Aryan Makhija, who hails from Khar West, Mumbai, India, joined the Auburn roster in January as a freshman. The class of 2022 also includes Brogan Davis, Brooks Merkle, Christian Sztolcman, Conner Pruitt, Matthew Yish, Stevos Baczek, and Thomas Pedroso.
Makhija specializes in distance freestyle. He attended Glenwood High, a boarding school in Durban, South Africa, where he trained under Graham Hill. Makjija and five other Indian swimmers were selected by Mumbai-based Jindal Steel to take part in the program.
Makhija is the Indian National Record-holder in the SCM 800 free and SCM 1500m free. He finished 16th in the 1500 free at the 2018 FINA World Championships (25m) in Hangzhou in December and his time of 15:01.44 broke the Indian National Record. His leadoff 800 during that race (8:01.68) also established a National Record.
Gary Taylor’s assessment: “Aryan will bring experience due to his international competitions to both the SEC and NCAA meets. He has been training in South Africa and he has some connections to current Auburn swimmers. He’s one of the top international distance specialists. He’s really excited to be in the United States training at a program and being at a university like Auburn. He’s going to provide some really good depth but also some top-end speed on the endurance end.”
Makhija swam in his first meet as a Tiger against Georgia Tech this weekend. He placed third in both the 1000 free (9:29.81) and 500 free (4:35.89), giving Auburn a 1-2-3 sweep of both events.
- 1500 SCM free – 15:01.44
- 1500 LCM free – 15:59.50
- 800 SCM free – 8:01.68
- 800 LCM free – 8:13.19
- 400 SCM free – 3:55.33
- 400 LCM free – 3:59.86
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