Swim of the Week: Bylander’s D-III Leading 200 Breaststroke

Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

In a year where the NCAA Division III Championships were canceled, it’s as close as you’ll get to a national championship swim.

Junior Michael Bylander crushed a huge 1:57.84 in the 200 breaststroke at his UW-Eau Claire Blugolds’ season-ending dual meet with UW-Stevens Point. That’s the #1 time in the nation this year among Division III swimmers – and it’s not close. Bylander sits 2.2 seconds ahead of the #2 time, and is the only Division III swimmer this season under two minutes.

Last year, only one swimmer went faster that 1:57.8 – that was NYU senior Giorgio Delgrosso, who was 1:56.55. Bylander’s time this year would have been just half a second off of the 2019 NCAA Division III champion, and would have won the NCAA meet by almost a second in 2018.

For Bylander, specifically, it’s a huge time drop. His previous best was a 2:00.87 set at the WIAC Championships in February of 2020. Bylander was set to swim the event at NCAAs before the national meet was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With one year of college swimming remaining, Bylander has a chance to become the #2 swimmer of all-time at the Division III level. Currently, Delgrosso’s 1:56.5 ranks second overall behind former Emory standout Andrew Wilson (1:50.80 back in 2017). Bylander is the #7 swimmer of all-time in Division III and just the seventh to break 1:58.

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1 month ago

Impressive swim! Looks like Richie Kurlich of Denison went 1:58.56 back in November too, so not the only D3 swimmer under 2:00. Not sure what counts as an official swim this season though.


1 month ago

Kevin Hao from WashU also went sub-2 this year in a duel meet against IUPUI

1 month ago

Glad to see this swim get some coverage! It’s been a sad year overall for D3 with the majority of teams just skipping the whole season. So it’s nice to see these highlights. Julian Iturbe has also had a great season. Calvin record in the 100 free 44.1. Lots of solid Denison swims as well.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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