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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)
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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