William & Mary’s Colin Wright Swims 18.98, Becomes 4th Mid-Major Sub-19 Ever

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 10

February 20th, 2020 News


  • Wednesday, February 19-Saturday, February 22
  • Christiansburg Aquatics Center, Christiansburg, Virginia (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: James Madison women, William & Mary Men
  • Live Video (requires subscription)
  • Live Results
  • Championship Central

William & Mary senior Colin Wright led off his team’s winning 200 free relay on Saturday in 18.98 en route to a 1:17.42 victory at the CAA Conference Championship meet on Thursday. That is an NCAA “provisional qualifying time,” and a new CAA record for the relay. Once confirmed, he will be the first appearance for the William & Mary men’s team at the NCAA Championships since 1986, when diver Shawn McLane took 15th in 3-meter diving; and their first swimming appearance since Ron Good swam the 50 and 100 free at the 1963 NCAA Championships.

Not only did that re-break his own Conference Record of 19.17 that was set in the individual 50 free prelims, it took a probable NCAA invite and turned it into a definitive one, dipping well under the 19.35 that qualified for last year’s NCAA Championship meet in this event.

The swim also set a Christiansburg Aquatic Center pool record. The old mark was set at 19.11 by Alabama’s Kristian Gkolomeev in 2014, the season after he won the NCAA title in the 50 free.

The time ties Wright with Cal’s Ryan Hoffer, the defending NCAA Champion in the event, as the fastest time in the country so far this season, with still several big conference championship meets to go.

2019-2020 Men’s Top 5, 50 Yard Free, NCAA Division I

  1. (TIE) Ryan Hoffer, Cal, Minnesota Invite/Colin Wright, William & Mary, CAA Championships – 18.98
  2. Zane Waddell, Alabama, SEC Championships – 19.07
  3. Blaise Vera, Pitt, Purdue Invite – 19.10
  4. Nyls Korstanje, NC State, GAC Invitational – 19.11

Wright becomes just the 4th mid-major man in history to dip below 19 seconds, joining Yale’s Alex Righi (18.82 in 2009), Harvard’s Dean Farris (18.92 in 2019), and Cincinnati’s Josh Schneider (18.93 in 2010).

With a total listed enrollment of 8,817, William & Mary is also the smallest school in the country to ever have an undergraduate swimmer go under 19 seconds in the 50 free. That honor previously belonged to Righi at Yale.

Wright ties former USC swimmer Santo Condorelli as the 36th-best 50 freestyler in NCAA history, and William & Mary becomes just the 19th NCAA school to have a swimmer split sub-19 in the 50 free.

NCAA Schools with Sub-19 Second Sprinters, All-Time

School # of Sub-19 Swimmers
Auburn 7
Texas 4
California 4
NC State 3
Stanford 2
Southern Cali 2
Minnesota 2
Indiana 2
Florida 2
Alabama 2
Yale 1
William & Mary 1
Tennessee 1
Missouri 1
Michigan 1
Harvard 1
Cincinnati 1
Arizona 1

The William & Mary 200 free relay would need to drop a few tenths more to hit the automatic qualifying time of 1:17.17.

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4 years ago

This kid was coached and mentored by current Princeton coach Matt Crispino! Can’t wait to see what they go!

billy bob
4 years ago

I guess you’re counting graduate student enrollment? On this list, Yale has the smallest undergrad enrollment 5,964 (12k w/grad students), W&M 6,377 (8k with grad students) Harvard 6,788 (22k with grad students).

4 years ago

If this guy goes under 18.50 I’m eating TWO sandwiches. unreal

Lane 8
4 years ago

Go Colin! Very well deserved!

4 years ago

Time trial it!

Tribe Fan
4 years ago

So proud of Colin! Great programs develop great swimmers, and this is one example. Go Tribe! Such a fantastic team!

4 years ago

Righi didn’t win in 2009 Nathan Adrian did

Reply to  Dcswim
4 years ago

The article never talked about him winning. Just that he broke 19.

Reply to  Scoobysnak
4 years ago

When I commented the article said that both Schneider and Righi won but I guess they changed it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4 years ago

Unreal. No scholarships. Crap pool. Still fast

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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