On Tuesday morning, University of Minnesota head coach Kelly Kremer released the list of captains for the Gophers this season. Seniors Brittany Horn and Abbey Erwin will lead the women’s side, while Tom Donker, a redshirt junior, and senior Eitan Yudashkin will lead the men’s side. Sarah Bacon, a redshirt senior, was chosen to be the team’s diving captain.
Horn, a freestyler from Appleton Wisconsin, enters her final year as a Gopher after a strong season as a junior. She recorded six top-five finishes throughout the dual meet season, as well as finishing the 2020 Big Ten Conference Championships with three best times in the 500, 1000, and 1650 freestyle events. Horn is also a two-time Academic All-B1G honoree and a three-year letter winner.
The second captain for the women’s team is Abbey Erwin, a freestyler from Boise, Idaho. Erwin posted 10 impressive top-five finishes throughout the dual meet season for 2019-2020, as well as swimming two NCAA “B” cut times in the 500 free and 400 IM. Erwin also scored two “C” final swims at the 2020 Big Ten Conference Championships. She was named a 2020 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in the team’s off season.
Tom Donker, a redshirt junior who specializes in backstroke and butterfly events, will lead the men’s side this season for the Gophers. Donker, a Zutphen, Netherlands native, took time off last season due to a wrist injury. His sophomore year, Donker earned his first Honorable Mention All-American award of his collegiate career at the 2019 NCAA Championships, after a 10th place finish in the 400 medley relay. Donker also scored an individual 15th place finish at the 2019 Big Ten Championships in the 100 backstroke. His time of 47.10 was the team’s fastest mark of the 2018-19 season.
Eitan Yudashkin, a senior from Kiryat Motzkin, Israel, will join Donker as a captain on the men’s side. Yudashkin had a favorable junior season, where he gained two NCAA “B” cut times in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the 2020 Big Ten Conference Championships. He was also one of the men’s most consistent point scorers throughout the dual meet season. Yudashkin finished top-three 17 times, as well as only scoring outside the top-five once.
For the divers, redshirt senior Sarah Bacon will lead the team. Bacon took an Olympic off-year in 2019-20, but is back for this season to defend her NCAA one-meter title. Bacon is a two-time NCAA one-meter champion, as well as a six-time All-American. She also set the NCAA Championships meet record in the one-meter springboard event in 2019 (363.20), which defeated her previous mark that stood for more than 12 years.
Kelly Kramer comments on the swimmers chosen to be captains:
“This team is blessed with such great leadership. Our leaders, led by our chosen captains, remained positive and forward thinking as we concluded an adverse and challenging season this past spring. This new season requires every member to be positive, flexible and forward thinking, and I know we have the right leaders in place.”
Numerous other teams have also selected their 2020-21 captains. Among those who have checked in to SwimSwam:
Olivia Chatman, Maddie Ward, and Skylar Williams will lead the Colorado State Rams for the 2020-21 season.
Chatman – Senior backstroke and butterfly specialist. She placed 17th in the 100 backstroke (55.41) and 18th in the 200 backstroke (2:01.52) at the 2020 Mountain West Championships.
Ward – Senior breaststroke and IMer. Ward placed in all three of her individual events at the 2020 Mountain West Championships, while also posting a pair of NCAA “B” cuts in the 100 (1:00.60) and 200 breast (2:12.04). Ward also earned a US Olympic Trials cut in the 100-meter breaststroke, clocking a 1:10.55.
Williams – Senior diver. Qualified for NCAA Zones on all three boards and set a school record on the 1-meter at 313.15, which placed her second at conference.
The University of Wisconsin Whitewater’s swim captains include Jake Herlache, Zachary Noll, Skyler Budny, Olivia Theobald, and Anna Yeazel.
Herlache – Junior, mid-distance. Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference runner-up in the 800-yard freestyle. He finished the 2019-20 season with the number 7 personal record time in program history in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.26).
Noll – Junior, distance & butterfly. Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference runner-up in the 400-yard individual medley with a season best of 4:04.58. He tallied the number 2 personal record time in program history in the 400-yard individual medley and the number 5 time in the 200-yard butterfly (1:55.87).
Budny – Junior, distance. Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference seventh place in the 1650-yard freestyle with a season best (18:18.96).
Theobald – Junior, distance. Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. She recorded the number 3 personal record time in program history in the 500-yard freestyle (5:08.38).
Yeazel – Junior, breaststroke & IM. Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference sixth place finisher in the 400-yard individual medley, and also scored the number 10 personal record time in program history in the 400-yard individual medley (4:48.74).
Jordan Gorham, Leigh Faires McGee, Meghan Miller, and Micayla Morgan will lead the North Texas Eagles through the 2020-21 season.
Gorham – Junior, freestyle & IM. She was a fourth place finisher in the C final of the 500 free (5:05.97/5:07.62 prelim), finished sixth in the B final of the 400 IM (4:32.72/4:35.34 prelim) and finished 13th in the 1650 free (17:24.36) at the 2020 Conference USA Championships.
Fairies McGee – Senior, freestyler. At the Conference USA Championships, she placed third in the B final of the 500 free (4:59.06/4:59.60 prelim), won the B final of the 200 free (1:49.60/1:50.88 prelim), and finished sixth in the A final of the 100 free (50.26/50.14 prelim).
Miller – Senior, diver. Finished eighth in the B final of the 3-meter (254.70/249.35 prelim), won the B final of the 1-meter (261.35/240.20 prelim) and set the school record in platform (208.65) at the Conference USA Championships.
Morgan – Senior, freestyle, butterfly, and back specialist. Finished seventh in the 50 free (24.59/24.30 prelim) and finished eighth in the B final of the 100 fly (57.16/57.61 prelim) at the Conference USA Championships.
The Condordia University Eagles (DII, member of the PCSC) will be led by captains Mikayla Jean, Jamie Seddon, Alicia Wintermeyer, Taylor Steffen, and Skyler Hojnacki.
Jean – Junior, freestyle & IM. Placed 13th at the 2020 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships in the 200 fly (2:11.89).
Seddon – Junior, IM & freestyle. She was a 15th place finisher in the 200 free at the 2020 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships (1:57.77).
Wintermeyer – Junior, freestyle & IM. Swam personal bests in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the 2020 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships.
Steffen – Junior, distance freestyle. 1st place finisher in the 1650 free at the 2020 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships (15:51.78).
Hojnacki – Junior, butterfly & backstroke. Finished 4th in the finals of the 100 fly at the 2020 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships with a 51.63.