It was a record-setting season for the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving as swimmers and divers across both the men’s and women’s teams set and broke multiple records throughout the season. TCU showed strongly in all of their meets across late-2022 and early-2023, including top-3 finishes for both the men and women at the Big 12 Championships and the men’s team qualifying both swimmers and divers for the NCAA Championships held in March. Let’s recap their season and re-visit each of their meets from the prior season and postseason.
The teams kicked off their season in October in Austin at the Dust Your Boots Off Invitational, where Max Burman took home gold in the 300m and three TCU divers made the zone cut on both the 1 and 3-meter dives. After the initial competition, both men and women headed to Provo, Utah for the first official meet of the season at BYU, where David Ekdahl and Anna Kwong set school diving records right off the bat. All aspects of the Frogs swimming and diving looked in solid shape with multiple zone cuts made, although both lost in points to BYU with the women falling short 159-172 and the men falling 140-180.
The teams (Swimming and Diving) split up in November to participate in the swimming-only Art Adamson Invitation at Texas A&M while Diving participated in the SMU Invite in Dallas. The records kept falling as Raphael Paiva Da Lima swam the fastest time in school history in the men’s 50-yard freestyle, and the relay team of Rylee Moore, Claire Chahbandour, Jeanne Dahmen and Serena Gould beat the TCU school record in the women’s 400 medley relay out in College Station. The diving team also showed out in Dallas at SMU, as the men took home first place after topping runner-up Hawaii by 65 points while the women wrapped up a third place finish.
Another meet, another record dropped as the Frogs completed their final meet of 2022 at SMU. Geremia Freri once again set a TCU swimming record with his time in the 1000 freestyle of 9:06:34. TCU was solid across the board as the Men’s Team topped SMU in dominant fashion 207-93. Although the women’s team dropped their matchup with SMU 139.5-158.5, their meet came down to the final race and they showed out throughout other events in the day.
TCU started off 2023 with three meets out west: at Hawaii on Jan. 6 and 13, with a weekend visit to UCLA for the diving team Jan. 13-16. On Jan 6, TCU took control in the meet as they faced off with Hawaii, Air Force and Tulane and both men and women finished their matchups with each school 2-1. The Frogs made nine zone cuts and a highlight was Edgar Cicanci and Elliott Jones finishing 1-2 in the 100 backstroke.
The second weekend on Oahu coincided with the diving team’s showing at UCLA, where three Frogs made the finals and the success carried across the Pacific to the swimming team where TCU wrapped up their final away meet with nine event victories. The men’s team took home a handful of victories including the 1000 freestyle, 100 fly, 100 and 200 backstroke, 50 and 500 freestyle, as well as the 50 breaststroke, 200 fly, and the 400 free relay.
Both teams wrapped up their regular season in a split-event, Senior Day event at TCU. The women’s teams faced Iowa State, where they fell short 173-127. Although a loss, the women’s divers owned the competition, finishing 1-2-3. Additionally, the Horned Frog relay team performed strongly with first place finishes in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. The following day, TCU celebrated Senior Day for the men’s swimming and diving team as the Frogs dominated Missouri State 177-123. TCU won 13 of 17 possible events, including multiple 1-2 Frog finishes in 1 and 3-meter diving as well as the 200 backstroke.
After a strong regular season, especially for the men’s swimming and diving teams, both groups headed to Austin for the Big 12 Championships in late-February. Although the Longhorns swept first-place finishes for both the men and the women, TCU had podium spots for both teams as well. The men finished in third place (just 9 points out of second) while diver Alec Hubbard once again set a school record in diving during the Big 12 Championships with a score only two points out of first place. Additionally, the women’s relay team put an exclamation point on the weekend for the Frogs with a school record in the 400 freestyle relay and a second place finish in the hotly contested event.
After conference championship weekend, diving took the first spotlight in NCAA Diving Zones March 7-9. Alec Hubbard qualified for NCAA Nationals with his outstanding work off the platform and earning a seventh place finish to qualify. Although no TCU women divers qualified for nationals, Lauren Cey qualified for finals in the weekend and fell just short of making the invite to NCAA Nationals.
At the National Invitational Championships, TCU swimming made multiple podium appearances. Jeanne Dahmen, Olivia Rhodes, and Raphael Paiva Da Lima all stood on the podium for their respective races on the first day. The second day was highlighted by a historic performance from Claire Chahbandour, who broke her own standing TCU record in the 100 breaststroke and a third-place finish in the finals of the event. The men’s 800 freestyle relay team also completed a third place finish to cap off the second day. Geremia Freri was the highlight of day three with a program record in the men’s 100 IM and a third place finish in the men’s 200 breaststroke.
Finally, the men’s team concluded the season with a performance at the NCAA Championships in Minnesota in March. David Ekdahl competed against a top-50 diver in the nation and a score of nearly 300 in the 1m platform dive. Additionally, Alec Hubbard finished his diving event at 22nd, which is the best final position for a diver in TCU history.