Russia’s Alexander Lyubavskiy is Texas’ Second 2022-2023 International Team Member

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The addition of Russian junior national champion Alexander Lyubavskiy into Texas’ freshman class of 2022 makes him one of two rare international recruits on the team. The distance freestyle and open water specialist is planning to pursue a degree in business.

Lyubavskiy is from Moscow, and earned the title of Russian junior champion in the boys’ 15-16 1500 free and 800 free, alongside the 7k and 5k open water races in 2020. He competes under the Moscow Region club team which is also home to 22-year-old Russian Olympian Maksim Stupin.

Lyubavskiy is following in his older brother Mikhail Lyubavskiy‘s footsteps – he brought his swimming career to the United States in 2019 and then swam at Grand Canyon University for three seasons. This year, the elder Lyubavskiy transferred to compete at George Washington University.

Typically, it is rare to see international swimmers at Texas, but Alexander Lyubavskiy is now one of two on the Longhorns’ team alongside fellow freshman Kobe Ndebele, a South African National Team member. The history of Texas international swimmers is small but mighty – the last notable one in the past decade was Joseph Schooling who went on to win an Olympic gold medal for Singapore, but he attended high school in the United States. They also currently have senior Caspar Corbeau who represented the Netherlands at the Tokyo Olympics. He was born in California and has dual citizenship.

Most recently, Lyubavskiy competed at the 2021 Russian National Swimming Championships (LCM) and placed ninth in the 800 free (8:10.55) and 15th in the 400 free (3:59.25). He also raced the 200 free and placed 70th (1:56.12).

Best Times in SCM/LCM (SCY Conversions)

SCM LCM SCY Conversion
200 free 1:55.18 1:55.03 1:40.74
400/500 free 3:54.97 3:57.21 4:25.78
800/1000 free 8:03.91 8:08.10 9:06.89
1500/1650 free 15:17.15 15:32.37 15:14.08

Lyubavskiy has Big 12 Conference final potential in two events already. His converted times would have placed him fourth in the 1650 free and in the ‘B’ final of the 500 free at last season’s championship meet. At Texas’ recent Orange & White intrasquad meet, Lyubavskiy made his short course debut and placed fourth in the 500 free (4:32.64) and 4th in the 1000 free (9:20.53).

He will be reinforcing Longhorn training groups that are largely led by upperclassmen. Texas went 1-2 in the 1650 at the 2022 Big 12 Championships, a feat led by junior David Johnston with a sub-15 minute time. Sophomore Luke Hobson touched the wall second while fifth-year Alex Zettle snagged fifth place. Texas was even more dominant in the 500 free last season, taking first through fourth place lead by junior Coby Carrozza, Hobson, and Johnston. They make for great training partners with each other since they all finished within two seconds of each other.

The Longhorn men are coming off their 26th Big 12 Conference Championship title win in 2022 under head coach Eddie Reese. They finished in second place at the 2022 NCAA Championships and have won five out of the last seven national titles.

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Jay Ryan
1 month ago

Felipe Munoz 1968 Olympic 200 BR gold medalist from Mexico was Longhorn in the pre-Eddie era.

Austinpoolboy
1 month ago

Imri Ganiel top 100 breaststroke about a decade ago was from Israel (maybe the first?)
And last year Halvor Borgstrom from Norway

wolfensf
1 month ago

Feels like other schools have started to make in roads on the Texas monopoly on domestic recruiting.

Did not Cali UT
1 month ago

Go Sasha go!

James Beam
1 month ago

Is there any particular reason why Texas men don’t typically recruit international swimmers?

Admin
Reply to  James Beam
1 month ago

Eddie has talked about it in interviews. He doesn’t describe it as xenophobia, more as pragmatism: he doesn’t need to, first of all (Texas gets the pick of the litter on domestic recruits), and second of all, he can stretch his 9.9 scholarships further with domestic recruits.

James Beam
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Gotcha, thanks Braden.

Question- let’s say Texas has 9.9 scholarships. How does a scholarship work for in-state vs out of state tuition? Are 9.9 scholarships based on in-state tuition only, so if you recruit out of state, you actually have less money to work for your overall budget? (am I making sense?)

terrible with names
Reply to  James Beam
1 month ago

percentage of 9.9 stays the same. The dollar amounts just differ.

10,000 in state vs 20,000 out of state

person gets 50% then it ‘costs’ 5,000/10,000 and 50% is 0.5 of the 9.9

Admin
Reply to  James Beam
1 month ago

Each school has a “cost of attendance” calculation for in state, out of state, and international. Whatever category you fall into, if you receive 10% of that number, you’re a .1.

