Mason Hunter Splits 23.2 Breast, Freshman Chung Goes PRs at Michigan Intrasquad

MICHIGAN NOVEMBER INTRASQUAD

  • November 7, 2020
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Short course yards (SCY)
  • Full results

The Michigan Wolverines launched into their second meet of the 2020-21 pandemic season, with impressive outings from freshmen and a couple of standout swims from upperclassmen.

On the men’s side, junior Mason Hunter is really coming into his own after tough graduation losses to Michigan’s breaststroke group with Tommy CopeJacob Montague and Jacob Babinet.

As part of the session-opening 200 medley relay, he cranked out a 23.21 breaststroke leg on the winning relay, which appears to be his best split ever. It would’ve also been two-tenths faster than Michigan’s Big Ten Championships medley relay breast leg, Will Chan; Chan did not race at this meet, though he competed at their first intrasquad in October. Hunter would go on to win the 100 breast in a 52.73, which was just .04 off of his best time and marks his second-best performance ever.

Senior Gus Borges had a couple of strong swims, first anchoring Michigan’s winning 200 medley relay with a 19.30, just edging another relay anchor, sophomore Cam Peel (19.50). Borges was also quite fast anchoring the 400 free relay at the session’s end, splitting a 42.88; Peel was the second-fastest split with a 43.55.

Michigan’s first-year women had a very strong day. Casey Chung, chief among them, ripped a lifetime best 53.07 in the 100 back to slice almost four-tenths off of her old best. Not long after, she then went for a 100 time in the 200 back, again going a best time with a 52.87. Kathryn Ackerman added wins in the 200 free (1:47.68), 200 IM (1:59.50) and 200 back (1:56.86), coming about a half-second shy of her 200 free best, while Sophie Housey was behind Ackerman in the 200 free (1:47.97) and 200 IM (2:01.11); she, too, was just about a half-second off of her best in the 200 free, while her 23.03 medley relay anchor was well ahead of her flat-start 50 free best (23.65).

Chung was also 24.89 leading off the medley relay, her fastest 50 back ever. Depending on how much more Chung can develop, there’s an opportunity for sprint ace Maggie MacNeil to race on the fly leg of one or both of the medley relays.

MacNeil has been quite formidable in backstroke, though; she was 23.72 on one of Michigan’s 200 medley relay lead-offs, and added times of 51.10 in the 100 back and 51.54 in the 100 fly individually. Sophomore Kaitlynn Sims was another strong presence among non-freshmen, going 9:51.18 to win the 1000 free and then 4:48.93 to take the 500 free. Junior Olivia Carter hit a 1:56.97 to win the 200 fly and touched second behind MacNeil in the 100 fly (53.89).

Freshman Wyatt Davis lunged for two wins individually on the men’s side, going 48.22 to win the 100 fly and 1:37.55 to take the 200 free. He was also 22.35 on a medley relay lead-off, the second-best in the field behind sophomore Nadav Aaronson (22.32), and he anchored a 400 free relay in 43.98.

OTHER NOTABLE SWIMS

  • Michigan’s men have struggled to develop an elite backstroker the last couple of seasons, but with Davis and others in the mix, 2020 Big Ten 200 medley relay lead-off Eric Storms might be switching to breaststroke. He’s been 21.66/47.32 in the back events, but going into Saturday with a 56.80 lifetime best in the 100 breast, Storms shaved almost two seconds to hit a 54.96. He was also 24.71 on a medley relay breast leg.
  • Freshmen Claire Tuttle and Claire Donan are two of Michigan’s top breaststrokers ready to fill Miranda Tucker‘s gap; Tucker graduated and is now competing in the International Swimming League. Tuttle won the 100 breast (1:03.15) and split a 28.22 on Michigan’s winning 200 medley relay breast leg, while Donan was close behind in the 100 (1:03.48) and won the 200 (2:16.99).
  • Freshman Jake Mitchell won the 200 back (1:46.87), but diverted from his primary stroke, freestyle, and swam breast on a medley (27.03) and the 100 breast (58.73). He ended the meet with a 44.02 400 free relay split.
  • Michigan’s freshman women were pretty strong in the sprint free on Saturday. Noelle Kaufmann was 50.66 to win the 100 free over fellow first-year Claire Newman (50.72), while Newman was the 50 free runner-up (23.56) behind Daria Pyshnenko (22.91). Kaufmann and Newman both hit 50’s again on the 400 free relay, while Chung split a 50.24 with a flying start.
  • Club Wolverine’s Miles Smachlo hopped in for a 200 fly, going 1:43.47 to beat the field of collegiate swimmers by over seven seconds.

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Pickles
2 months ago

23.2 in a dual meet is scary fast

GA Boy
Reply to  Pickles
2 months ago

He’s a GA Boy, built different

Daddy
2 months ago

With the exception of Andrew Wilson, it seems rare as of late to find top level breaststrokers that are late bloomers. Can’t wait to see what he has in store over the next two years. Congrats Mason!

#MFan
2 months ago

It seems Eric Storms is having a breakout year in general. Last Nov against Indiana… he swam a 48.72 in the 100 back. This Oct… he swam a 47.33 which is basically his taper from last season. And this 100 breast, going 54.96 here in Nov. Great work Eric! Donald Scott is showing some solid time drops to start his sophomore year. Last Nov against Indiana he swam a 46.47 100 free. This year a 45.14. Patrick Callan a 1:36.41 200 free last Nov. This year a 1:35.09 in October. Will Roberts last Nov swam a 9:07 1000 free… this year a 9:01. Gus Borges with a 19.95 50 free last Nov against the Hoosiers, compared to 19.75 this October.… Read more »

James P Watts
Reply to  #MFan
1 month ago

I remember Bruno Ortiz split 21.77 on his 50 breast leg. That was amazing.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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