LSU Overcoming Adversity and Moving Up the Power Rankings

The LSU men recently moved up the SwimSwam NCAA Men’s Power Rankings from 24th to 21st. While Olympian Brooks Curry is the main attraction for the LSU men, the rest of the team has had an impact this season as well.

The LSU men showed improvement in their relays at the 2021 Art Adamson Invitational over their times from last year. LSU was a full 1.99 seconds faster in the 200 free relay at the 2021 invite than they were in 2020, and almost three seconds faster in the 400 medley relay. That 400 medley improvement comes despite Curry being over half-a-second slower than he was a year ago at the same meet. 

LSU Relay Split Comparisons at the Art Adamson Invite 2020 vs. 2021

200 free relay

2020 Relay 2021 Relay
Brooks Curry 19.34 Brooks Curry 19.30
Jack Jannasch 19.82 Jack Jannasch 19.59
Michael Foley 21.11 Spencer Adrian 20.01
Emil Hassling 20.43 Emil Hassling 19.81
Time: 1:20.70 Time: 1:18.71


400 medley relay

2020 Relay 2021 Relay
Miguel Velasquez 50.03 Griffin Curtis 48.42
Luca Pfyffer 53.73 Mitch Mason 52.75
Emil Hassling 48.46 Emil Hassling 47.57
Brooks Curry 41.85 Brooks Curry 42.47
Time: 3:14.07 Time:  3:11.21


Jack Jannasch was .23 faster on his 50 free split, while Emil Hassling was .62 faster in his 50 free split and .89 faster in his 100 fly split than they were last year at the same meet. 

Head Coach Rick Bishop, who primarily worked with the women’s team as a coach at Michigan, does not seem to be having issues helping the LSU men. 

In his individual 50, Jannasch swam a 20.03, which was the same time he went at the SEC Championships in February. Last year at the Invite Jannasch was a 21.20.  In a practice video posted earlier this year, Jannasch swam 19.40, which implies that this still might not be the ceiling for LSU.

Hassling swam a 1:45.80 in his 200 IM at the 2021 Invite, almost three seconds faster than he was at the 2020 Invite. His time was just off of his personal best time of 1:45.37, which he set at the SEC Championship. 

Freshman Ryan Warmbier produced a best time of 4:25.52 at the meet, which was his first time ever under 4:30. His best time prior to the Art Adamson Invite was a 4:31.89 set back in December 2020. 

Bishop took over coaching duties in June after Dave Geyer, who was the LSU head coach for 11 seasons, resigned back in May. Shortly after in September, Associate head coach Steve Mellor, who led the LSU sprint group that included Curry, announced his resignation citing “my integrity and personal mental health.” 

The drama was not limited to the coaching staff. In the days following Mellor leaving the program, NCAA qualifier Summer Stanfield entered the transfer portal

Despite the issues, LSU and Coach Bishop have produced results. 

In October, Curry broke the LSU pool record in the 50 free in a meet against Grand Canyon University, clocking in at 19.51. 

Later that same month, Curry swam a best (albeit controversial) time in the 50 free (18.7) — at practice. 

Moving into November, Curry swam his best 200 free outside of a championship meet, going 1:34.27 at Alabama. Curry was well over a second faster than he was at the same meet the year prior.

At the 2021 Art Adamson Invitational, Curry swam a 19.09 50 free, which at the time was the fastest in the nation and is still the third fastest 50 free currently. 

Curry continues to improve over last year under Bishop, despite his former coach leaving early in the season. As the relays showed at the Art Adamson Invite, the rest of the LSU men are also improving over last year. 

As the season continues, LSU will look to continue improving over last year and work to break the top 20 in the SwimSwam power rankings.

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1 year ago

You guys spent an entire article writing about relays with literally 1 fast split each…..

That 4 med is slower than the 17–18 NAG record of 3:10.27 and we are supposed to get excited about this?

1 year ago

You’re hyping up an SEC school for going 3:11 in the 400 MEDLEY Relay??
Some schools who have been faster this year:

Texas A&M Swim Fan
Reply to  Klorn8d
1 year ago

You forgot to add A&M to your list (they weren’t rested or tapered for that meet)!

Kitajima Fan
1 year ago

Why does this read like propaganda

1 year ago

Did Rick Bishop pay for this article?

Reply to  B1Guy!
1 year ago

Is he not actually a good coach (genuinely asking)? Looks like a split pay between curry and Bishop