World Championships Gold Medalist Zach Apple Transferring From Auburn To Indiana

2017 World Championships gold medalist and 13-time NCAA All-American Zach Apple will transfer to Indiana University for his final year of collegiate eligibility after three at Auburn.

“They’ve been doing some really great things,” Apple said of Indiana. “Their team has been improving at a pretty fast rate and it seems like they’re doing stuff right in the pool over there.”

He said IU was also a great place to finish out his major – exercise science – and cited IU’s burgeoning pro group as a good opportunity for to continue his swimming after graduation. There are already two Auburn alums in the Indiana pro group. Apple said he was good friends with Ashley Neidigh when she was at Auburn, and although he didn’t overlap with Zane Grothe on the college team at Auburn, he did get to know him better last summer. Both now train out of Bloomington, Indiana.

Apple did say the resignation of head coach Brett Hawke played a big role in his decision to transfer.

“I was planning on staying at Auburn,” Apple said. “With Brett resigning… he was obviously my main coach, being in the sprint group. So that was a bit of a bummer.

“I think that this is going to be the best decision for me to move forward in my career. But I’m super thankful for coach Hawke and the three years we had together, and everyone here at Auburn has been amazing.”

Hawke resigned earlier this spring and was recently replaced by NC State assistant Gary TaylorTaylor will now have to find a new sprinter to replace Apple’s major production.

Apple has been a key player for Auburn in his three seasons there. In 2018, he scored points in all three of his individual races, taking 5th nationally in the 50 free, 3rd in the 200 free and 9th in the 100 free. He is among the fastest NCAA returners in all three events. Apple was also a member of all three freestyle relays for the Tigers.

His lifetime-bests make him a massive pickup for Indiana, which finished a strong 3rd at NCAAs this spring, but graduates its backbone freestyler, Blake PieroniApple should allow the Hoosiers to pick right up where they left off, particularly on their defending NCAA champion 400 medley relay, which now returns backstroker Gabriel Fantoni, breaststroker Ian Finnerty and flyer Vini Lanza and will replace Pieroni (40.6 split) with Apple (lifetime-best 41.3 from a flat start).

Apple swam on Team USA at the 2017 World Championships as a prelims-only member of the 400 free relay. He split 48.16 on that relays’ morning squad, which was second-fastest among the prelims group.

Apple will already be moving to IU next week, as Auburn’s finals will wrap up this week. He should be eligible to start competing for Indiana next season with one year of collegiate eligibility remaining.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

 SwimSwam Transfer Tracker

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Ervin
3 years ago

This offseason is crazy! Congrats to Indiana

Pvdh
3 years ago

Lanza is still in school right? Indiana is a huge threat to win NCs next year. This is huge. 100/200 podium placer probably and huge relay help

Rafael
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

With dressel out lanza is in good position for sure

DRESSEL IS GOD
Reply to  Rafael
3 years ago

Lanza vs Quah

Oldswimfan
Reply to  DRESSEL IS GOD
3 years ago

Don’t forget Vazaios

Ugh
Reply to  Oldswimfan
3 years ago

I thought Vazaois only had two years of eligibility when he came to the states? he was a junior last year and this year though so maybe he got another year.

Goldmedalgal
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

You forgot Ncaas are in austin next year.

Dudeman
3 years ago

Wow, this will be huge for both Zach and Indiana. He took big steps in his 200 free this year and I’m sure he’ll do some great things in the next few years

Swimmer1
3 years ago

IU will be able to keep its elite 800 free and 400 Medley. They should also be able to make another run at the title with Apple. Exciting times for the Hoosiers.

He Gets It Done Again
3 years ago

I think he just wanted the striped pants. Understandable.

Wondering
3 years ago

Indiana was getting envious of Arizona State’s latest transfer…

Jacob
Reply to  Wondering
3 years ago

World champion vs B finalist Conference meet

Brutus
3 years ago

Woohoo go IU. That Apple will sure taste sweet for Coach Looze! Looks like DeCoursey of Tennessee will be the KING of sprinters in the SEC in 2019. Go Vols also.

Goose
Reply to  Brutus
3 years ago

Aggies’ Koster goes 18.9 next year you heard it here folks

EX QUAKER
Reply to  Goose
3 years ago

He’s had a wonderful trajectory. I’d love to see it.

Richard
Reply to  Brutus
3 years ago

Robert Howard is better than Decoursey.

sven
3 years ago

Guess the SwimSwam staff is gonna have to change Zach Apple’s picture now.

This is an interesting move, all things considered. Logically, it makes sense. If a coach that you credit much of your success to leaves and there’s a team that’s doing great things with your competitors, it’s gotta be really tempting. After three years with Auburn, though, I have to wonder what his teammates think of the move. Hopefully they are understanding and supportive and he is able to maintain good relationships with them.

I think the bottom line is that as a potential Olympian, ZA has got to look at his long term development as an athlete going into the back half of this quad. It could… Read more »

Pvdh
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

No way is Haas a dark horse. He was 48.2 last year and split 47.4 on the relays and has only gotten faster. I think after Dressel, he’s a good bet to be US’s number 2 100 freestyler.

sven
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

Fair enough. I couldn’t remember what his splits were from last year. I’d say that bumps him up out of dark horse territory.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

he was around 47.4 on the 400 free relay final !!!

Troy
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

Adrain has gotten slower though. Let be honest even though he has been consistent, his best times are still 5 and 6 years old.

DRESSEL IS GOD
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

for 2020 Haas may very well be the freestyler for the medley relay

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  DRESSEL IS GOD
3 years ago

Assuming he grows a second fast-twitch fiber by then.

Dudeman
Reply to  DRESSEL IS GOD
3 years ago

Maybe for the prelim relay, or if they make the pool 100m long with no turns

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  DRESSEL IS GOD
3 years ago

unless Pieroni ( in great shape right now ) gets faster …..which is possible

NCSwimDad
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

J. Ress says hello.

Caeleb Dressel, Florida – 39.90
Ryan Held, NC State – 41.08
Justin Ress, NC State – 41.49
Blake Pieroni, Indiana – 41.51
Jacob Molacek, NC State – 41.55
Townley Haas, Texas – 41.67
Tate Jackson, Texas – 41.81
Santo Condorelli, USC – 42.34

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  NCSwimDad
3 years ago

Ress is dangerous now on freestyle – well noted

sven
Reply to  NCSwimDad
3 years ago

Oh yeah, I forgot about him… which kind of proves my point in a way. We have like 9 guys who could conceivably go under 48. He’s definitely a contender in the 100m free as well.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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