Pitt Panthers Send Off a Few Sparks at First Meet of Chase Kreitler Era

Pitt Blue vs. Gold Intrasquad

  • Thursday, September 29, 2022
  • Trees Pool, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards)
  • Full Meet Results (PDF)
    • W Final Scores: Gold 150-Blue 119
    • M Final Scores: Gold 136.5-Blue 116.5

A new era for Pitt swimming & diving began last week at the team’s annual Blue Vs. Gold Intrasquad meet. While not a bona fide NCAA competition, it is the first varsity racing of the Chase Kreitler era.

Kreitler takes over as Pitt’s head coach this season after 4 years as an assistant at Cal, a team that won the 2022 NCAA Championship in men’s swimming & diving.

A few lean years for the program combined with a number of transfers out has left a big rebuilding project for Kreitler, but his first outing still saw some very positive signs for the Panthers.

In the lanes, that includes the return of Cooper van der Laan for his 5th year of eligibility. Van der Laan was the team’s best swimmer last season, placing 3rd at ACCs in the 100 breast (51.64) and 14th in the 200 breast (1:54.50).

The Australian was quiet over the summer about his plans for this season, but his appearance on the Pitt roster and in the intrasquad gives the new-look Panthers a focal point to build around, plus an NCAA qualifier (and near All-American) to present to recruits.

On Thursday, van der Laan won the 100 breaststroke in 53.28, the 200 breaststroke in 1:58.10, and split 24.11 on the breaststroke leg as part of the winning ‘blue team’ 200 medley relay. He was faster in the 100 at last season’s intrasquad (52.92), but swam the exact same time in the 200 breaststroke.

Not far behind him was Jerry Chen of the ‘gold’ team, who was 54.28 in the 100 breaststroke. If the Pitt men’s team has an early identity, it might be breaststrokers.

If not breaststrokers, it’s diving. The Pitt diving program, which under the previous administration had most of the program’s success (including an NCAA title), was responsible for Pitt’s two highest scorers on the men’s side at last year’s ACC Championship meet. Then-freshman Cameron Cash scored 59 points and then-junior Dylan Reed scored 55, including a 3rd-place finish on the 1-meter springboard.

Not only did those two return this season, but the team added a star new freshman Daley Fraser who won the 1-meter event on Thursday by 30 points ahead of Cash.

With that, the Pitt men return all but 2 of their individual ACC points from last season, where they scored 431 total for a 9th-place finish.

Among the other highlights for the Pitt men on Thursday were times of 47.90 and 1:46.34 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes, respectively, for Marcin Goraj. Those are both much faster than the 48.98 and 1:48.97 he posted in those events at last year’s intrasquad.

The climb for the Pitt women this season will be a little steeper. They lost their top 3 scorers from ACCs last year, though the return of 15-point distance swimmer Jacqueline Tinneny for a 5th season of eligibility is some consolation.

She didn’t win either of her races as Blue-Gold, with Abby Licht topping the women’s 500 free in 4:58.30 and sophomore Tessa Mock coming within three seconds of her lifetime best in the 1000 in 10:02.86.

The freshman class, which Kreitler did not have to recruit but did have to convince to stay, showed a few sparks at the intrasquad. Kate Bailey won the 100 fly in 54.71. That’s not far from her best time of 54.0 in the race.

Bailey comes from the Arlington Aquatic Club in Virginia, where she trained alongside the defending World Champion in the 100 fly Torri Huske.

She also won the 200 fly (2:04.36), split 51.48 on the opening leg of a 400 free relay, and split 24.82 on the fly leg of a 200 medley relay.

The top two finishers in the 100 back were both freshmen: Claire Jansen of the Gold team won in 55.02 and Holly Pringle of the Blue team finished 2nd in 56.48. Jansen also won the 200 back in 2:00.11.

Pringle was near lifetime bests in both the 100 back (.35 away) and 200 back (1.06 away).

The Pitt women placed 11th out of 12 teams at last year’s ACC Championship meet.

Pitt’s first intercollegiate meet will come on October 21 and 22 when they host Penn State and Notre Dame for a tri-meet. Notre Dame is also hoping to bring energy with a new coaching staff this season.

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BattleCat Warrior
1 month ago

Suits?

swim4fun
Reply to  BattleCat Warrior
1 month ago

Yes

Austinpoolboy
1 month ago

42.89 split by Toledo Sanchez. Was that real? I bit sus. 45 + in individual

Anonymous
1 month ago

Tessa Mock is a sophomore.

Dylan
1 month ago

DQ for unsportsmanlike conduct 💀

Alex Craft has been sneakily on the rise though, excited to see how he does this year

Curiou$
1 month ago

🕴🕴🆙🆙

Ghost
1 month ago

Where is that picture of Chase from? Does Pitt have an outdoor pool?

Suzy Q
1 month ago

how do u get dqed for “unsportsmanlike conduct” in an intersquad 0_o

SwimPop
Reply to  Suzy Q
1 month ago

Coaches tell you to swim faster, you flip them off.

Tom
Reply to  SwimPop
1 month ago

But that’s funny af

Suzy Q
Reply to  SwimPop
1 month ago

real

Austinpoolboy
Reply to  SwimPop
1 month ago

Well at least the dude came back and won the 500 and anchored the 4×100.

swim4fun
Reply to  SwimPop
1 month ago

You sure?

Sunday Morning Grind
Reply to  Suzy Q
1 month ago

Didn’t even have to look at the printout to guess which swimmer it was. Same old, same old. Sad

Mommy
Reply to  Sunday Morning Grind
1 month ago

Text me if you have any questions about that🥰
Ig: dudzio_

HoneyBadger
Reply to  Sunday Morning Grind
1 month ago

If I were you I would bet money next time

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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