UNC Chapel Hill Gains Israeli Paris Olympic Qualifier Adam Maraana

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Israeli Olympic Qualifier Adam Maraana is headed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall to study and swim under two-time Olympic gold medalist Mark Gangloff. Maraana currently trains with a swim club in Israel called Maccabi Haifa.

Maraana is not only the first Arab-Israeli swimmer to represent Israel at the Olympics but also the first Arab-Israeli athlete to do so in any sport since 1976. The 20-year-old earned his ticket to Paris at the Israeli Olympic Trials this month at the Wingate Institute where he clocked a personal best of 53.60 in prelims in the LCM 100 back, beating the Olympic qualifying time by .14. Maraana’s time matches the Israeli national record held by Yakov-Yan Toumarkin from 2017 and currently ranks 1st this year in Israel by .91 seconds.

He will join his fellow 2024 Olympic qualifier Martin Kartavi, who also recently committed to the Tar Heels.

Last year at the LEN European U23 Championships (LCM) at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, Ireland, Maraana placed 4th in the 50 back (25.30) and 5th in the 100 back (54.52). His 50 back time was a personal best.

Looking ahead, Maraana is predicted to be a valuable asset at the University of North Carolina, particularly for the 100 back and medley relays. Maraana’s converted SCM 50 back (22.04) and 100 back time (46.58) would have ranked 2nd this season on the team behind junior Walker Davis who posted 21.18 in the 50 and 46.25 in the 100.

Given that Maraana’s SCM times are stronger compared to his LCM times, it is expected that he will deliver strong performances in SCY at the University of North Carolina.

Top SCM Times and SCY Conversions

SCM SCY Conversion
50 back – 24.47 22.04
100 back – 51.71 46.58
200 back – 1:55.52 1:44.07

The Tar Heels ranked 8th on the men’s side overall this year at the ACC Championships, mirroring their results from the previous season. At the NCAA Championships, three school records were broken: the 800 free relay by Patrick Hussey, Louis Dramm, Sebastian Lunak, and Matthew Van Deusen with a time of 6:14.88, the 200 free by Hussey (1:32.87), and the 200 IM by Dramm (1:42.86).

Maraana will join Nate Hohm, JT Schmid, Brady Begin, James Bennison, Eddie Jin, PJ Foy, Xavier Ruiz, and Sean Setzer this fall as part of the Tar Heels’ recruiting class of 2024. Several of the men in this class have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials, while Ruiz holds national records in Puerto Rico, including in all the LCM breaststroke events.

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