Breaststroker Mario Koenigsperger will sit out the 2019-20 NCAA season for an Olympic redshirt. A native of New Zealand, Koenigsperger has competed with the USC Trojans for the previous three seasons, and this would’ve been his fourth and final season in Los Angeles.
Koenigsperger made his first NCAA appearance last season as a junior, swimming the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at the 2019 NCAA Championships. There, he scored in 13th place in the 100 breast (52.12) and went 1:54.39 to take 21st in the 200 breast. 2019 was a breakout year for Koenigsperger — he was 53.0/1:56.1 as a freshman at Pac-12s and then 52.9/1:56.9 as a sophomore at Pac-12’s, but missed NCAAs both years.
Koenigsperger’s junior year success came after a big summer 2018 for him, where he dropped lifetime bests in long course in the 100 breast (1:00.83) and 200 breast (2:13.58) at the 2018 Los Angeles Invite. He’s close to the FINA ‘A’ cut (and NZ qualifying standard) for the 2020 Olympics in the 100 breast, which is a 59.93. He’s also the top 100 breaststroker right now in New Zealand; nobody has been under 1:02 since 2016 besides him.
This is a serious hit for the Trojans, who also just graduated Carsten Vissering, last year’s 100 breast NCAA runner-up. They had no other NCAA qualifiers in either breaststroke event, and they also just graduated Billy Monjay, the #3 breaststroker on their roster.
While USC has a large incoming class, breaststroke is not well-represented in the group. The strongest breaststrokers incoming are freshmen Ryan Peterson at 56.6/2:05.8 in the 100 and Jackson Odgers at 2:03.8 in the 200. The top USC returner from last season is sophomore Sean Ward, who was 55.1/2:00.1 last year.
TOP TIMES (SCY)
- 100y breast – 52.12
- 200y breast – 1:53.72
- 50y free – 20.43