Houston Women Win 5th-Straight AAC Title, SMU Takes Men’s AAC Crown

AAC –  Men and Women

Final Team Standings

Men

  1. SMU – 1304
  2. Cincinnati – 1089

Women

  1. Houston – 1009
  2. SMU – 753.5
  3. Cincinnati – 732.5
  4. Tulane – 617

Women’s Recap

Houston won their 5th-straight AAC championship title this weekend, clearing runner-up SMU by 255.5 points.

Houston’s Mykenzie Leehy won another event this week, taking the 100 free with a season best 48.61. The swim currently ranks Leehy 30th in the NCAA, giving her a better than good chance of earning an NCAA invite in the event. Leehy is also ranked 30th in the 200 free as things currently stand, giving her two realistic chances of earning an NCAA invite.

Leehy was also a member of the winning Houston 400 free relay. Leehy anchored the relay in 48.15, which was the fastest split in the field by over a second. Laura Garcia Marin, Katie Power, and Rachel Hicks were also on the relay, which ultimately finished in 3:18.78.

Cougar teammate Ioanna Sacha also likely earned herself an invite to NCAAs, winning the 200 back with a 1:53.54. Sacha won the race by a whopping 5 seconds, and swam the 22nd-ranked time in the NCAA this season. With roughly 18 more spots to give, and nearly all conference championships that will take place before NCAAs completed, it’s all but certain Sacha will make the cutoff for the 200 back this year. That will give Houston a pair of swimmers at NCAAs this year.

Cincy’s Matea Sumajstorcic swam a 16:25.48 to win the 1650, leading a 1-2 charge by the Bearcats. Sydney St Rose-Finear finished 2nd in the race, touching in 16:35.07.

SMU’s Olivia Grossklaus swam a season best 1:57.99 to win the 200 fly, touching first by well over a second. Grossklaus’ time will ultimately put her right outside earning an NCAA invite in the event.

Kate McDonald, Tulane’s star breaststroker, completed her sweep of the breast events this week with a 2:12.50 in the 200 breast. The swim was the fastest in the field by nearly 2.5 seconds, and a fast back half of the race helped her pull away from the field to defend her title in the race.

Houston freshman Hedda Grelz won the women’s platform diving title in a tight battle with SMU’s Johanna Holloway. Grelz finished with a final score of 265.25, while Holloway scored 264.90 points.

Men’s Recap

SMU won the 2021 men’s team title, with only one team to compete against. Caleb Rhodenbaugh, a Mustang senior, broke the WAC Championship record in the 200 breast, and likely earned himself an invite to NCAAs next month. Rhodenbaugh swam a 1:53.98, which currently ranks 19th in the NCAA this season, putting him in excellent position to qualify for NCAAs.

SMU broke another record on the night, clocking a 2:53.02 to win the 400 free relay. The swim marked a new pool record, and came in just off the NCAA ‘B’ cut of 2:52.46. Justin Baker led the team off in 43.64, with Daniel Forndal going 2nd in 42.49, Lance Butler splitting 43.29 on the 3rd leg, and Charlie Kaye anchoring in 43.60.

Daniel Forndal was the 100 free champion from earlier in the session, where he swam a 43.36 to get his hand on the wall first by half a second. Butler came in 2nd in 43.82, with Justin Baker in 3rd at 44.05, Cole Parnell taking 4th in 44.27, and Kaye coming in 5th with a 44.33, marking a 1-2-3-4-5 finish by the Mustangs.

SMU again had a stellar diving performance, going 1-2-3-4 in platform diving. Peter Smithson won another diving event, posting a final score of 372.80.

Cincy’s Blake Hanna posted a win in the 200 back, finishing in 1:41.92 to lead a 1-2-3 charge by the Bearcats. Hunter Gubeno took 2nd in 1:42.60, and Conor Lynch swam a 1:45.33 to finish in 3rd.

Bearcat Michael Balcerak was dominant in the 200 fly, swimming a 1:46.66 to win the event by well over 2 seconds. Balcerak held strong throughout the race, splitting 27.30, 27.78, and 27.88 on the final 3 50s. Cincy’s Noah Smith won the 1650 in 15:15.57.

 

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Poptart
3 months ago

Forndal will be misssed

Go Stangs
3 months ago

Help is on the way