Howard’s Oldest School Record Just Got Broken Twice in Less Than 24 Hours

The oldest swimming record at Howard University just got taken down twice in less than 24 hours by two different freshmen.

On Friday against American University, Kali Garcia clocked a 10:54.20 in the women’s 1000 freestyle to reset the school record set by recent Howard Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Camille Chatoor back in 1988. Garcia shaved more than three seconds off her season best, but she still touched nearly 14 slower than her personal best from February of 2019.

The 1000 free school record, which had previously stood untouched for 34 years, lasted less than a day before being broken by fellow freshman Zuzu Nwaeze, who went 10:42.36 to smash Garcia’s mark by nearly 12 seconds on Saturday against Virginia Military Institute.

The record-setting performance wasn’t exactly surprising as Nwaeze’s personal best in the 1000 free is a blazing 10:30.25 from the Maryland Senior Short Course Championships in February of 2020. She has already been named Northeast Conference (NEC) Rookie of the Week twice in the first month of her collegiate career.

Nwaeze also triumphed in the 500 free on Saturday with a time of 5:12.52. Garcia placed second in 5:18.69. On Friday, Nwaeze won the 200 fly with a time of 2:09.31 while also anchoring the winning 200 free relay team. Garcia won the 500 free in 5:17.20 on Friday.

As Garcia and Nwaeze inch closer to their lifetime bests and improve over the next four years, breaking the 1000 free school record might become a regular occurrence for Howard’s elite pair of first-year distance freestylers.

The Bison women lost to American on Friday, 150-93, before beating VMI on Saturday, 172-52. They’re 2-2 in dual meets so far this season, but the future is bright for head coach Nicholas Askew‘s crew.

Howard has been the only historically Black college (HBCU) with a swim program since 2016, when North Carolina A&T disbanded its team.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Suzy Q
10 months ago

zuzu is a beast. watched her grind out that 2 fly on Friday

10 months ago

Love all this attention for this program because their values and character really reflect the best of collegiate swimming. Congratulations Kali and Zuzu!

Unabashed fanboy
10 months ago

I really love this team & its energy. My college swimmer splashes elsewhere, but he age-grouped with Kali back in Orlando then with Ari in Atlanta (and a few of the recent alums!), which gave us the opportunity to watch these swimmers growing up. None of us had a clue what the future was gonna look like, but they are individuals of such fine character. Having had the pleasure to host a Bison teammate of theirs as well, I can’t say enough about these great young adults. It has been such a pleasure to see their success in the pool with this inspiring team. Go Bison!

10 months ago

Coach Nic Askew is the real deal.

10 months ago

Glad this school is finally getting attention

Coach Kelly
10 months ago

Yea ZUZU!!!

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 …

Read More »