The Texas A&M men’s team has picked up a desparately-needed breaststroker from nearby Conroe, Texas, as Jonathan Tybur has given his verbal commitment to the Aggies.
Tybur has yards bests of 56.99 and 2:04.14 in the 100 and 200 yard races, plus even better times of 1:05.6 and 2:21.7 in the 100 and 200 long course meter events from this summer.
His yards times are presently improving at a faster clip than his meters times, which shows an increase in strength in his junior year. He knocked two seconds off of his lifetime best in the 100 yard race as a junior, and the Aggies will badly need that trend to continue.
At the 2013 SEC Championships, A&M got a valiant effort from senior William Wagner on the breaststroke leg of their 400 medley relay, but he fact was that he was not a breaststroker. He was a 100/200 freestyler (and a good one at that) who did very well to fill in where he was needed on that relay. That meant the Aggies finished in 8th place – the lowest-placed team that wasn’t DQ’ed, and the last with their hand to the wall.
This year, even he is gone, which seemingly leaves another senior, Jack Burley, to fill that spot this year (he was a very good 57.14 against Missouri last weekend).
Still, the Aggies haven’t had a sub-56 breaststroker since Amini Fonua won the Big 12 title in 2012, and now they’ve gotten a verbal commitment from the Texas 5A (big school) runner-up last season. There has been a lot of depth in Texas high school breaststroking the last few years, but little of it has gone the Aggies’ way. At the 5A state meet last year, there were 10 swimmers under 58 seconds in prelims, and another four who did it at the Regional level to qualify for the meet. The state’s other programs have picked up a lot of that talent – especially TCU, who has grabbed multiple 56-second breaststrokers in their last few classes.
Tybur swims for the Woodlands Swim Team and College Park High School.