Minnesota’s Tevyn Waddell Improves 200 IM Time by 3 Seconds in Iowa


Pool and Meet Records fell by the handfuls on the opening night of the 2018 Hawkeye Invitational hosted by the University of Iowa. The Minnesota Golden Gophers opened up a lead in the women’s meet while the hosts Iowa lead a very competitive men’s race. There were plenty of swims from all-around, including Grand Canyon University, who are building off a splashy NCAA Championship debut last year in their first season eligible as a Division I team.

Women’s 200 Free Relay

  1. Minnesota – 1:31.25
  2. Iowa – 1:31.36
  3. Nebraska – 1:33.02

The Minnesota women opened the meet up with a nailbiter, come-from-behind win over Iowa thanks to a 22.29 anchor from junior Tevyn Waddell in the women’s 200 free relay. She left the blocks at a 6-tenths disadvantage as compared to Iowa anchor Kelly McNamara, but made up the gap to give the Gophers a win by a tenth-of-a-second. McNamara, the lone senior on the Iowa relay, anchored in 23.02, with a relatively-slow takeoff time of .40 more-than-accountable for the difference in the final touch. Neither relay was an NCAA provisional qualifying standard.

Men’s 200 Free Relay

  1. Grand Canyon – 1:17.61 (Provisional)
  2. Iowa – 1:18.90
  3. Purdue – 1:18.91

The Grand Canyon men hardly missed a beat from their historic NCAA debut last year. The team added freshman Mazen Shoukri to  this 200 free relay and finished in 1:17.61 – just 2-tenths from an NCAA Automatic Qualifying Stanfard. That was thanks in large part to an 18.91 anchor from Mark Nikolaev, which was the fastest split in the field. GCU is a better medley team than freestyle team, in broad strokes, so this early marker is a good sign for their chances at NCAA qualifying later in the meet in the 200 medley.

Minnesota finished just 5th in 1:20.38, almost 3 seconds behind Grand Canyon, in spite of a 19.70 leadoff from defending Big Ten Champion Bowen Becker.

Women’s 500 Free

  1. Mackenzie Paddington, Minnesota, 4:37.01 (Pool Record)
  2. Chantal Nack, Minnesota, 4:40.31 (Under old Meet Record)
  3. Hannah Burvill, Iowa, 4:47.05

In spite of not being a very competitive race for the top 2 positions (Padington put a few yards on her teammate Nack early and held them for most of the race), Minnesota sophomore Mackenzie Padington led the field with a 4:37.01. That breaks the old Pool Record of 4:38.00 done by another Gopher, Ashley Steenvoorden, at the 2012 Big Ten Championships, and should easily earn an invite to NCAAs in March. It’s also Padington’s lifetime best – she was just 4:38-mid last season.

Nack’s time puts her very much on the bubble for an NCAA invite. Last year, a 4:40.50 was invited, but trends show invite times for the 500 free dropping by about a second each season.

Men’s 500 Free

  1. Pawel Krawczyk, Missouri State – 4:21.66
  2. Mateusz Arndt, Iowa – 4:23.31
  3. Nicholas McDowell, Purdue – 4:23.83

A pair of freshmen led the way in the men’s 500 free, led by Missouri State freshman Pawel Krawczyk – a 19-year old rookie from Poland who finaled in two events at the 2017 European Junior Championships. He swam a 4:21.66 to lead the field, which already ranks him 3rd in school history in the event.

Women’s 200 IM

  1. Tevyn Waddell, Minnesota – 1:57.83
  2. Andrea Podmanikova, SMU – 1:58.57
  3. Kelsey Drake, Iowa – 2:01.56

After her relay heroics, the backstroker/butterflier Waddell showed that she’s really improved her versatility since last season. She won the 200 IM on Thursday in 1:57.83, which is her first time under 2 minutes – her previous best was a 2:00.50 done in 2016.

She still has work to do on her breaststroke, where her 36.69 split was the slowest of anybody in the A final, but an electric 52.88 opener gave her a huge margin of victory (and served as a warning shot for her 100 back later in the meet – she split 28.44 on that leg).

Men’s 200 IM

  1. Mark Nikolaev, Grand Canyon – 1:43.43 (Meet Record)
  2. Erik Juliusson, Purdue – 1:45.81
  3. Artur Osvath, Missouri State – 1:46.81

While the Pool Record wasn’t on the table for Thursday (David Nolan’s 1:39 was done at Iowa at the 2015 NCAA Championships), Nikolaev cruised under the even-older Meet Record: a 1:44.26 done by Notre Dame’s Zach Stevens in 2014. Nikolaev’s winning 1:43.43 is well-under the 1:44.03 that it took to earn an individual invite to NCAAs last year in an event that is not progressing as rapidly as others in terms of invite numbers.

