final year of eligibility left.

I never thought a team of mine would get cut once, let alone twice. After EMU was cut, I was very lucky to find ECU and I am very thankful for everything both teams gave me. I am also very thankful to have the opportunity to finish up at YSU!


  • 100 breast – 54.85
  • 200 breast – 1:59.39
  • 200 IM – 1:50.89

Gingher has made huge strides in college. When he committed to EMU halfway through his senior year of high school, he was 58.6 in the 100 breast and 2:11.7 in the 200 breast. After his freshman year there, and at the time of his transfer to ECU, he had gotten down to 55.6 in the 100 and 1:59.3 in the 200. In his second year at ECU, he dropped his 100 breast down to his current best of 54.85, while he also progressed down to 1:50.89 in the 200 IM; he was 2:01.71 in the 200 IM before college.

Gingher was a valuable contributor at the conference level for both EMU and ECU. At EMU, at the 2018 MAC Champs, he scored at fifth in the 200 breast and ninth in the 100 breast. He touched eighth in both breaststroke events at the 2019 AAC Champs with ECU, then made B-finals in both breaststroke events and the 200 IM at the 2020 AAC Champs this past February.

At Youngstown State, a program that in 2019-20 had its first season of Division I competition since the 1980s, Gingher will be nothing short of a star. They had no swimmer under 58/2:11 in breaststroke and 1:56 in IM last season; in fact, Gingher will come in three seconds better than their 100 breast program record, six seconds ahead of their 200 IM program record and 12 seconds quicker than the school 200 breast mark.

Last year at the Horizon League Champs, Gingher would’ve been third in the 200 breast and fourth in the 100 breast, while he would’ve also made the 200 IM B-final.

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Wow. That’s tough. Best of luck to him!


Great swimmer, person and teammate. Youngstown State scored with this one.

Michelle S

Awesome news Ben, wishing you all the best, you got this!

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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