Here Are the NCAA Champions Returning for the 2022 Championship Season

The 2022 NCAAs are scheduled to take place March 16-19 for women and March 23-26 for men. SwimSwam took a look at last year’s NCAA championships to see who’s coming back and who’s gone for good.

Several of the most successful swimmers from last year’s meet will not be returning. Paige Madden, who won the 200, 500, and 1650 freestyle, as well as the 800 free relay, for Virginia, graduated in 2021. Ryan Hoffer, who won the 50 and 100 free, 100 fly, and the 200 and 400 free relay for Cal, also graduated at the end of last season.

Other competitors won’t be returning, even though they might have qualified. Shaine Casas went pro this year instead of rounding out his time at Texas A&M. He won the 200 IM and 100 and 200 back at the 2021 NCAAs, and he won the 2021 Swammy for NCAA Male Swimmer of the Year.

Jordan Windle, the NCAA champion on the 1-meter board, was suspended by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport on allegations of misconduct. The NCAA, as of 2020, is not required to enforce the suspension, but Texas has suspended him from all team activities.

Some key players from last year’s championships are returning, like NCAA Female Swimmer of the Year Maggie MacNeil. She’ll be representing Michigan as a senior. Virginia sophomore Alex Walsh is returning, this year competing with her sister and other swimming phenom Gretchen Walsh, a freshman. Olympian Kate Douglass is also returning for Virginia.

The breaststroke king and queen from last year – Max McHugh and Sophie Hansson – are both returning as seniors. Hansson has also spent this season on the international scale, breaking the Swedish record in the 50 and 100 breast.

Other swimmers who have been successful on the international scale, like Kieran Smith and Bobby Finke, will also be returning.

As for relays, the swimmers for Cal women’s 200 free relay, the NC State women’s 400 medley relay, and the Louisville men’s 200 medley relay are all returning.

Look at the list below for every champion who’s returning, and who’s leaving:

Returning:

  • 800 freestyle relay:
    • Women (Virginia): Alex Walsh (sophomore), Ella Nelson (junior)
    • Men (Texas): Carson Foster (sophomore), Drew Kibler (senior)
  • 200 freestyle relay:
    • Women (Cal): Emily Gantriis (sophomore), Eloise Riley (junior), Elise Garcia (senior), Isabel Ivey (senior)
    • Men (Cal): Bjorn Seeliger (sophomore), Daniel Carr (grad student)
  • 500 freestyle:
    • Jake Magahey (Georgia, sophomore)
  • 200 IM:
  • 50 freestyle:
  • 1 mtr diving:
    • Sarah Bacon (Minnesota, redshirt fifth-year)
  • 400 medley relay:
    • Women (NC State): Katharine Berkoff (junior), Kylee Alons (senior), Sophie Hansson (senior), Julia Poole (grad student)
    • Men (Texas): Caspar Corbeau (junior), Daniel Kreuger (senior), Alvin Jiang (grad student)
  • 400 IM:
    • Brooke Ford (Stanford, grad student)
    • Bobby Finke (Florida, senior)
  • 100 butterfly:
  • 200 freestyle:
  • 100 breaststroke:
  • 100 backstroke:
    • Katharine Berkoff (NC State, junior)
  • 3 mtr diving:
    • Sarah Bacon (Minnesota, redshirt fifth-year)
    • Andrew Capobianco (Indiana, redshirt senior)
  • 200 medley relay:
    • Women (NC State): Katharine Berkoff (junior), Kylee Alons (senior), Sophie Hansson (senior)
    • Men (Louisville): Haridi Sameh Kamel (senior), Mitchell Whyte (senior), Nicolas Albiero (grad student), Evgenii Somov (grad student)
  • 1650 freestyle:
  • 200 backstroke:
    • Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin, sophomore)
  • 100 freestyle:
  • 200 breaststroke:
  • 200 butterfly:
    • Olivia Carter (Michigan, senior)
    • Nicolas Albiero (Louisville, grad student)
  • Platform diving:
    • Tarrin Gilliland (Indiana, sophomore)
  • 400 freestyle relay:
    • Women (Alabama): Cora Dupre (junior), Kalia Antoniou (senior), Morgan Scott (senior)
    • Men (Cal): Destin Lasco (sophomore), Bjorn Seeliger (sophomore), Hugo Gonzalez (redshirt senior)

