After an undefeated 2021-22 regular season and a 28th Big Ten Championship title, the No. 4 Indiana men’s swim and dive team looks toward the NCAA Championships, beginning Wednesday inside McAuley Aquatic Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Championships will run through Saturday, with preliminaries beginning at 10 a.m. and finals starting at 6 p.m. each day.
In eight of the last nine seasons, the Hoosiers have finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships.
“The men are excited to continue the momentum created by the women last week,” Indiana head diving coach Drew Johansen said.
The Indiana women’s swim and dive team ended its season with an 11th place finish at the NCAA Championships, with three divers earning All-American honors.
Indiana will compete in all five relay events, with a top-10 seed in each relay event as their relay events have excelled this season. Taking the pool for the Hoosiers will be its No. 10-ranked 800-yard freestyle relay squad and its Big Ten record-breaking No. 1 400-yard medley relay squad.
“Another major key to our success this week will be placing our relays as highly as possible, ideally top eight for all five,” Indiana head swimming coach Ray Looze said.
Additionally, the Hoosiers have chances to secure wins with their No. 8-ranked 200-yard freestyle, No. 9-ranked 400-yard freestyle relay and No. 6-ranked 200-yard medley relay squads.
Indiana junior Brendan Burns, the 2022 Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships, owns the No. 1 seed in the 100-yard backstroke. Burns marked a Big Ten and program 100-yard backstroke record of 44.31 seconds in February. He also has the No. 5 seed in the 200-yard butterfly with a qualifying time of 1:39.81 and the No. 25 seed in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 45.49 seconds.
Four more Hoosiers will join Burns in the 100-yard butterfly. Sophomore Tomer Frankel holds the No. 8 seed, senior Gabriel Fantoni owns the No. 13 seed, senior Bruno Blaskovic has the No. 30 seed and senior Corey Gambardella secured the No. 47 seed.
Fantoni also holds the No. 8 seed in the 100-yard backstroke and the No. 12 seed in the 200-yard backstroke.
“Our focus this week is moving up from our seeding on the swimming side of the equation,” Looze said.
The men’s trio of senior Andrew Capobianco and the freshmen pair of Quinn Henninger and Carson Tyler all qualified for the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform dives. Capobianco heads into the NCAA Championships as the reigning NCAA Champion in the 3-meter dive and platform dive, and after becoming a 3-time gold medalist at the 2022 Big Ten Championships in February.
“We’re looking forward to a great week,” Johansen said. “Andrew is leading two of the country’s most talented freshmen to their first NCAA Championships.”
Junior Michael Brinegar owns the No. 9 seed in the 1,650-yard freestyle heading into the Championships. His best time in the event is 14:27.50, which he achieved on March 30, 2019.
Freshmen Rafael Miroslaw and Josh Matheny will make their NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships debut, with Matheny holding the No. 6 seed in the 200-yard breaststroke and Miroslaw representing Indiana with the No. 5 seed in the 200-yard freestyle. At the Big Ten Championships this season, Miroslaw won gold in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:32.17.
The Hoosier men last won the NCAA National Championship in 1973 with head coach James Counsilman, and will look to break that drought this week.