The University of Louisville has released their 2022-2023 season roster. Both the men’s and women’s rosters will have one graduate student/fifth year each. Alena Kraus will take a fifth year for the women’s team and Michael Eastman will take a fifth year for the men’s team.
Kraus spent her first four years at Louisville. This past season, she helped the Louisville women to a third place finish out of 12 teams at the ACC Championships. She was the teams 10th highest scorer as she scored 42 individual points. She finished ninth in the 200 fly (1:55.08), 14th in the 200 free (1:46.69), and 17th in the 100 free (49.11). Her 100 freestyle was also a best time.
Kraus went on to swim at NCAAs. There she finished 15th in the 200 fly with a season best time of 1:54.81. She also swam in prelims of the 200 free as she swam a 1:47.08 to finish 49th.
In 2021, she competed at NCAAs where she finished 10th in the 200 fly swimming her lifetime best of 1:54.14. Notably, Kraus has scored in the 200 fly in all three years of the NCAA Championships in her time at Louisville (2019, 2021, and 2022 as the 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19).
Kraus’ best SCY times are:
- 100 fly: 52.52 (2018 Midseason)
- 200 fly: 1:54.14 (2021 NCAAs)
- 100 free: 49.11 (2022 ACCs)
- 200 free: 1:44.97 (January 2021 Dual)
Like Kraus, Eastman also spent his first four years at Louisville. This past season, Eastman helped the Louisville men to a runner-up finish at the ACC Championships. He scored 17 individual points. He finished 16th in the 50 free (19.67), 21st in the 200 free (1:35.36), and 23rd in the 100 free (43.57).
Eastman’s best SCY times are:
- 50 free: 19.47 (2022 ACCs)
- 100 free: 42.48 (2022 Last Chance)
- 200 free: 1:35.05 (2020 ACCs)
Notably, both the men’s and women’s teams for Louisville will have a much smaller group of fifth years for this next season compared to this last season. The Louisville women had three fifth years and the men had five fifth years this past season.
Athletes were allowed an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 season. Many athletes took this extra year this past season, but the number is expected to fall over the next few years, although so far this year that has not seemed to have happened. Louisville is one of the team’s so far that will have a big loss in fifth years from last season to this season.
The biggest difference between this season’s fifth years and future seasons is the scholarship cap. Men’s swimming is allowed 9.9 and women’s swimming is allowed 14 total scholarships per team. This season, 5th year seniors didn’t count toward that cap unless they transferred. In future seasons, 5th year seniors will count against the cap, until the waiver expires. This means that both swimmers’ scholarships next season will count towards the cap for each team.