Not returning:

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TeamRegan
4 months ago

Don’t get me wrong, but I feel as if Regan’s butterfly hasn’t been extremely savvy following the Olympics. This could simply be because of not being tapered in mid-season, but her season Bests times in both the 100/200 Fly aren’t exactly where she should be. I see her taking on the 100/200 Back and possibly the 200 Fly, but her best bet is that 200 Back in SCY. I see Alex Walsh going strong with her versatility, taking on the 200 Fly and the 200/400 IM. Kate probably will do the 50 Free, 200 Breast, and 100 Fly

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  TeamRegan
4 months ago

most of the stanford times at the midseason meet were kinda slow i think they will go all out at pac-12s

96Swim
Reply to  TeamRegan
4 months ago

50 free/200 breast/100 fly is a really unique combo.

Hoosier Daddy
4 months ago

Brendan Burns will win 3 events this year!

Snarky
Reply to  Hoosier Daddy
4 months ago

At Y Nats?

Stewie
Reply to  Hoosier Daddy
4 months ago

At the IU last chance meet…

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
4 months ago

Alright who’s scoring the most points Maggie kate or regan

Admin
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
4 months ago

That’s a great question. The answer might come down to event choice.

Regan has massive competition in the backstrokes. On paper, she’s the best of that group, but will it chase her to the butterfly events instead? Her best 200 yard fly time is a second-and-a-half faster than what won last year. Her best 200 back time is 1.2 better than what won last year. Her best 100 back is .6 better than what won last year.

Does she want to take on Maggie head to head in the 100 fly? Something about UVA’s culture tells me that Kate isn’t going to run away from Maggie in the 50 free, but will Maggie drop the 50 free and do… Read more »

Goulash
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Wonderful answer. Appreciate the analysis.

Sophie
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Given Gretchen Walsh’s solid performances throughout the Fall, I’m excited to see if she can compete with these three as well. Imagine a showdown between Douglass, Macneil, and G. Walsh in the 50 or 100fr – excited for NCAAs this year!

Willswim
Reply to  Sophie
4 months ago

I think Regan Smith should be the betting favorite. MacNeil, Douglass, A. Walsh, G. Walsh, and Huske will probably have to face each other too often to out score her.

Greg
Reply to  Willswim
4 months ago

Regan has to deal with White, Bacon, Berkoff among others the backstrokes, which is just brutal. Maybe even Maggie in the 100. I would put her odds worse than the others, at least until I see her do the kind of fast yards times she was doing in 2019.

iLikePsych
Reply to  Greg
4 months ago

It’s not like she has to do a skins race against each of them, just the fastest time in both finals. Also, she went 49.16 and 1:47.8 in March 2021 (a best time in the 100), so if she can replicate those she has a strong chance of winning

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Sophie
4 months ago

this is going to be one of the most exciting women’s NCAAs in years

Greg
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
4 months ago

Torri Huske or Alex Walsh could end up scoring the most. Alex has a path to sweep the IMs and win the 200 fly or at least finish top 3. Torri could win any of 50/100/200 frees, 100/200 fly, possibly the IM. Will anyone win all three events this year like Paige did last year? I think it’s unlikely.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Greg
4 months ago

Tbh she has the best shot at the 200 free/fly, the 50/100 free and the 1fly is just so incredibly competitive but I definitely think she’s still gonna swim the 100 because she will most likely be second behind maggie or even get the upset (although I don’t think its likely)