The Week That Was: Andrei Minakov Commits to Stanford, Caeleb Dressel, Meghan Haila Announce Engagement

Andrei Minakov landed one of the biggest commit bombs of the year on Friday. Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / deepbluemedia

The Week That Was sponsored by SuitMate.

Three potential NCAA champions announced their commitments last week as Alexander Noergaard (NC State), Andrei Minakov (Stanford) and Adam Chaney (Florida) all put in their game changing commitments to their respective schools over the Thanksgiving week.

Rome was also announced as the site of the 2022 European Championships which will be held in Italy for the first time since 1983. Caeleb Dressel and long-time girlfriend Meghan Haila also announced their engagement via Instagram.

Check out the five biggest stories below in the week that was.

The Week That Was #5: Rebecca Soni to be Inducted into International Swimming Hall of Fame

Aug 2, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Rebecca Soni (USA) competes in the women's 200m breaststroke final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports

Soni swimming at the 2012 London Olympics Photo Courtesy: Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports

By Meg Keller-Marvin

Rebecca Soni is an American breaststroke specialist who is a six-time Olympic medalist. She is a former world record holder in the 100m breaststroke (short and long course) and the 200m breaststroke (short and long course). Soni was the first woman to swim the 200m breaststroke in under 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

She will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame on April 25, 2020.

#4: Rome Selected as Host of 2022 European Championships


The Pool at the Foro Italico in Rome – Photo Courtesy: Craig Lord

By Liz Byrnes, Swimming World European Correspondent

Rome will stage the European Aquatics Championships for the first time in 39 years when the Foro Italico plays host from 11-21 August 2022.

LEN, the European Swimming League, made the announcement on Monday after speculation that Rome or Kazan, Russia, would stage the event instead of Munich. The swimming pool in the Bavarian capital did not meet LEN facility requirements, forcing a change of venue.

Negotiations are ongoing over whether the continent’s showcase event, now to be held in Rome, will be incorporated in the multi-sports European Championships that will be staged in Munich at the same time.

The Week That Was #3: Mallory Comerford Signs with arena


Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

By Craig Lord, Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

Mallory Comerford, the World relay champion for the USA, has signed a three-diamonds deal with leading kit maker arena, in the midst of her preparations for U.S. Olympic trials and a shot returning to the Games as a medal hope at Tokyo 2020.

The news comes at the end of a stellar year for Comerford, who claimed her third straight 200y free NCAA title back in March and told Swimming World at the time: “I Knew This One Would be the Hardest One.”

#2: Caeleb Dressel, Meghan Haila Get Engaged

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A post shared by Meghan Haila (@meghanhaila) on

By Craig Lord, Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

Caeleb Dressel may be halfway to becoming a married man when he steps up for action at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: an image, a heart and a ring posted today on the Instagram account of the ace sprinter’s girlfriend Meghan Haila appear to confirm that Caeleb has popped the question.

Haila’s lovely picture, posted during Thanksgiving break, is a romantic snap of the pair, Caeleb on one knee, at Shands Pier on the St. Johns River in Florida. The post has caught a wave of love, more than 4,000 people, including many leading swimmers, having sent best wishes to the couple at the time of posting this article.

The Week That Was #1: Andrei Minakov, Adam Chaney Become Last Big Commits of Class of 2020


Andrei Minakov committed to Stanford. Photo Courtesy: Andrei Minakov Instagram (@andrei_minak)

By Andy Ross

World Championship silver medalist Andrei Minakov verbally committed to Stanford University, he confirmed to Swimming World this week. Minakov was the silver medalist this summer in the 100 butterfly at 50.83 behind Caeleb Dressel, who broke the world record in the semi finals. Minakov also broke the Russian record in the process.

Andrei Minakov was one of the top recruits on the market still as he indicated to Swimming World in the fall that he was dropping out of the International Swimming League in order to maintain his eligibility to swim at the NCAA level after the Olympic Games. Minakov, who turns 18 in March, originally signed with Energy Standard but wanted to fulfill his dream of swimming in college because “life isn’t always about swimming.”

Minakov will be a huge plus to a Stanford team that already has USA National team members with current sophomores Daniel Roy and Jack LeVant, but the Cardinal do not have a talent as big as Minakov. In fact, no one really does. With his freestyle and butterfly sprint speed, Minakov is perhaps the biggest prospect to hit the NCAA since…*gasp* Caeleb Dressel? Very rarely does a guy medal at the World Championships before he goes to college.

Another World Championships finalist Alexander Noergaard from Denmark verbally committed to NC State this week as well.

By Chandler Brandes

USA Swimming National Junior teamer Adam Chaney has committed to the University of Florida. Arguably one of the top recruits in the class of 2020, the Mason, Ohio, native will arrive in Gainesville next fall.

At the 2019 nationals, Chaney finished 23rd in the 100 free (50.34), 12th in the 100 back (55.03), and 15th in the 50 free (22.64). These finishes earned him individual spots in the 50/100 free and 50 back on the 2019 World Junior Championships roster for Team USA.

At Phillips 66 Nationals this past summer, Chaney finished 12th in the 100m back, 15th in the 50m free, and 23rd in the 100m free to secure his spot for the 7th FINA World Juniors Championships. In Budapest, Chaney earned bronze in the 50m free, placed fourth in the 100m free, and finished seventh in the 50m back. He was also a member of the World Junior record-setting 4x100m free relay and mixed 4x100m free relay, as well as the second-place 4x100m medley relay.