Michigan First Chance: Aaronson Drops 2 Seconds in 100 Fly


The Michigan First Chance Meet has been a bright spot for the Wolverines as they get ready for the Big 10 Championships. They’ve had swimmers make big drops and swim some times that would have scored in the A final of last season’s Big Ten meet. You can read more about those swims here (Saturday) and here (Sunday morning). The final session took place on Saturday night with time trials.

After making a huge drop in the 100 back with Michigan’s tenth fastest time ever on Saturday, Nadav Aaronson powered to another big drop. Aaronson finished 2nd in the 100 fly in 48.43, breaking 50 for the first time and lowering his former best, set at midseason, by nearly 2 seconds. He lowered his 50 free best from midseason earlier in the meet, but was slightly off that as he went a 20.41 on the intermediate split of the 100 free.

After his big swim in the mile in the morning session, Danny Berlitz made another big drop in the 200 breast. Berlitz knocked 2 seconds off his best from midseason, breaking 2:00 for the first time in 1:58.24. Christian Farricker continued the trend of big drops with his 1:46.68 in the 200 fly. He had dropped nearly 2 seconds in his morning swim, lowering his best for the first time since 2018. Farricker dropped another second tonight. Bora Unalmis also swam the event for a second time today, but was off his prelims time by a little over a second in 1:47.40. Timmy Hanson was 3rd there in 1:48.82. That’s his 2nd fastest swim ever and a tenth shy of his best from the 2018 First Chance Meet.

Another best time went down in the 100 breast, as Leo Zabudkin clipped his lifetime best with a 55.38. Behind him, Matthew MacGillivray swam a collegiate best and his fastest time since 2018 with a 56.01.

Andrew Trepanier was just off his lifetime best from Saturday night in the 100 fly as he took another shot at the event, winning in 47.79. Spencer Carl was close behind for 3rd in 48.47. That was a collegiate best and his fastest swim since 2016. Donald Scott swam a tenth faster in the 200 free than he did on Saturday with a 1:37.43. That’s now his collegiate best and 2nd fastest performance ever.

In the 50 free, Parker Hughes was within a few tenths of his best in 20.98. That was a collegiate best for Hughes and his fastest swim since 2018. Hughes also broke 50 for the first time since 2018 with a 49.98 in the 100 back, just 3 tenths shy of his best and setting another collegiate best. Teammate Andrew Babyak went a 21.62 behind him in the 50, a new lifetime best by 2 tenths and the first time he’s lowered his best since 2017. Hughes returned to go after the 50 split in the 100 free, posting a 21.10. Jack McCurdy swam his fastest time since 2017 in the 400 IM, posting a 3:59.09.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Select members of the University of Michigan men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams concluded action at the Michigan First Chance Meet on Sunday (Feb. 16) at Canham Natatorium.

Just like Saturday (Feb. 15), several swims stood out. Freshman Danny Berlitz was clocked at 14:55.26 in the 1,650-yard freestyle, the sixth-best time in the Big Ten this season and a 15-second drop from his midseason time at the Minnesota Invite in December (15:10.76). His time on Sunday was within a second of the cut line at last year’s NCAA Championships; Stanford’s Matthew Hirschberger was the final swimmer to get an invite, ranking 31st (14:54.65).

Three swimmers vaulted up the rankings in the 200-yard butterfly, led by junior/sophomore Spencer Carl. After going 4:18.95 in the 500-yard freestyle Saturday (the seventh-best time in the Big Ten this year), Carl swam the 200-yard butterfly in 1:43.81, moving from ninth to fourth on this year’s Big Ten rankings. That time puts him just off the school’s top-10 list; the 10th-best time in school history is 1:43.72 by Peter Brumm in 2016.

Also in that race was sophomore Bora Unalmis, who went 1:46.05 (No. 9 in the Big Ten) and freshman Christian Farricker, who went 1:47.45. Farricker lowered that time in the afternoon’s time trials, going 1:46.68, the 12th-best time in the Big Ten.

Two women’s swimmers also raced on Sunday. Freshman Kate Kikilo clocked the 200-yard backstroke in 2:02.07, while junior Alex Hughes went 2:18.97 in the 200-yard breaststroke.

The Wolverine women will next be in action Wednesday through Saturday (Feb. 19-22) at the Big Ten Championships in Iowa City, Iowa. The men’s team will compete at the Big Ten Championships from Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 26-29 in Bloomington, Indiana.

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What you have written about Nadav Aaronson here is incorrect… “He lowered his 50 free best from midseason as well as he went for it in the first 50 of the 100 free. Aaronson was a 20.41 there, dropping nearly 4 tenths.”

Nadav swam the 50 free yesterday morning and went 20.19


Small correction — there was not a Friday session. The meet had two sessions on Saturday and one more plus time trials on Sunday. It looks like you’re just one day off throughout the article

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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