Jack Kelly Of Brown Speaks On Becoming The Program’s First NCAA ‘A’ Finalist Since 1944

Jack Kelly of Brown University made history at the 2024 Men’s NCAA Championships becoming the program’s first ‘A’ finalist since 1944. Kelly made the ‘A’ final of the 200 breaststroke after swimming a 1:51.65 in prelims, the 8th fastest of the morning.

This was Kelly’s second NCAA Championships as he qualified last year finishing 26th in the 200 breast, 31st in the 100 breast, and 53rd in the 200 IM.

Kelly spoke of how last year’s experience helped him this year saying, “[Last year was] getting to know what to expect. How teams operate, and how I want to operate. At Ivies, I really want to do well in the 200 IM. Not to say that at NCAA’s I want to do well in the 200 IM as well, the first one that I had at this meet wasn’t really that stellar.”

“I added a substantial amount of time [in the 200 IM], but I don’t let that ruin the rest of the meet. It’s like taking what happens with you as just as an experience. I think, especially last year, I went in there with wide eyes. Coming in this year to know exactly what’s expected and like how the show works, it has definitely been very helpful.”

Kelly described that what was “expected” was to at least make an NCAA final, whether it be the ‘A’ or ‘B’ final, the goal was to final.

Kelly finished 55th in the 200 IM at 2024 NCAAs but rebounded the next day finishing tied, with fellow Ivy swimmer Matt Fallon, for 18th in the 100 breast. Kelly was only 0.05 seconds off of 16th place, which would have earned a spot in the ‘B’ final. On the final day of NCAAs, Kelly swam to make the ‘A’ final in the 200 breast, completing his “expectation.”

“I was just so happy to be in that final,” Kelly said. “I was like, wow, this is such an incredible experience and I soaked it all in. It really means a lot to represent the guys that I work with like every single day in the pool [and represent] the alumni.”

With his prelims swim, he had already locked up becoming the first ‘A’ finalist and All-American for Brown since 1944.

“It was really shocking that I found that it’s been since 1944 that we haven’t had a guy in the ‘A’ final. We’ve had really fast swimmers back in the day like Chuck Barnes and Tommy Glenn. That was so shocking to me. I’m glad to bring Bruno back on the big stage.”

Kelly has progressed in all three of his primary events during his first three seasons at Brown. He came in as a 53.34 and 1:56.84 breaststroker. As a freshman, he swam a 52.70 and a 1:53.70 before swimming a 52.08 and a 1:52.70 as a sophomore. Then, this past season, he swam a 51.58 and a 1:51.63.

Kelly spoke of his progression saying, “My coach, Kevin, has a saying called ‘work works’ and I honestly think that’s been the biggest thing. Going to each day and each practice, working as hard as I can alongside my teammates. My teammates push me every single day. Swimming’s very difficult already, and without guys pushing you during each rep or even in lift, it’s hard. I would say my teammates.”

With his senior season coming up this fall, Kelly has another chance to make history and could potentially make back-to-back ‘A’ finals in the 200 breast. Besides that, Kelly hopes to “pass on what I’ve learned and what I’ve experienced to [the incoming freshmen].”

Kelly is excited for his senior season as, “When I came in, there were two older guys, Ben Hayes and Vincent Huang, who like, really helped me a lot. I want to give back to the team that’s been so helpful for me”

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1 month ago

As the father of an incoming Brown freshman, I’m thrilled that he’ll get to have a mentor like Jack. Go Bruno!

Happy Slappy
1 month ago

My new favorite swimmer!

1 month ago

Go Bruno!!🐻

Ranger Coach
1 month ago

I know Brown is not a swimming powerhouse, but I’m amazed that it has been since 1944 since they had someone make the A final.

1 month ago

Brown couldn’t ask for a better kid to represent the university—Jack is a class act!

ever true
1 month ago

Jack is a true class act and I am extremely proud to be an alumni of the program with such a hard working, talented, and thoughtful person representing us on the biggest stage. Go Bruno!

1 month ago

You gotta love a guy who puts the work in while staying humble. Jack is a true baller and deserves the distinction!!

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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