Example:
-In-state cost of attendance is $20,000
-Out-of-state cost of attendance is $40,000
-International Cost of attendance is $50,000

So a $10,000 scholarship counts as:
-.5 for an in-state student
-.25 for an out-of-state student
-.2 for an international student.

So I know what you’re thinking. “Well, it seems like then that in-state students are MORE expensive.”

But look at it from the opposite direction, and this is a Rick Paine focus, “cost of attendance.”

That $10,000 scholarship leaves a cost of:
… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

The math can change based on different state programs too.

Texas, for example, has a program to award in-state tuition to out-of-state students, but there are limits on the number of waivers they give out – http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/apps/financialaid/tofa2.cfm?ID=435

Other programs, like HOPE and Zell MIller Scholarships in Georgia, can be a huge motivator for good student-athletes to stay in-state. If Georgia can keep those kids in-state, they can save a lot against their 9.9 cap. If you can get a swimmer on a Zell Miller scholarship (which has no income cap), then you get them for both $0 and 0 scholarships against your cap. The NCAA passed new legislation on this topic for… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

NIL could continue to evolve this too. It’s fairly common for internationals to come to the US with baggage that would have made them ineligible under the previous rules, but it was widely ignored because 1) swimming and 2) too hard for the NCAA to trace it. Now, if those internationals can just sign sponsorships out in the open, they might not need as much scholarship money. A swimmer who made no Olympic final from a lesser swimming nation might still have opportunities for endorsements in their home country, even if that wouldn’t provide a ton of marketing value in the US.

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Very interesting. You guys could do a couple podcasts just on the intricacies of recruiting.

James Beam
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Braden- wow! Many thanks for all of the information here. I had no idea about how it all worked. I never knew that colleges had a separate international rate, I just assumed it would be considered out of state.

I think this would be a great topic for a post or podcast. This would be very beneficial for high school swimmers, parents, and club coaches to learn about.

Wethorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Thank you for this! I’ve always wondered about it and have never seen an explanation.

Dmswim
Reply to  James Beam
1 month ago

For other schools that aren’t as financially gifted as Texas, a coach may also have a max scholarship budget from the athletic department in addition to the NCAA cap. At my school, it was the amount to fully fund to the NCAA cap if half of the scholarship recipients were in-state and half were out of state. My team was almost exclusively out of state, so we were technically not fully funded to the NCAA scholarship limit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dmswim
This Guy
Reply to  Dmswim
1 month ago

One thing that will happen is that you could swing NIL money to in state swimmers and push most money to out of state. I know coaches try to do this now but with NIL this will be exploited even more so.

Schools have their own programs now to support their athletes through NIL

Chad
1 month ago

Low key thought this was Milak for a second and almost lost my mind

TexasFan
1 month ago

Those are terrible time conversions into SCY. A 3:58.68 400 LCM freestyle is more like a 4:22 and 8:10 is definitely sub 9:10, probably closer to 9 flat.

Caelebs left suit string
Reply to  TexasFan
1 month ago

^ there’s no way a 1:56 LCM 2 Free is equivalent to a 1:44 SCY

NB1
Reply to  TexasFan
1 month ago

look at any distance swimmer who swims 8:10 LCM, 9:10 is very realistic

Justin Pollard
1 month ago

Caspar Corbeau is a current, and fairly notable Texas Longhorn that represents the Netherlands internationally. So I think there are (at least) 3 international swimmers on the roster

Idk
Reply to  Justin Pollard
1 month ago

I think the difference is that Corbeau went to HS in the USA

Admin
Reply to  Idk
1 month ago

Caspar is an American citizen, born in California. That’s the primary difference. While he represents another country internationally, he *is* and “American.”

But yes, the few exceptions historically to Texas’ focus on recruiting Americans have been either dual citizens, or internationals who went to HS in the US (Schooling, for example).

Justin Pollard
Reply to  Idk
1 month ago

Fair point, but the article does mention Joe Schooling as a prominent former international Longhorn. He went to HS in the US as well (like Braden points out). Also good point from Braden that Corbeau is an American citizen. I was focused more on the country he competes for.

SwimGeek
Reply to  Justin Pollard
1 month ago

Pretty sure Corbeau is also an American citizen who grew up in Oregon. He has dual citizenship and chooses to compete internationally for the Netherlands — so a pretty different situation than Lyubavskiy

Jay Ryan
Reply to  SwimGeek
1 month ago

Corbeau dad swam at Cal I think

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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