Michigan Won’t Score in the NCAA 500 FR for the First Time Since At Least 1992


The University of Michigan, which has been one of the premier men’s mid-distance and distance freestyle programs in the NCAA since the inception of NCAA swimming, came out flat in this morning’s prelims. The Wolverines made program history again this morning, but not in a positive way.

Michigan had just two swimmers in the 500 free prelims this morning. Senior Patrick Callan was the top finisher for the Wolverines, taking 28th with a 4:16.44. Sophomore Jake Mitchell was the other Wolverine in the race, finishing 46th with a 4:21.24. Mitchell was notably a U.S. Olympian in the 400 free last summer, finishing 8th in finals.

The team performances today mark the first time since at least 1992 that Michigan hasn’t scored in the 500 free at NCAAs. The table was set last year, when Michigan didn’t have an ‘A’ finalist in the event for the first time in the same period of time.

We’re saying since “at least 1992” because NCAA Championships results for 1992 and 1991 aren’t readily available. In 1993, however, Marcel Wouda, a Michigan sophomore at the time, won the 500 free in a time of 4:15.55 as a sophomore. As best we can tell, Wouda was not an All-American in 1992, and we’re fairly confident Wouda didn’t score in 1992, but again, we don’t know that for a fact. We’re unsure about 1991, but in 1990, the only of the three years where our results archive has full results, the Wolverines’ top finisher was Eric Bailey, who took 30th.

Since Wouda won in 1993, the Wolverines have won the 500 free NCAA title 6 other times. Tom Dolan won in 1995 and 1996, John Piersma in 1997, Peter Vanderkaay won in 2005 and 2006, and Connor Jaeger was the 2013 champion.

Michigan has had a bit of a down year this season, which hasn’t been helped by instability on the roster, caused by swimmers entering the transfer portal, and some taking semesters off from competition. Another notable change to the program came last summer, when longtime associate head coach Rick Bishop was hired as the head coach at LSU.

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Joe Rogus
1 year ago

ESPN Stat…

1 year ago

Wouda enrolled at Michigan in fall 1992. Remember back then Trials were held in April so it was quite common foe elite swimmers to redshirt during olympic years!

1 year ago

Has anyone considered maybe the focus is world’s?

1 year ago

Both Mitchell and Callan looked easy, almost like they were taking out a 1650. I’m sure they were trying but there is something in their tempos that makes them look “off” compared to the other tapered swimmers.

1 year ago

wonder if we’ll see any more transfers outta there after this meet 👀

1 year ago

Something is wrong in the water in Ann Arbor.

Big Mac #1
Reply to  oxyswim
1 year ago

Maybe for the college coaches but Club Wolverine 18u is running great

Old Swimmer
1 year ago

Too bad for Michigan ( I am sure that they will still score many point in other events) but Minnesota has a swimmer in the consolation heat! I wonder if this has ever happened before? Best wishes to all swimmers

NM Coach
Reply to  Old Swimmer
1 year ago

Jeff Kostoff doing some good things with that MN Distance program.

Last edited 1 year ago by NM Coach
1 year ago

1992 was the last time. CSCAA has a historical record of All-Americans here: https://www.cscaa.org/all-american

Reply to  ACC
1 year ago

Yeah, the thing is, they only list 11 All-Americans in the 500 free for 1992. So, something’s missing there.

NM Coach
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Brian Gunn 4:23.34 for 18th place in 1992