Ruard Van Renen Earns Salukis’ First Points Since 1995 (Day 3 Swims You May Have Missed)


Robert Gibbs contributed to this report. 

Another exceptional night of racing at the 2023 Division I Men’s NCAA Championships is in the books. More names were written into the record books, as Léon Marchand blazed a brain-melting 400 IM and Florida took down another NCAA relay record, this time in the 400 medley.

But as always, there are remarkable swims happening behind the ones that earn the national titles. Here are some of the swims that you may have missed behind the fireworks on day 3.

Ruard Van Renen Earns Salukis’ First Points Since 1995

Let’s stick with the freshmen. In the 100 backstroke, Southern Illinois’ Ruard Van Renen won the ‘B’ final with a lifetime best of 44.67, which is also a new program record. Just the South African’s presence is a milestone for the Salukis, as he’s their first representative at NCAAs in 18 years. However, he made it even more special with his ‘B’ final win.

Van Renen flipped at the 50-yard mark tied for second with NC State’s Giovanni Izzo in 21.58. They were trailing Bjorn Seeliger, who was out fast in 21.29. He made his move on the second half of the race, coming home in 23.09–fastest in his heat–to pass Seeliger and take the win. The 9 points he collected with that victory are the Salukis first at this meet since 1995.

Pitt Earns First Relay All-America Honors Since 2002

It’s been a big year for Pitt under their new look coaching staff, led by first year head coach Chase KreitlerThe improvements that they’ve made this year were highlighted in their 400 medley relay, which earned the program’s first All-America honors since 2002.

Sophomore Krzysztof Radziszewski, senior Cooper Van Der Laanjunior Marcin Gorajand senior Dominic Toledo Sanchez combined to finish 16th in 3:05.72, beating Harvard for the final scoring position by just five-hundredths. Radziszewski led off in 46.37. Then Van Der Laan, who earned an individual HM All-America nod via his 16th place finish in the 100 breaststroke, split 50.88. Goraj was 46.22 on fly, and Toledo Sanchez anchored in 42.25, stopping the clock in a new program record.

Freshman Jonny Kulow Anchors Medley Relay in 40.78

Perhaps flying under the radar a bit on a deep ASU team, Jonny Kulow has been putting together an excellent freshman campaign with the Sun Devils. He tied for a disappointing 17th in the individual 50 free, just a hundredth out of a chance to swim for a spot in finals.

He’s rebounded nicely though, dropping a sizzling 40.78 split to bring ASU’s 400 medley relay home here on Day 3. It’s the third fastest free split in the field, behind only Bjorn Seeliger (40.45) and fellow freshman Gui Caribe (40.77). Caribe established himself early in the season as one to watch, and is half of Tennessee’s powerful sprinting duo along with Jordan Crooks.

The split gets even more impressive when you realize that Kulow’s fastest flat start time is 42.16, which he swam earlier this month for eighth at PAC-12s. When he arrived in Tempe, Kulow’s best time was 43.69. All this is to say that Kulow will be one to watch for in prelims of the 100 free on Day 4.

Louis Dramm Makes 400 IM ‘B’ Final In Third-Ever Swim

Historically though, freshmen struggle a bit a NCAAs. It’s a grind of a meet, and experience usually helps. Florida freshman Josh Liendo has stood out, but UNC freshman Louis Dramm went under the radar a bit with a pretty impressive swim of his own on Day 3 prelims. Dramm qualified for the 400 IM ‘B’ final with a personal best time of 3:40.93.

That may not seem all that impressive, until you realize that it was Dramm’s third time ever swimming the event. Dramm, a German national, joined the Tar Heels at mid-semester, but competed in the 200 free at the ACC Championships. He swam the 400 IM at the American Short Course Championships, earning an NCAA invite and the 26th seed with a 3:42.24.

Dramm took 1.31 seconds off his personal best to qualify 13th, and ended up finishing 14th in 3:41.45, still under his best coming into the meet.

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2 months ago

Is RVR’s time top 3 in mid-major history? Can’t recall anybody who‘s been faster except for Dean Farris

2 months ago

Ruard Van Renen is the first representative in the Men’s NCAA Championships. Celia Pulido swam just last year at the Womens NCAA Championships.

2 months ago

Marchand 40.? Dolan 41.? House 41.? Kilow 40.?

Is that enough to beat Cal on that relay?

2 months ago

Pitt can thank Georgia for that early take-off – the Bulldogs are already heading home to Athens…

Foreign Embassy
2 months ago

Maybe RVR would be a good transfer candidate. I hear cal has good backstrokers 🙃. Plus Coetzee is arriving fall 24. Fellow South African….

Reply to  Foreign Embassy
2 months ago

there are reason why some go mid-majors…

Reply to  Foreign Embassy
2 months ago

You may want to look at where SIU’s assistant coach is from…. South African connection is already there

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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