Texas A&M Wins Men’s, Women’s Duals Against SMU, But SMU Wins 3/4 Relays

Texas A&M vs. SMU

  • January 27, 2023
  • Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, Dallas, Texas (SMU campus)
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards), college dual meet)
  • Full Results (PDF)
  • Final Team Scores:
    • Men: #11 Texas A&M 172-SMU 108 (exhibition aided)
    • Women: #23 Texas A&M 176 – SMU 113 (exhibition aided)

Ghosts of the old Southwest Conference rattled around the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center last weekend when the Top-25 ranked Texas A&M Aggies rolled past the unranked SMU Mustangs.

A&M’s depth overwhelmed the Mustangs – both in terms of victories (11-4 men, 13-3 women) and in overall scoring, there was a bright spot for the home team: SMU won 3 of 4 relays, which highlights both A&M teams’ relative weaknesses in the sprint events, and SMU’s relative strength.

Men’s Meet

  • #11 Texas A&M 172-SMU 108 (exhibition aided)

The SMU men swept the day’s two relays, starting with a 1:29.45 in the opening 200 medley relay. The combination of Cole Bruns (22.72), Lance Butler (25.03), Riley Hill (21.54), and Justin Baker (20.16) combined for the win. Butler the breaststroker is the only new face on that relay from last year, when the Mustangs set a school record.

The Aggie men were 2nd in 1:29.60, led by a 22.58 from backstroke leadoff leg Ethan Gogulski. He won the 100 back individually too in 49.27, leading an Aggie 1-2 finish.

The SMU men then finished the meet with a 1-2 finish in the 200 free relay, led by a 1:20.75 from the combination of Butler, Bruns, Charlie Kaye, and Baker – mostly the same relay, aside from Kaye subbing in for Hill. Kaye was the top split of the field with 19.94 for SMU on the 3rd leg. The Aggies didn’t have anyone split under 20 seconds, though their anchor Baylor Nelson was close in 20.01.

That split for Nelson reiterates his versatility, as primarily an IMer who can also split a 50 free, which is a role that the Aggies really need from him this year to climb the ranks at SECs and NCAAs.

Nelson also won the 50 free individually in 20.58, which was .01 seconds ahead of Butler; the 200 free in 1:38.28; and the 200 IM in 1:47.86. That 200 IM was one of the head-to-head highlights of the meet, as he beat 2022 NCAA qualifier Colin Feehery of SMU by exactly half-a-second.

Feehery was the only other multi-event winner in the men’s meet besides Nelson. He won the 100 breaststroke in 55.01 and the 200 breaststroke in 1:59.50 (.08 seconds ahead of A&M’s Puente Bustamante). It’s worth noting that Feehery didn’t swim the 200 medley relay, but the Mustangs still won that race.

This meet also counted as the 4th in maroon for Texas A&M Turkish freshman Batuhan Filiz, who joined the Aggies at the semester. He won the 500 free in 4:27.54, which is about three seconds shy of his A&M debut time, and had the top time in an unscored mile in 15:06.32. That’s his first official 1650 yard freestyle swim. That is already a time that would’ve been 14th at SECs last year in an event and is the best by an Aggie this season. Trey Dickey swam 15:08.47 in that exhibition, which was a season-best for him.

Women’s Meet

  • #23 Texas A&M 176 – SMU 113 (exhibition aided)

The SMU women also grabbed a relay win on the day, splitting the two events with the Aggies.

The A&M women won the 200 medley relay by a healthy 1.8 seconds ahead of their own “B” relay, and another half-second ahead of SMU’s top squad.

The winning relay of Jordan Buechler (26.35), Bobbi Kennett (28.63), Olivia Theall (24.15), and Chloe Stepanek (22.75) combined for a 1:41.88. That’s about a second short of what they did against LSU last week.

The SMU women, however, came back at the end of the meet and won the 200 free relay in 1:33.43, half-a-second better than the Aggies’ top relay. The two groups were in a dead-heat for the first 150 yards, but junior Icelandic anchor Johanna Gudmundsdottir anchored in 22.97. That was not only the fastest split of the field, but it was half-a-second better than the Aggie anchor Jordan Buechler, and gave the Mustangs a victory.

Stepanek, the A&M star, picked up a pair of individual wins, winning the 100 back in a nailbiter in 56.32 and the 500 free in 4:52.39. She swam both of those races at the mid-season Art Adamson Invitational, and it seems like she might be deciding between the two as her 3rd event at SECs (she swam the 500 last year).

A&M junior Olivia Theall continued her electric season with a 53.59. That’s the 8th time she’s been a 53 in a dual meet this season. Last year, she was consistently 54s in dual meets, and the year before she was consistently 55s. That progress, combined with a 51.25 midseason, portends a big championship season for her.

SMU had two individual winners. Lucrezia Napoletano won the 100 free in 51.17, a nailbiter margin of .01 seconds ahead of A&M freshman Manita Sathianchokwisan. She was SMU’s top finisher in the 50 (23.70 – 3rd place) and 200 (1:51.72 – 2nd place) freestyles, but didn’t swim on the Mustangs’ medley relay.

The other individual winner for SMU was Luana Alonso in 2:01.88, who won the 200 fly in 2:01.88. That was a second-and-a-half better than the runner-up in the race, and her season-best in the race. Alonso is a transfer from Virginia Tech, where at the 2022 ACC Championships she finished 28th in this event in 2:00.39.

SMU still has a dual meet with the 2nd-ranked Texas Longhorns before a pre-conference invite and the American Athletic Conference Championships from February 13-18. The Aggie swimmers are done (divers have an Invite) until the SEC Championships from February 14-18 in their home pool.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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