Olympic Semifinalist Hugo Gonzalez Signs with Auburn Tigers

The Auburn Tigers will have a very fast backstroker on their hands next season, as Spanish Olympian Hugo Gonzalez has signed his national letter of intent to join the men next season. Gonzalez, a native of Rivas-Vaciamadrid, is a key addition for Auburn in the backstrokes and IMs. This is especially helpful for the Tigers considering SEC Champion IM/Backstroker Joe Patching will graduate at the end of this season.

Gonzalez has represented Spain at several high-level international meets. Most recently, he competed in the 100 back and 200 back at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, earning a spot in the semifinals of the 200 back. At the 2015 FINA Junior World Championships in Singapore, we was the Junior World Champion in the 200 meter back. He was also a championships finalist in the 50 back, 100 back, and 200 IM at that meet.

While he doesn’t have any yards experience yet, Gonzalez is right up there with the top backstrokers in the class when you look at his long course times. His bests include a 54.18 in the 100 back and a 1:57.00 in the 200 back. Comparing those times to the likes of #5 Michael Taylor (53.7/1:56.7) and #6 Austin Katz (55.4/1:57.2), he’s just a few tenths shy of Taylor’s bests, and is a bit faster than Katz. Taylor and Gonzalez are already familiar with each other since racing at 2015 Junior Worlds, but now they’ll have some SEC and NCAA battles to look forward to as Taylor will be heading to Florida when Gonzalez heads to Auburn.

Gonzalez’s Top Times (LCM):

  • 100m back- 54.18
  • 200m back- 1:57.00
  • 200m IM- 2:01.49
  • 400m IM- 4:17.27
  • 100m free- 51.97
  • 200m free- 1:51.42

Gonzalez’s Top Times Converted to Yards:

  • 100 back- 46.32
  • 200 back- 1:41.67
  • 200 IM- 1:45.33
  • 400 IM- 3:42.53
  • 100 free- 45.31
  • 200 free- 1:37.49

Gonzalez’s best times in the long course pool converted to short course yards are as follows: 46.3/1:41.6 in the backstrokes, 1:45.3/3:42.56.0 in the IMs, and 45.3/1:37.4 in the freestyles. If he translates his speed into yards as expected, he should have an immediate impact for the Tigers at the SEC Championships. His converted times in the 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM, and 400 IM are already fast enough to have qualified for the championship final at 2016 SECs. while his conversions in the 100 back, 200 back

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54.18 and 1:57.00 have to be better than those conversions would indicate.


Probably somewhere around 46-mid/1:41-low


100 is about right 200 should be around 1:41


The percentage difference of 54.18 off of 51.85 indicates that it’s worth a 45 mid, and the records are both by Ryan Murphy so they should be comparably valued. That’s quite a discrepancy for turns.


The conversions are estimates. Of course a great underwater kicker would convert to faster times. Hugo is not know as a good kicker or jumper.


Auburn and its talents… and yet keep declining at NCAA…


They are performing much better this year. I feel both men and women could get top 8 or better.


Men top 8, maybe. Not a chance the women are a top 8 team


Have you been looking at how the women have been doing this year compared to the last few??


auburn women at 8? That’s funny… maybe you see what I don’t see.

Auburn men at 8? Well….. when the coaches got paid that much and with the name of AUBURN SWIMMING…. the expectation should be top 5 EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR.


They are performing better. My guess is the MEN will finish top 8 and the WOMEN will finish top 24.


After serious analysis, I agree the Men will finish 8th. The AU Women could finish as high as 15th and as low as 26th. Quite a spread. If they get the help at mid-semester I am hearing about, they might jump into the top 12.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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