Utah Dominates Inaugural MPSF Open Water Championships

by Riley Overend 3

November 03rd, 2023 College, News, Open Water

2023 MPSF Open Water Swimming Championships

  • Oct. 21, 2023
  • Marine Stadium
    • Long Beach, California
  • PDF results

The University of Utah dominated the inaugural Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Open Water Swimming Championships on Oct. 21 in Long Beach, California.

Utah won both the men’s and women’s 2000-meter relays while also sweeping the women’s 5k podium thanks to senior Cameron Daniell (59:39), Utah freshman Abby Pope (59:40) and Utah junior Milla Ruthven (59:48). Cal Baptist sophomore Mark Kovacsics took the men’s 5k title in 54:58 ahead of Utah senior Dylan Becker (55:04) and Utah freshman Tomas Chocholaty (55:07).

The top three individual finishers qualified for USA Swimming’s Open Water National Championships next May and the CSCAA’s College National Championship next month.

“We were incredible today,” said associate head coach Michele Lowry. “We took home team championships for both men and women and the team had incredible energy and so much support for one another. Open water is a totally different beast and the Utes performed incredibly. I am so proud of each and every one of them. We are hopeful the NCAA will recognize that there is strong support to add open water to the swimming lineup and we will be able to race more in the future.”

Utah (24:01) beat Grand Canyon University (25:35) in the men’s 2000-meter relay with those same teams finishing 1-2 in the women’s relay (26:07 to 26:35).

CSCAA (College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America) executive director Samantha Barany believes that the first conference championships for open water swimming and the growing national championships are steps toward achieving “emerging sport” status in the NCAA. To be recognized as an emerging sport, at least 20 varsity or competitive club teams need to exist at NCAA schools, and at least 10 NCAA schools need to sponsor (or intend to sponsor) the sport. To reach NCAA Championship sport status, 40 NCAA schools need to sponsor the sport. Barany said the CSCAA is aiming to apply for “emerging sport” status before next August.

“Beyond establishing protective measures for our sport, this move also presents an opportunity to grant our high-caliber open water athletes access to top resources available in support of their Olympic and World Championship aspirations,” Barany said.

The 2023-24 CSCAA Open Water Championship will be hosted again by Florida International University in Biscayne Bay.

Final Standings


  1. Utah – 208
  2. San Jose State University – 120
  3. Grand Canyon – 93
  4. Fresno State – 89
  5. San Diego State – 76
  6. University of San Diego – 75
  7. California Baptist University – 64
  8. Loyola Marymount University – 39
  9. University of the Pacific – 22
  10. Whittier College – 6
  11. Pepperdine University – 2


  1. Utah – 190
  2. California Baptist University – 140
  3. Grand Canyon – 103
  4. UC Santa Barbara – 100
  5. Whittier College – 84
  6. University of the Pacific – 46

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1 month ago

This is fantastic! What a great way to provide another pathway for swimmers and grow open water on a national and international level. USA Swimming should be leveraging this event to help grow the grassroots of OW.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mom
George Taylor
1 month ago

I’d love to see a Fall NCAA Open Water Swim Championship, where to the points won carry over to the pool championship in the Spring. Coaches and recruiting would have to pay attention to those distance swimmer’s.

1 month ago

Excited to see where things lead. It’ll give distance swimmers more weight in recruiting prospects and help grow stateside interest in this side of the sport that’s mainly dominated by Europeans imo

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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