SMU Kicks Off 2020-21 Season with Intrasquad Meet

by Elizabeth Levy 2

September 27th, 2020 AAC, College, News, Previews & Recaps

2020 SMU Season Opening Intrasquad

  • September 25, 2020
  • Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, Dallas, Texas
  • 25 yard (Short Course Yards)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2020 SMU Intrasaquad”

The SMU Mustangs kicked off their season with their annual Intrasquad meet on Friday, September 25. The Blue Team was victorious on the men’s side 104-82, wile the Red Team narrowly defeated the Blue Team on the women’s side, 95-90.


The SMU men last season used a huge freshman class to climb the ladder at the AAC Championships, moving from 4th place to 3rd place at the conference meet. This year, with East Carolina and UConn both having cut their teams, the AAC is down to essentially a dual meet between the Mustangs (763 points at AACs) and Cincinnati (838 points at AACs).

In the 200 medley relay the Red Team got the win in a close race, highlighted by a 24.41 breaststroke split from sophomore Colin Feehery, the 2020 AAC champion in the 400 IM.

That split was almost as fast as then-junior Caleb Rhodenbaugh split at last year’s AAC Championship meet for the Mustangs, who touched the wall 3rd at that meet but were disqualified.

Feehery was joined by Tyler Barfield (25.03 – back), Cole Fleming (22.83 – fly), and Charlie Kaye (21.26 – free) to win in 1:34.53.

The Blue Team’s ‘A’ relay got a strong anchor-split from AAC finalist Daniel Forndal (20.75), but it wasn’t enough for a win. Forndal, Riley Hill (23.90 – back), Connor Dalbo (27.20 – breast), and Tyler Mansheim (23.04 – fly), settled for second place in 1:34.89.

In the first individual event of the mee, the 200 free, it was the Blue Team’s Petar Bozhilov that got the win. In a solid swim, he split 24.87 – 26.61 – 26.88 – 26.32, to finish in 1:44.68. The Red Team swept the second and third spots, led by Wyatt Cronk who finished second in 1:45.92.

One of SMU’s top incoming freshmen Jack Callan, the Oklahoma 5A state record-holder in both the 200 and 500 frees, finished third in 1:46.37. He comes out of high school with a best time of 1:38.42 in that event.

Bozhilov picked his second individual win for the Blue Team in the 500, pacing the field in 4:43.90. Callan was second for the Red Team in 4:46.27.

John Easton also picked up two individual wins for the Blue Team. In a tight race, he out-touched Fleming 51.10 to 51.31 in the 100 fly. In the 100 back, he won a little more easily, finishing in 50.86, almost two seconds ahead of John Culver, who was second for the Red Team (52.74).

Other Noteworthy results

  • In the 200 IM, Feehery got the win for the Red Team, finishing first in 1:54.67. Only Dalbo of the Blue Team joined Feehery under the 2-minute mark, finishing second in 1:55.07.
  • Forndal swept the sprint freestyles, clocking in at 21.50 in the 50 and 46.99 in the 100. He was the only swimmer in the field to dip under 48 in the 100.
  • In the 100 breast, AAC finalist Dalbo (57.25) narrowly defeated Feehery (57.39), snagging another win for the Blue Team.
  • In the 400 free relay, the squad of Feehery (47.47), Callan (48.16), Barfield (48.81), and Kaye (47.17) grabbed the top spot for the Red Team in 3:11.61. The Blue Team ‘B’ relay of Mansheim (47.69), Brandon Garcia (48.19), Brayden Rudd (48.41), and Dalbo (47.48) finished second by a tenth in 3.11.77. The consistent splits on both of these relays suggests that SMU will have many names to choose from when organizing relays for meets. Also of note, Forndal and Easton split 46.50 and 46.57, respectively, on the Blue Team’s ‘A’ relay, which finished third in 3:12.66.


The SMU women, who were 2nd out of 6 teams at last year’s AAC Championship meet, kicked off their season on Saturday as well.

It was a session where the SMU freshman shined, picking up several wins throughout the day.

The Red Team swept the top three spots in the 200 free, led by freshman and Belgian National team member Indra Vandenbussche (1:54.53). Olivia Grossklaus (1:55.67) and Katie Jordan (1:59.49) finished second and third, respectively.

This is an event where the AAC Champion University of Houston women were absolutely dominant last season, taking 5 out of the top 6 spots at the conference championship meet. The presence of Vandenbussche should help chip away at that advantage this season.

SMU freshman Johanna Gudmunsdottir was the fastest female in the 50, finishing in 23.88. In the 100 free, she was out-touched by Vandenbussche, 52.53 to 52.83, for a freshman 1-2 finish.

Later in the meet, the 100 breaststroke saw another Freshman 1-2 finish. Maddy Lewis finished first in 1:06.70, ahead of Maxine Parkinson, who picked up second place points for the Blue Team in 1:06.89. That was some revenge for Lewis and the red team after Parkinson had the fastest medley relay split to help her team win the opening event of the night.

The women’s meet was tight up until the final event, the 400 free relay. It was the Red Team that managed to clinch the meet win with a victory in the relay, thanks to the efforts of Samantha Smith (55.19), Vandenbussche (51.63), Meriel Upton (53.97), and Grossklaus (52.97). Their combined time of 3:33.76 was almost three seconds ahead of the Blue Team’s ‘A’ relay (3:36.20).

Vandenbussche’s split is already within 1.2 seconds of what it took to make SMU’s 400 free relay at last year’s AAC Championship meet.

Other Noteworthy Results:

  • The women’s 100 fly was the closest race of the meet, as AAC finalist Beccera out-touched Grossklaus 56.10 to 56.13 to grab the win for the Blue Team. The SMU Mustangs have won every AAC title ever offered (7 seasons) in the women’s 100 fly. That streak is in some jeopardy this season, however, after Erin Trahan, who has won the last 3 titles, graduated. Beccera, who was 5th at last year’s AAC Championship meet, is the team’s best hope to continue that streak.
  • In the 500 free Frederica Kizek managed to grab a win for the Blue Team, out-touching Jordan 5:11.68 to 5:11.97. She showed-ff her 500 free prowess, holding her splits consistently in the 31-second range. At the 2020 AAC Championships, Kizek finished in ninth place, but her PB of 4:46.71 would have been good for fifth overall.
  • Senior Gabi Grobler picked up her first individual win of the meet, winning the 100 back in 58.27. She finished fourth in that event at the 2020 AAC Championships.

Other Noteworthy Results:

  • The Blue Team kicked off the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay. The ‘A’ team of Kiley Vandevier (28.18 – back), Maxine Parkinson (30.28 – breast), Valentina Becerra (25.26 – fly), and Johanna Gudmundsdottir (23.49 – free) finished first in 1:47.21.

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2 years ago

SMU hasn’t released anything official on it, so not sure they’ve made a decision. It seems unlikely they’d keep it a two team meet. More likely scenario would be having the men’s team join Big 12 with UC (to make it an equal amount of male and female teams at 5), or perhaps join a different conference. Keep in mind 2020-2021 will be a weird year, so what happens this year may not be reflective of the future either.

2 years ago

So is that really the plan for SMU and Cincinnati? A two team conference meet?

What a shame for the athletes and coaches. Makes so much more sense for SMU to join the Big XII meet and UC to join the MAC/MVC meet. Gives both those teams a championship experience they deserve and makes each of those meets way better.

SMU vs TCU/WV would give the Big 12 some intrigue. UC/MoState/Miami could be real fun and help ease the loss of EMU and Buffalo. Plus, these moves also make geographic sense.