TCU Freshmen Have Immediate Impact in Season Opener

TCU vs. UIW Dual Meet

  • September 24, 2021
  • University Recreation Center, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Short course yard (25 yards)
  • Men’s Results
  • Women’s Results
  • Team scores:
    • TCU M defeat UIW M 165-135
    • TCU W defeat UIW W 177-123

In both teams’ first meet of the regular season, the TCU men and women swept in-state foes Incarnate Word at their home pool in Fort Worth, Texas.

TCU is coming off a season where they were 3rd on both the men’s and women’s side at the Big 12 Championships.

The Incarnate Word women placed third at the 2021 CCSA Championship, behind Florida Gulf Coast University and Liberty University. The men had a disappointing end to last season, when they had to withdraw from the championship due to Texas’ extreme weather. Prior to that meet, the team had 3-straight championship titles.

Men’s Meet

TCU had an impressive end to last season, finishing third at the Big 12 championships. But the biggest impact at the 2021-2022 season opener came not from the team’s seasoned veterans, but its newest recruits. The TCU freshmen won six individual events Friday, including both diving events and the distance freestyle events. 

Two international freshmen made their yards debut, each getting a first-place finish for TCU. Milan Fabian, who represents Hungary, took home the win in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 9:34.47. Fabian has competed in distance events and open water at the international level, including the European Junior Swimming Championships. 

Italian Geremia Freri also made his collegiate debut, winning the 200 and 500 freestyle in the process with times of 1:40.21 and 4:37.35. Like Fabian, Freri has always competed well in distance freestyle events. At the 2021 Absolute Italian Championship, Freri came in sixth in the 400 meter freestyle.

 At this meet, Freri also snagged the top spot in the 400 IM with a time of 3:59.67, giving him  the most individual wins on the men’s side.

TCU’s freshmen frenzy didn’t end with the swimmers. Diver David Ekdahl, from Sweden, broke the school record on the 1-meter board with a score of 363.97. He also scored 370.725 on the 3-meter, making him the third best scorer on TCU’s all-time list. Both Ekdahl and freshman Alec Hubbard qualified for Zones at the season opener.

Despite TCU’s freshmen performance, UIW swimmers still managed to win six events.

UIW junior Fernando Ruvalcaba Cruz swept the backstroke events with times of 50.40 and 1:50.06. Though he was decently slower than his 2020 CCSA Championships third-place 100 backstroke time of 48.93, he was four-tenths faster than his 100 backstroke at the SMU dual meet in January, the last meet of the UIW men’s season. He was also the 2020 CCSA champion in the 200 backstroke, which he swam in 1:46.46.

Alvaro Ibarra also took home a win in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:50.49, about a second off his time from the team’s last meet from the 2020-21 season. While he was the 2020 conference champion in the 500 and 1650 freestyle, he also has had success swimming long-course 200 butterfly for Mexico.

Sophomore Jorge Cardenas also took home a win in the 200 breaststroke, going 2:05.39, almost identical to his time of 2:05.50 at the 2021 SMU dual meet, his only dual meet entry last season. Cardenas, Ibarra, and Cruz, some of the most high-impact competitors at this meet, are three of the five swimmers from Mexico out of 30 men on the UIW roster. 

UIW also had help from sophomore Fabio Fasolo, who won in the 50 and 100 freestyle with times of 20.94 and 45.04.

Women’s Meet

This meet was also an impressive one for TCU’s freshmen women, who won four events. The school’s all-freshman team won first place in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:51.02. Members of the team included North Carolina high school state champion Olivia Rhodes, Geneva International Challenge backstroke champion Francesca Pasquino, and Louisiana LSC record-breaker Rylee Moore.

Rhodes also won two individual races: the 50 freestyle, with a time of 24.01, and the 100 freestyle, with a time of 53.31. Rhodes won the 50 freestyle at the North Carolina 3A State Championship meet in February. She placed second in the 100 freestyle at the same meet.

Rhodes’ relay teammate Pasquino also took home a win in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.64. Though this is Pasquino’s yards debut, her 100 backstroke times converted from meters project that she should go at or below 55 seconds in the event.

Pasquino may have won the 100 backstroke, but UIW’s Kristen Straszacker kept TCU from a backstroke sweep, winning the 200 backstroke for UIW with a time of 2:02.82. The South African is known for sprint backstroke, winning gold in the 50-meter backstroke and silver in the 100-meter backstroke at 2020’s South Africa National Championships. She took fourth at the 2021 CCSA women’s championships in the 200.

UIW’s Brenda Diaz Martinez, a Fresno State transfer, took home a couple wins for her team in the 1000 freestyle with 10:30.96 and 200 butterfly with 2:08.66. Her 200 butterfly time is just a few tenths slower than what she went in the 2021 CCSA women’s championship, where she placed seventeenth. 

Mariana Ruvalcaba Cruz won the 200 breaststroke for UIW with a time of 2:21.98. Ruvalcaba Cruz has been a consistent breaststroker for UIW, placing in the top-8 in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the CCSA Championships in both 2020 and 2021.

Ximena Conde Merlos, the defending CCSA 400 IM champion, continued her winning streak today with a time of 4:30.56. Merlos almost 10 seconds faster to get her CCSA win earlier this year, but UIW will give her plenty of other opportunities to get closer to that time before the 2022 CCSA championships.


TCU’s next meet will be at the FIU TYR Classic on October 8. Incarnate Word and TCU will face each other again in January.

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29 days ago

I’m looking forward to the “Sammy Busch” Invitational and the after party…

Last edited 29 days ago by Guerra
29 days ago

..FYI, wrong meet results got linked to the article.

Hoosier Daddy
29 days ago

Nice! Now race the IU Hoosiers TCU and it will be a completely different outcome!