Progress in 500 FR Has Anna Peplowski Looking Like a Three-Event Threat at NCAAs This Year

by Riley Overend 4

February 22nd, 2024 Big Ten, College, News


Indiana junior Anna Peplowski is emerging as an NCAA scoring threat in three individual events after blazing her second lifetime best in as many races at the 2024 Big Ten Championships.

Peplowski scored in both the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke at last year’s NCAA Championships, but she’s looking increasingly likely to add the 500 free to her lineup this year. Despite only swimming the 500 free four times over the past four years, she has dropped 11 seconds in the event this season down to a personal-best 4:37.63 in prelims on Thursday morning.

Remarkably, Peplowski’s best 500 free time heading into this season was just 4:48.80 from last January. Now she ranks 7th nationally in the event with a time that would have placed 6th at NCAAs last year. Coming out of high school, the Illinois native was a sprint freestyle and backstroke specialist.


  • NCAA record: 4:24.06, Katie Ledecky – 2017
  • Big Ten Championships record: 4:34.40, G Ryan – 2017
  • Pool record: 4:34.14, Allison Schmitt – 2010
  • NCAA ‘A’ cut: 4:37.89
  • 2023 NCAA invite time: 4:41.09

Top 8:

  1. Anna Peplowski (Indiana) – 4:37.63
  2. Abby Carlson (Wisconsin) – 4:39.98
  3. Katie Crom (Michigan) – 4:40.77
  4. Ayla Spitz (Northwestern) – 4:42.17
  5. Ching Hwee Gan (Indiana) – 4:42.52
  6. Blair Stoneburg (Wisconsin) – 4:42.53
  7. Ella Ristic (Indiana) – 4:42.93
  8. Elyse Heiser (Indiana) – 4:42.98

Peplowski posted another personal best in the 200 free on Wednesday night, leading off the Hoosiers’ 800 free relay (6:55.45) with a 1:42.04 to give them a lead they never relinquished. Only USC freshman Minna Abraham (1:41.38), Florida freshman Bella Sims (1:40.90), and Virginia junior Gretchen Walsh (1:40.23) have been faster so far this season. At NCAAs last year, Peplowski placed 6th in the 200 free (1:43.57), but she was quicker leading off Indiana’s 800 free relay in 1:42.86.

Peplowski is also ranked 13th nationally this season in the 200 back (1:52.94), not far off the time that placed her 9th at NCAAs last year (1:51.84).

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1 month ago

She is gunning for that Top 6 in the 200 free at Trials with the new rule change. Looking good

Reply to  Swimfan27
1 month ago

What rule change?

1 month ago
I believe Bella Sims is also faster with her 1:40.90 lead off from SECs

James Beam
1 month ago

She is fun to watch.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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