With this move, Connery, a North Carolina native, returns to his East Coast roots. While swimming for SwimMAC and Christ the King, Connery was one of the top prospects high school prospects in the nation, and he improved in all his main events while at Texas. His improvements led to him qualifying for NCAAs, with his highest finish coming in the 200 IM, where he was 23rd in prelims.
Tim Connery Times Progression:
|HS BEST||FRESHMAN YEAR @ TEXAS||IMPROVEMENT|
Connery adds increased depth to a UVA team that’s been contending for top ten finishes at NCAAs each of the last few years. His best times in the 100 and 200 free would have finished 12th at the 2022 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships, and he would’ve finished in the top five in the 100 fly and the 200 IM. UVA has plenty of sprint free depth, but Connery would’ve been the Cavaliers’ highest ACC finisher in the 200 IM, 100 fly, and the 200 free. Last year, the Cavaliers’ best places were 12th, 22nd, and 15th, respectively.
Somewhat ironically, Connery will go from likely being a lynchpin of Texas’ free relays to possibly not making UVA’s sprint free relays. If Daniel Krueger doesn’t return for a fifth year, Connery would’ve been the Longhorns’ fastest returner in the 100 free (although Caspar Corbeau has had sub-42 splits on the 400 free relay).
UVA, however, had three men under 42.1 last season, and had a fourth swimmer, freshman Jack Aikins, split under 42 on the 400 free relay. Still, Connery adds depths to what’s rapidly become one of the best sprint free groups in the nation.
Additionally, Connery‘s lifetime best of 45.56 in the 100 fly means he’ll probably slot into fly leg of UVA’s 400 medley relay. He also split 20.23 on the fly leg of a Texas 200 medley relay at Big 12s, and UVA could use him on that leg as well. His 200 yard free best time of 1:34.10 also makes him a likely contender for a spot on the Cavaliers’ 800 free relay.
This is the second straight year where the UVA men have received a high-profile transfer. Last summer, Matt King transferred from Alabama, and he made an immediate impact for the Cavaliers helping them to an American Record in the 200 free relay. Connery apparently initiated his entry into the portal after May 1, but he appears to have received an NCAA waiver in order to be eligible in the 2022-2023 season.