Utah’s Jaek Horner Sets Two Records; Princeton Sweeps Big Al Invitational

Photo Courtesy: Princeton Athletics

Utah’s Jaek Horner Sets Two Records; Princeton Sweeps Big Al Invitational

Utah’s Jaek Horner set a pair of school records in breaststroke, and Princeton won both the men’s and women’s team competition at its home Big Al Invitational this weekend.

Princeton won both sides of the six-school event, which ran from Friday through Sunday. The Tigers were less than 100 points clear of Utah on the women’s side and scored a more decisive win on the men’s side.

Big Al Invitational Team Scores


  1. Princeton 1080.5
  2. Utah 999
  3. George Washington 655.5
  4. Denver 654
  5. Cal State Bakersfield 280
  6. Columbia 66


  1. Princeton 1178.5
  2. Utah 875
  3. Columbia 601.5
  4. Denver 451
  5. George Washington 448
  6. Cal State Bakersfield 308

Horner was in fast form at the meet for the Utes. He went 51.88 in prelims of the 100 breast, then was .01 seconds slower to win finals. The former time lowered the school mark, as did his winning time of 1:53.85 in the 200 breast. Horner also swam on three winning Utah relays, with Finn O’Haimhirgin and Andre Ungur on all three quartets. The last (with JP Hynes) set a school record of 2:51.30 that also is an NCAA B cut, the only consideration time for a relay at the meet.

O’Haimhirgin had a big meet. The senior blitzed the field in the 50 free to win in 19.69, Ungur the runner-up. He added a win in the 100, with Hynes third. Horner was also second in the 200 individual medley. Ungur won the 100 backstroke ahead of Hynes, both earning B cuts, and Ungur did the same in the 200 back.

The men’s side of the Big Al Invitational was the quicker in terms of NCAA B cuts, with 43 in total.

Princeton’s depth was overpowering. Look no further than the 200 freestyle, in which the Tigers monopolized seven of eight A final spots. Mitchell Schott won in 1:35.12, a B cut, with teammate Max Walther second. Only third-place Marko Kovacic of Utah broke the blockade.

Unsurprisingly, the Tigers romped in the 800 free relay. More emphatically, they grabbed the top three spots. The A squad of Nicholas Lim, Raunak Khosla, Schott and Walther was 10 seconds clear of the nearest non-Princetonian team.

Khosla assembled a stellar weekend, winning the 200 individual medley, 400 IM and 200 butterfly, all in B-cut fashion. He anchored the winning 200 free relay. Lim was second in the 200 fly and third in the 500 free. The latter was won by Dylan Porges, who finished second to teammate John Ehling in the mile.

The only swimming win on the men’s side produced by neither Utah nor Princeton came in the 100 fly. Djurjde Matic of George Washington got the win, with an NCAA B cut of 46.79. He edged Cal State Bakersfield freshman Vili Sivec, in 47.11. Sivec set a school record of 1:44.78 in prelims of the 200 fly, then finished third in finals. He was one of seven NCAA B cuts in that event. GW’s Karol Mlynarczyk was second in the 200 back and third in the 100 back.

Columbia nabbed a trio of silver medals via Yu Tong Wu in the 500 free and Demirkan Demir in the breaststroke events. All were B cuts. Jonathan Suckow captured both diving events for the Lions, surmounting 400 points on 1-meter.

The Big Al Invitational win by the Princeton women was powered by a sweep of all five relays. Sabrina Johnston and Heidi Smithwick were part of four of those foursomes. That duo, fittingly, battled it out for the 50 free crown, Smithwick getting the win by .03 seconds in 22.86. She also won the 100 fly and finished third in the 200 fly. Amelia Liu tied Utah’s Erin Palmer for third in the 50 and finished second in the 100 free.

Meg Wheeler was second in the 400 IM, Emily Appleton paired second in the 500 free with third in the mile and Margaux McDonald finished third in the 200 IM and 100 breast. Isabella Korbly nabbed an NCAA B cut in finishing third in the 200 back.

Princeton’s Charlotte Martinkus and Holly Waxman of Utah waged two impressive diving battles. Waxman claimed the 3-meter bout by a half-point. Martinkus got revenge on 1-meter by 1.6 points with a tally of 308.90. Waxman was third on platform behind teammate Kathryn Grant.

It took until Day 2 of the Big Al Invitational for the first NCAA B cut on the women’s side. Of the nine claimed, two went to Utah’s Summer Stanfield. She won the 400 IM in 4:13.06, a winning margin of 4.5 seconds. She then led three B cuts in the 200 back, her time of 1:55.40 good for the win by .39 seconds over teammate Norah Hay. Those are the second- and fourth-fastest times in Utes history, respectively.

Stanfield Friday had won the 200 IM in the race of the meet, edging teammate Charity Pittard by .01 seconds in 2:00.54, with the top four spread by just .26 seconds. Pittard won the 200 breast in 2:12.99. Both that time and teammate Hilja Schimmel, who tied with Denver’s Jessica Maeda for second, were NCAA consideration cuts. Schimmel also won the 100 breast. Utah’s Reagan Cathcart was the only swimmer under 50 seconds in 49.79 capturing the 100 free.

The other two NCAA B cuts went to Mia Moulden of the University of Denver, who won the 200 fly in 1:57.97, and George Washington’s Barbara Schaal, who clocked a 53.87 to win the 100 back.

GW won the mile via freshman Ava Topolewski. Morah Freitas was second in both butterfly events.

Moulden was also third in the 100 fly. Her teammates Ines Marin Alexandre (200 free) and Natalie Arky (100 back) added silver medals.

Cal State Bakersfield made its mark on the right coast with a pair of wins. Senior Mikayla Popham set a school record in the 500 free in 4:49.17. She also won the 200 free. Chelaine Van der Westhuizen took down an 11-year-old school mark in the 100 breast by going 1:01.99 for second place.

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kevin Smith
5 months ago

Jaek Horner really stepped it up this meet. Big time swims for two school records I believe. Nice job!