Meet the Mid-Major Qualifiers For Division I Men’s NCAAs

2019 DI Men’s NCAA Championships

The official psych sheets for the Men’s NCAAs have been released, and with it 235 swimmers from 45 Division I teams have earned invites to the meet. Included in those is a list of 11 mid-major schools with at least one qualifier. We’re counting mid-major programs as those Division I programs outside of the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC). While not all teams in the Power 5 conferences receive the same funding, our goal here is introduce you to swimmers from some of the other schools that might not be as familiar to the mainstream swimming fan.

Another reminder: the numbers used in this post only contain swimmers, divers just finished their qualifying process but are not included in these numbers.

Here is the list of Mid-Major teams with qualifiers, and the number of invited swimmers (note: this list only contains individual swimmers invited. No relays are included):

TEAM # of Invitees
Denver 1
East Carolina 1
Grand Canyon 2
Harvard 6
Hawaii 3
Missouri State 2
Penn 1
Princeton 1
Towson 1
UC Santa Barbara 1

Harvard is leading the way for these mid-major schools, having qualified 6 individual swimmers and all 5 relays. Dean Farris (junior) is leading the way for the Crimson, sitting as the 2nd seed in the 100 free, 3rd seed in the 100 back, and is seeded low in the 50 free, but was a B finalist in that event last year. If Farris manages to win one of his events, he will be the first NCAA swimming champion to come from a mid-major program since 2016, when Penn’s Chris Swanson won the 1650. Harvard originally had 5 swimmers earn invites to NCAAs, but Raphael Marcoux just got bumped in when Texas had to cut two of their swimmers to comply with team size rules for the meet, bringing the Harvard total up to 6 entrants.

Harvard’s other qualifiers were senior Brennan Novak, senior Logan Houck, sophomore Michael Zarian, and freshman Umitcan Gures. Novak earned invites in two events: the 500 free and 1650 free. Houck also made the 1650, while Zarian made the 400 IM, and Gures made the 100 fly. Reminder: every swimmer invited to the NCAA Championships is then able to swim a total of 3 individual events, provided they have the NCAA ‘B’ qualifying standard in the event.

Despite the men’s meet being smaller than the women’s meet, qualifying relays is the one area where the mid-major men outdid the mid-major women. For the women’s meet, only Akron qualified relays, earning a total of 4 relay invites. The men’s mid-majors qualified a total of 10 relays between Harvard, Grand Canyon, and Hawaii. Harvard again led the way here, getting all 5 of their relays to the meet. Furthermore, Harvard is seeded to score in the 800 free relay, while Grand Canyon is seeded to score in the 200 free relay.

Here is the list of qualfied relays:

Harvard Grand Canyon Hawaii
800 FR 200 FR 200 MR
200 FR 400 MR 400 MR
400 MR 400 FR
200 MR
400 FR

There were six mid-major swimmers that earned invites in more than one event. There were two swimmers in that group that earned invites in the maximum 3 events. Princeton freshman Raunak Khosla, earned invites in three events. Khosla was invited in the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 fly. He is seeded 12th in the 200 IM, and 17th, just one place outside of scoring, in the 400 IM. Grand Canyon senior Mark Nikolaev was invited in the 200 IM, 100 back, and 200 back. Nikolaev is seeded 2nd in the 100 back.

Here is the complete list swimmers that earned invites in multiple events:

Swimmer Team Class Earned Invites
Raunak Khosla Princeton Freshman
200 IM        400 IM        200 Fly
Mark Nikolaev Grand Canyon Senior
200 IM         100 Back     200 Back
Dean Farris Harvard Junior
100 Back      100 Free
Brennan Novak Harvard Senior
500 Free    1650 Free
Mark Andrew Penn Senior 200 IM        400 IM
Payton Sorenson BYU Senior
50 Free          100 Free

Here are the other swimmers not yet mentioned, as well as the school they represent, their class, and the event they were invited in:

  • Cameron Auchinachie (Denver sophomore) – 50 free
  • Gustavo Santos (East Carolina junior) – 100 fly
  • Daniil Antipov (Grand Canyon senior) – 200 fly
  • Metin Aydin (Hawaii senior) – 200 back
  • Kane Follows (Hawaii junior) – 200 back
  • Olli Kokko (Hawaii junior) – 100 breast
  • Blair Bish (Missouri State senior) – 100 breast
  • Artur Osvath (Missouri State senior) – 200 breast
  • Jack Saunderson (Towson senior) – 200 fly
  • Logan Hotchkiss (UC Santa Barbara senior) – 500 free

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Swimming Fan
2 years ago

Nice article, Spenser.

WV Swimmer
2 years ago

Great article, love seeing the smaller schools getting representation in the big dance! Small note: it’s Harvard Crimson, not crimson tide 😉 a certain school down in Bama took that one.

The Ready Room
Reply to  WV Swimmer
2 years ago

And Chris Swanson 🙂

College Swim Fan
2 years ago

Nice article, thanks! I’ll be cheering for these guys! Any idea how the number of qualifiers from Mid-major programs compares to recent years?

2 years ago

Notice quite a few upperclassmen here. Is that ratio similar across the entirety of the invite list?

Swimming Fan
Reply to  DrSwimPhil
2 years ago

I did note that the 2018 recruiting class from the State of Texas (this year’s freshmen) have 6 swimmers in the field: LeVant (Stanford), Casas (A&M), Calvillo (Indiana) and Zettle, Vines and Willenbring (Texas). That’s a pretty talented class.

Coach Josh
2 years ago

With fewer Power 5 Men’s programs (compared to women’s) and 4 less scholarships per program to give out, I’m surprised that there isn’t a larger percentage of Men’s qualifiers from mid-major programs. Seems like the wealth should be spread out a bit more. That being said, it’s also the case that quite a few very solid mid-major programs have gotten cut over the past few years (EMU, UC-Davis, etc.), so maybe those two things balance each other out.

Steve Schaffer
Reply to  Coach Josh
2 years ago

With Texas leaving four meet qualifiers home, and not all mid-major programs being necessarily being fully funded, I’m not sure the assumption that the “wealth should be spread out a bit more” is actually a valid one.

Kudos to my mid-major colleagues on their success.