The latest swimmer to announce that they will return to collegiate swimming for a bonus 5th year next season is University of Louisville’s Nicolas Albiero.
He told SwimSwam on Sunday that the decision made sense for him because he is pursuing a one-year full-time MBA program at the school.
“There are still goals I want to accomplish in short course yards,” he said. “I’m looking forward to a normal year of training with my Louisville teammates.”
Albiero is part of a growing list of NCAA Division I swimmers and divers who are taking advantage of an NCAA waiver next season that allows swimmers who competed in the 2020-2021 season to use an extra year of eligibility.
Last season, as a senior, Albiero led the Cardinals to the program’s first-ever ACC Championship, which was followed by a 5th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
At those NCAA Championships, he won the national title in the 200 fly in 1:38.64. That was part of a 51-point effort that made him the 5th-best scorer, swimmer or diver, at the NCAA Championships.
He also finished 2nd in the 100 fly in 44.32 and 5th in the 100 back in 44.86.
Besides his individual efforts, Albiero swam on 4 Louisville relays. That includes a 20.07 butterfly split on the team’s 200 medley relay that won an NCAA title – the school’s first-ever NCAA title in a relay event.
Best Times in Yards:
- 100 free – 42.36
- 200 free – 1:32.31
- 100 fly – 44.32
- 200 fly – 1:38.64
- 100 back – 44.75
- 200 back – 1:41.70
- 200 IM – 1:45.63
- 400 IM – 3:49.81
With the recent announcement that 200 fly runner-up Trenton Julian will return to Cal as well as 6th-place finisher in the 200 fly at the US Olympic Trials Corey Gambardella of Indiana, that event looks like it will be stacked at the 2022 NCAA Championships.
The Cardinals made hay at the NCAA Championships in relays: only 3 of the team’s 13 individual qualifiers scored points. If they can get that long list of qualifiers to turn into more points next season, the Cardinals become dangerous at the national level.
Nicolas competed at the recent U.S. Olympic Trials where he placed 4th in the 200 fly in 1:55.85. That left him just half-a-second short of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Athletes who return for a 5th year in the 2021-2022 season won’t have their scholarships counted against teams’ limits, though those scholarships will still have to be paid for. While athletes from all classes who participated in the 2020-2021 season can use a 5th year, in future seasons that will mean counting their scholarships against a team’s limit: 9.9 per team for men and 14 per team for women.