At AAC Championships, Houston Women Win Fifth Straight, SMU Men Get First

Men's Champion SMU; Photo Courtesy: Ron Jenkins/American Athletic Conference

Mykenzie Leehy and Ioanna Sacha shared Most Outstanding Swimmer honors as Houston won its fifth consecutive AAC Championships meet Saturday.

SMU won its first title, the fourth different team to claim the men’s AAC Championships crown, by outpacing Cincinnati, the only other team in the meet. Both schools – Daniel Forndal of SMU and Michael Balcerak – had swimmers deemed Most Outstanding by the conference.

AAC Championships

Full Results


  • 1. University of Houston 1009
  • 2. Southern Methodist University 753.5
  • 3. University of Cincinnati 732.5
  • 4. Tulane University 617


  • 1. Southern Methodist University 1304
  • 2. University of Cincinnati 1089

On the four-team women’s side, Houston swept all five relays in a dominant performance. Sacha won the 100 backstroke, 200 back and 200 individual medley, repeating as champion in both. She also led off both winning medley relays, including the 400 that set a meet record. Also on those two relays was Katie Higgins, winner of the 100 butterfly.

Leehy dominated freestyle, repeating as champion in the 50, 100 and 200. She anchored the 400 medley and 800 free relays and swam on the 200 free relay. Laura Garcia Marin swam on two winning relays to go with a pair of runner-up individual finishes. Kathryn Power was also on three winning relays to go with three top-three finishes (second in the 100 free, second in the 50 and third in the 100 back).

Cincinnati got a pair of wins from Matea Sumajstorcic in the 500 and 1,650.

Tulane’s Kate McDonald won a pair of individual crowns, capturing the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke.

SMU got a win from Olivia Grossklaus, who repeated as 200 fly champion.

On the men’s side, the SMU men had fun rewriting the relay record books. They set pool records in the 400 medley (Forndal, Riley Hill, Caleb Rhodenbaugh and Jack Easton in 3:09.84), 800 free (Colin Feehery, Forndal, Tyler Mansheim and Wyatt Cronk in 6:25.50) and 400 free (Justin Baker, Forndal, Lance Butler and Charlie Kaye in 2:53.50).

Forndal won the 100 and 200 free and was the runner-up to Baker in the 50. Rhodenbaugh won the 200 breast in a pool/meet record of 1:53.98. It was his second triumph, to go with the 100 breast crown, in a pool record 53.23. Feehery won the 200 IM in a meet record, won the 400 IM and was third in the 200 breast.

SMU swept the podium in all three diving events. Peter Smithson won three-meter and platform, with Parker Hardigree, winner of the one-meter, second.

Cincinnati nabbed an AAC Championships record in the 200 medley relay, with Blake Hanna, Dominic Polling, Balcerak and Hunter Gubeno going 1:25.54. Balcerak was the standout, winning the 500 free, 100 fly and 200 fly. Hanna won the 100 and 200 back and was second in the 200 IM.

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