Pitt’s Cooper van der Laan Hits NCAA “A” Cut in 100 Breaststroke in American SC Prelims


The Pitt Panthers are attending their 2nd Last Chance meet this weekend at the American Short Course Championships, but it’s the first for 5th-year Australian Cooper van der Laan, and he booked his ticket to the NCAA Championships in the 100 breaststroke.

Van der Laan swam 51.26 in prelims of the 100 breaststroke. That knocks seven-tenths off his previous season best and moves him from 27th in the NCAA to a tie for 8th, clearing the NCAA “A” standard.

Van der Laan was 8th at the 2021 NCAA Championships in 52.17, but that time might not qualify this season. Last year, he was a little faster in 42.14, which placed 23rd. His prelims swim on Friday improved on his 51.42 lifetime best from the 2021 Ohio State Invitational.

Van der Laan was arguably the best piece remaining on the Pitt roster when new head coach Chase Kreitler took over last summer, and he has continued to improve in the new season. His long course best is 1:00.20, and if he drops in long course the way he has been in short course, he might be able to start competing for spots on Australia international rosters.

There were no other qualifiers on Friday morning in Austin, but of note, his teammate Adam Mahler swam his 4th attempt at a 200 fly Last Chance cut. Last week in Athens, Georgia, he swam 1:42.54, 1:42.58, and 1:43.25; on Friday morning, he swam 1:44.02.

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3 months ago

“Van der Laan was 8th at the 2021 NCAA Championships in 52.17, but that time might not qualify this season” is probably one of the most powerful statements as to how competitive swimming has become recently.

I know he was 51.7 in prelims that year, but it’s still crazy to think about it.

3 months ago

Smoking fast

3 months ago

I thought you were only allowed to swim in one last chance meet (wrt Mahler)? Does this not technically count as one?

Forever Panther
3 months ago

He’s the goat!🐐

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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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