Crimson Tide makes waves at NCAA men’s swim and dive championships

Nicholas Pursley, Contributing Writer

It was a week of career-bests and accolades at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships for Alabama in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 22-25. 

Across the four-day event, the Crimson Tide’s athletes collected one first-team All-America honor in addition to 15 second-team honors. Alabama completed its final meet of the season with a 19th place finish, its ninth top-20 finish in a row. 

“We had a strong night to close the meet,” said head coach Margo Geer.  

Seven of the Tide’s 15 second-team honors came on the final day of the championship. 

“We’re all really proud of these guys and what they’ve accomplished both in and out of the pool,” Geer said. 

Senior Derek Maas won Alabama’s sole first-team honor with an eighth-place podium finish in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 51.23. His accomplishment comes after also reaching the podium in the same event at last year’s NCAA Championships. 

Maas also became the first Crimson Tide swimmer to win the NCAA’s Elite 90 award, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA competing at the championship. On the same day he won the award, Maas also broke the school-record in the 200 individual medley with a 1:42.59 (18th) and later had a career-best in the 200 breaststroke (10th). 

On the opening day, Alabama’s 800 freestyle relay team of sophomore Charlie Hawke, sophomore Kaique Alves, senior Cam Auerbach and junior Kacper Piotrowski placed 10th, earning second-team honors. 

Prior to that, the Tide opened the meet with an 11th-place finish in the 200 medley relay. Maas, senior Matt Menke, sophomore Mateo Miceli and freshman Tim Korstanje swam a collective time of 1:22.70 to collect second-team honors. 

Alabama’s 400 freestyle relay closed the season strong with a season-best 2:49.41, finishing in 12th-place. Hawke, Alves, Korstanje and Menke all earned second-team All-American honors for the performance. 

Graduate transfer Victor Johansson placed 15th in the grueling 1,650-meter freestyle with a time of 14:48.42 to earn second-team honors. 

“The impact our seniors have made on the program has been wonderful,” Geer said. 

“For the younger guys, this meet was a great learning experience. We’re going to keep working hard to continue pushing the program forward,” Geer said. 

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]