Women’s 50 Free

  1. Hannah Burvill, Iowa – 22.63
  2. Zoe Avestruz, Minnesota – 22.86
  3. Loretta Stelnicki, Missouri State – 23.13

Not long after a 3rd-place finish in the 500 free, Iowa’s Hannah Burvill topped the table in the women’s 50 free in an NCAA “B” cut of 22.63. While the 500 was pretty far short of the best time of 4:44.24 that she did in prelims, her 50 was faster than she’d been coming into the meet, albeit just her 3rd-best time in total. In prelims, she broke the Iowa school record in 22.62, and the in finals of the 200 free relay, she led-off in another record-breaking swim of 22.55. Last season, the junior gave back two-tenths of a second in the 50 free at the Big Ten Championships, though as a freshman she nailed her conference taper.

Minnesota’s Zoe Avestruz, meanwhile, took 2nd in 22.86 – which is well-off the 22.41 that she swam at the team’s mid-season invite last year. Last year, however, she was slower at Big Tens than a year prior, so this might be as much as change of strategy as anything.

Men’s 50 Free

  1. Bowen Becker, Minnesota, 19.63 (Meet Record)
  2. Bogdan Plavin, Grand Canyon, 19.81
  3. Joseph Myhre, Iowa, 19.86

Minnesota senior Bowen Becker was one of the big revelations of the 2017-2018 NCAA season, but his breakout swim didn’t really come until the Big Ten Championships. Mid-season, he was a modest 19.49, before dropping all the way to 18.69 at Big Tens (which he didn’t match at NCAAs).

This year, he was even slower mid-year, 19.63, but that’s right within range of what he’s done mid-year in each of the last two years before hitting a monster taper for the conference meet.

Last year, he was an 18.9 at NCAAs, which was good for 3rd place, even though he had the second-fastest time all-season in the country. Everything pales in comparison to Dressel’s 17.63 at NCAAs, but all that stands between Becker and status as NCAA favorite is swimming his best time in the A-final at NCAAs.

His 19.63 on Thursday breaks the Meet Record of 19.69 set by Michgan’s Evan Gregg in 2011.

Grand Canyon’s Nikolaev, who had the leading split in the 200 free relay, didn’t swim the 50 free individually, focusing on the earlier 200 IM instead.

Women’s 1-Meter

  1. Jayah Mathews, Iowa – 315.75
  2. Abigail Knapton, Nebraska – 315.20
  3. Kristen Hayden, Minnesota – 307.55

Australian-born Iowa sophomore Jayah Mathews qualified for NCAAs as a freshman last year, but scored just a 244 in prelims there to finished 47th out of 49 divers on the 1 meter. Her 2018-2019 season is already off to a start that looks to project bigger things for her this season. A 316 is enough to make the A final at NCAAs (though diving scoring comparisons aren’t perfect), and in the process she beat a pair of All-Americans in Knapton and Hayden (though both specialize on the higher disciplines).

Men’s 3-Meter

  1. Nick Yang, Minnesota – 404.30
  2. Alan Leblang, Minnesota – 375.70
  3. Anton Hoherz, Iowa – 352.60

The Purdue Boilermakers didn’t bring their best-in-class diving crew to this meet, including defending NCAA 3-meter champion Steele Johnson who is returning to training this week after surgery. Minnesota’s Nick Yang, who was 5th at NCAAs on platform last year and in the top 20 on both springboard events, won the men’s 3-meter running away.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

  1. Minnesota A, 3:34.76 (Meet Record)
  2. Minnesota B, 3:39.09
  3. Nebraska, 3:50.62

If the goal was NCAA qualifying times, Minnesota missed an opportunity in this women’s 400 medley relay. Senior Chantal Nack led off the “A” in 54.46, while sophomore Emily Cook led off the “B” in 53.96. That half-second difference would’ve been enough to bump the Gopher relay to NCAA ‘provisional’ qualifying status.

As it was, the Gophers took first and second in the race, with Waddell showing off more of her form via a 51.63 butterfly split.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

  1. Grand Canyon – 3:08.67 (Meet Record)
  2. Purdue – 3:12.28
  3. Iowa – 3:14.60

The Grand Canyon  men broke a Meet Record that previously belonged to Michigan, when in 2012 en route to the NCAA team championship the next spring. Nikolaev continued his form with a 45.35 leadoff that gave GCU a 2+ second lead over the field in the race. That, combined with very tightly-timed takeoffs, gave the Lopes a comfortable margin over 2nd-place Purdue. Purdue’s top split was a 53.74 breaststroke from Trent Pellini.

Team Scores (After Day 1)

Men’s Top 5

  1. Iowa -251
  2. Purdue – 245
  3. Minnesota – 241
  4. Grand Canyon – 235
  5. Missouri State – 123

Women’s Top 5

  1. Minnesota – 333
  2. Nebraska – 239
  3. Iowa – 224.5
  4. Missouri State – 125
  5. Grand Canyon – 113

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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