Matt Merke Commits to DIII Salisbury with Times Already Faster than Program Records

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An Open Water Junior Nationals qualifier in both 2021 and 2022, Matt Merke of the Annapolis Swim Club has announced his commitment to stay within Maryland for his collegiate career by committing to swim and study at Salisbury University.

“Salisbury felt like home the minute I got there. I immediately felt embraced by the welcoming, fast, and inspirational team and coaching staff. I am so excited to spend my next 4 years as part of this powerful program! Go Gulls!”

Earlier this sprint, Merke was a multiple-event finalist at the 2023 Maryland Short Course Senior Championships. His top finish at the meet came in the 1650, where he touched in a lifetime best of 15:56.47 to take third overall. He also added a fourth-place finish in the 500 free (4:38.80) and took 13th in the 200 free (1:43.14).

Last summer, at the state’s long course senior championships, Merke finished with the top time in the 800 free. Although he missed his lifetime best in the event by over seven seconds, his finish of 8:51.25 was still good enough for gold. He also added a runner-up finish in the 400 free, taking silver with a best time of 4:15.64

Top SCY Times

  • 100 free – 48.44
  • 200 free – 1:43.14
  • 500 free – 4:36.57
  • 1650 free – 15:56.47
  • 400 IM – 4:08.36

When Merke arrives on campus this fall, he will immediately become Salisbury’s top distance swimmer, with times already well faster than the program records in his primary events. Merke’s lifetime best time in the mile is already twenty seconds faster than the program record while his times in the 500 free and 400 IM are also faster than anyone has ever swam for the Gulls.

As a team last season, Salisbury finished fifth out of thirteen teams at the 2023 Metropolitan Swimming and Diving Championships. The team was led by freshman Dominic Kazzi, who finished in the A-final of the 100 breast and B-final of the 200 breast and 200 IM.

Merke will be among the conference’s top distance swimmers next season, with his lifetime bests already putting in the top-8 from last year. In 2023, he would have taken third in the 1650, fifth in the 500, and seventh in the 400 IM.

Salisbury is coming off their most successful season in program history, with the men’s team finishing a perfect 9-0 during the regular season. This success largely came from the school’s freshman class, which featured eighteen of the team’s 22 total men. The class of 2026 was head coach Nate Parsley‘s first true recruiting class since taking the program over going into the 2021-2022 school year.

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Gummy Shark
3 months ago

Go Gulls!