PHOENIX, Arizona, October 29. COLLEGE swimming made some big headlines over the weekend, as many of the top swimmers and teams in the country raced hard and fast in short course yards competition.
Most likely the meet of the weekend was the tri-meet featuring Texas, Michigan and Indiana in Austin on Friday and Saturday. The Texas men's team, which finished second to UC-Berkeley at last March's NCAAs, could not beat the Michigan Wolverines, who won the meet Friday with a score of 194-106. Michigan won 12 of 16 events over Texas, including a very fast 8:56.34 in the 1000 freestyle by Connor Jaeger, which is now the top time in the event in the country. The men's 200 free was just as impressive, with Clay Youngquist barely keeping his position as the fastest swimmer in that event this season with a 1:35.26 over Michigan's Michael Wynalda's 1:36.11. Indiana was unable to win an event on the men's side, making it difficult to keep up with Michigan and Texas.
On the women's side, Texas was able to beat Michigan and Indiana on the strength of double wins from Kelsey Amundsen, Laura Sogar and Kaitlin Pawlowicz. Sogar had the swim of the meet, posting the nation's top time in the 200 breast with a 2:10.60, just three tenths faster than Breeja Larson swam earlier this month.
Elizabeth Pelton was a workhorse for Berkeley this weekend, winning four events in two dual meets on Friday and Saturday. First, Pelton won the 1000 free and 200 back on Friday in Cal's win over BYU, then she won the 100 fly and 200 free against the University of Utah on Saturday.
On Saturday, Division I team Arizona State faced off against Division II team Grand Canyon University on the ASU campus, with Grand Canyon getting a major win by five points, thanks to a couple of great swims. Eetu Karvonen, the reigning Division II NCAA champion in both breaststroke events, swam an amazing 54.89 in the 100 breast and the Grand Canyon 400 free relay beat ASU in a very close race down to the final 25 yards to get the team victory.
Margo Geer continues to improve this season in her junior year at Arizona, posting her fastest 100 freestyle of the season on Friday against Washington State with a 48.58. Geer was the third-place finisher in the 100 free at last March's NCAAs.
Plenty more college recaps await you on our college channel at swimmingworld.com.
Earlier today in Australia, Geoff Huegill made his second retirement announcement after failing to make the 2012 Australian Olympic team. Huegill had hinted that his career was at an end when he finished fifth in the 100 fly at the Australian Olympic Trials, but did not make the official statement until today. Huegill made a remarkable comeback from his first retirement, losing about 100 pounds and winning gold in the 100 fly at the 2012 Commonwealth Games and finding himself in the 100 fly final at the 2011 world championships. Huegill and his wife welcomed a baby girl in January, so Skippy, as he's best known, will certainly be busy.
The Netherlands had a great Olympic Games, winning four medals on the women's side in the sprint freestyle events, and it looks like the future looks good in Holland, based on the results at the short course nationals last weekend. Kyle Stolk was the swimmer of the meet, earning half a dozen national age group records as a 16-year-old. One of his records came in the 100 fly with a 54.20, breaking a record previously held by the great Pieter van den Hoogenband. You can read all about Stolk's swims and other great races on our world channel at swimmingworld.com.