Szaranek Heads Brits at Men’s NCAA Champs

At a very fast meet, which saw several American records broken in the 25 yard pool, Carnegie’s Mark Szaranek, was the standout British swimmer in action at the men’s NCAA division 1 championships which took place in Atlanta last week. Swimming for Florida, Szaranek contributed 22 individual points and had a hand in 123 more from relays as the Gators swam to a third placed finish overall.

The meet started well for the young Scotsman as he anchored Florida’s’ 800 free relay team to third place, and he then went on to add a 6th place finish in the 200y IM in 1:41.59 and a win in the 400y IM B final. Further relay contributions came in the 200y medley team which finished 4th and the 400y free team which made the podium in third. A busy few days also saw him narrowly miss the B final of the 200y fly.

Mark Szarnek was a key contributor for Florida

Also in the Florida squad was Nottingham Leander’s Jack Blyzinskyj, whose individual high point was a 4th place in the B final of the 100y backstroke. He also led off the 200y medley relay team that finished 6th and anchored the 200y freestyle team to 4th place. Those contributions helped Florida hold off North Carolina for third overall behind Texas, who took a dominant victory and runners up Cal.

Earlier in the season at the SEC conference meet Szaranek had been overshadowed by his GB compatriot Joe Patching, but this time he was able to best the Auburn swimmer. Patching finished behind Szaranek in the B final of the 400y IM and was equal 3rd in the B final of the 200y IM. Surprisingly he missed out on a finals swim in the 200y backstroke, something he would have expected on form, but he showed up well in the relays, anchoring the 800y freestyle team to 8th place and swimming on the 400 medley relay team that was second in the B final.

Other British representation came from James Peek, of Duke, who got an evening swim in the B final of the 200y medley relay, and also swam the 400y medley relay and the individual 50y free. Daniel Speers of Millfield, swam a full complement of freestyle relays for Notre Dame in his first taste of NCAA action, while Jack Smith anchored the 200y freestyle and medley teams from Iowa.

Full results are available here

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