Indiana coach Ray Looze confirmed the news to SwimSwam today. The two join a growing list of Olympic-year redshirts, focusing on qualifying for the 2020 Olympics instead of the 2019-2020 NCAA season.
From a team points perspective, though, it’s a real blow to Indiana – both were considered NCAA title contenders in at least one event. Capobianco was the team’s top returning point-scorer: he put up 20 points on the diving boards last year, winning the national 3-meter title. He was also projected to move back into scoring range on 1-meter (he was 24th last year, but factoring out seniors moved him to 14th) and was third on platform as a freshman before taking 28th last year.
Brinegar would have been a sophomore for the Hoosiers. He was 2nd at NCAAs in the 1650 free, going 14:27.50 and was a true title contender this year. He was also on the cusp of scoring in the 500.
Internationally, though, both have plenty of reason to sit the year out in the college realm.
Capobianco was on the U.S. roster for the 2019 World Championships, placing 8th in the synchronized 3-meter springboard with partner (and IU alum) Michael Hixon. He also won a bronze medal with Katrina Young for the mixed team event – though that event is not included in the Olympic program. At Pan Ams, he won two more bronzes: one in the individual 1-meter event and another in the 3-meter synchro, again with Hixon. USA Diving will hold its Olympic Trials from June 14-21 in Indianapolis.
Brinegar is a U.S. National Teamer in open water, and finished 3rd among Americans at Open Water Nationals in May. Olympic bids in open water have already been determined, though, so Brinegar is more likely chasing a berth in either the 800 or 1500 in the pool. Brinegar was 4th among Americans in both events last summer, and only about four seconds out of second place in both. He is expected to spend the year training in California with the Mission Viejo Nadadores.
Here’s the running list of Olympic redshirts, gap years and deferrals we’ve reported so far:
- Taylor Ruck, Stanford (Canada)
- Olivia Carter, Georgia (USA)
- Ida Hulkko, Florida State (Finland)
- Faith Knelson, Arizona (Canada)
- Mackenzie Padington, Minnesota (Canada)
- Sarah Bacon, Minnesota (USA)
- Kristen Hayden, Minnesota (USA)
- Dean Farris, Harvard (USA)
- Javier Acevedo, Georgia (Canada)
- Giovanni Izzo, NC State (Italy)
- Jarod Arroyo, Arizona State (Puerto Rico)
- Ruslan Gaziev, Ohio State (Canada)
- Mario Koenigsperger, USC (New Zealand)
- Grant House, Arizona State (USA)
- Michael Brinegar, Indiana (USA)
- Andrew Capobianco, Indiana (USA)