Matt Fallon Drops 1:50.28 A Cut in 200 Breast at Zippy Invitational

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Matt Fallon Drops 1:50.28 A Cut in 200 Breast at Zippy Invitational

The University of Pennsylvania’s Matt Fallon booked his spot at NCAAs Saturday with an A cut in the 200 breaststroke at the Zippy Invitational.

Fallon won all three of his individual events at the site of his coming out party last season. He also contributed to three of the team’s four relay wins, as Penn brought home both the men’s team title by outdueling Ivy League rival Cornell and 11 NCAA B cuts to go with Fallon’s A cut.

The host Akron won the women’s meet, with Buffalo and Penn following.

In amongst the Division I schools, NAIA power Keiser University set three NAIA records, all on the men’s side of the draw.

Zippy Invitational Team Scores

Men’s

  1. Penn 2095.5
  2. Cornell 1879.5
  3. Oakland 1536
  4. Keiser 1413
  5. Clarion 764

Women’s

  1. Akron 1835
  2. Buffalo 1647
  3. Penn 1511.5
  4. Oakland 1291.5
  5. Cornell 1137
  6. Keiser 578
  7. Clarion 446

Fallon also won the 200 individual medley, setting a meet record and getting an NCAA B cut of 1:43.63. He bested the field in the 100 breast with a B cut of 52.00 seconds. He was faster in both breaststroke events last season – 51.45 in the 100, 1:49.71 in the 200 – to secure meet records along with a record time in the 400 IM last year at of 3:46.43.

Fallon also swam breaststroke on Penn’s winning 200 and 400 medley relays. (The former required a rally by anchor leg Benjamin Feldman, who went 19.30 on the end to overcome Oakland. The latter dashed an Oakland school-record swim with Penn setting its program record in 3:09.40.) Fallon had the fastest split on the 800 free relay at 1:35.56 as they also set a meet record at 6:28.24.

The 400 IM remained in Penn’s hands this year, in the most dramatic fashion. Teammate Jason Schreiber and Kevin Keil tied the gold medal, both posting a time of 3:49.45. That is under the NCAA consideration standard. Penn also picked up third thanks to Daniel Gallagher. Kiel was part of the 800 free relay win, Schreiber finished second to Fallon in the 200 breast with a B cut time and Gallagher was second in the 200 back with a B cut behind teammate James Curreri. Third in the breaststroke podium sweep was Neil Simpson, who was also third in the 200 IM.

After his anchor turn on the 200 medley relay, Feldman brought home the 400 medley relay and swam second on the 200 free foursome. He won the 50 free in 19.83 seconds, just .01 off a B cut, and obtained a B cut with a meet-record time of 46.79 in the 100 butterfly. He tied the meet record in the 100 free with a time of 43.66, seven with the swim delivered nine years ago by Viacheslav Shchukin of St. Bonaventure.

Andrew Dai, who rallied the 200 free relay to victory with a 19.72 split, turned around and won the 200 fly in a meet record/B cut of 1:45.95. He also finished third in the 100 fly. Jack Hamilton, the leadoff on both medley relays and the 200 free foursome, was second in the 100 back. Jack Williams and Cody Hopkins went 1-2 in both diving events. Michael Foley was the mile runner-up.

After being foiled twice on anchor legs, Oakland finally got its victory in the concluding 400 free relay. The foursome of Samuel McKenzie, Christian Bart, Charlie Brown and Marko Khotynetskyi set the meet record in 2:55.49 to beat Penn by a relatively wide margin of 1.44 seconds.

McKenzie won the 200 free, in a Zippy Invitational record 1:35.70 that was also an NCAA B cut and in a 1-2 finish with teammate Jonas Cantrell, then finished third in the 100 free, a spot behind Bart. Bart was also second in the 50 free and third in the 100 breast. Khotynetskyi won the 100 back with a B cut time. Cantrell was third in the 500 free.

Keiser picked up wins in both distance events via freshman Aaron Wilmes. He set a meet record in the mile in 15:13.49 after having won the 500 in 4:25.52. That first time downs the NAIA record, nearly five seconds faster than the 15:18.39 that Joel Thatcher of Savannah College of Art and Design went in 2017 (15:18.39). The 500 free time is a school record.

Fellow frosh Noah De Geus finished second in the 100 breast and third in the 50 free. His time of 52.66 in the shorter event is the new standard in the NAIA, downing the 53.06 set in 2009 by Bryan Haile of California Baptist. Alex Kusik’s fourth-place time of 1:47.45 in the 200 IM chipped a tenth of a second off the NAIA record in that event, which had belonged to David Hibberrd of Simon Fraser University since 2011.

Alberto Garcia was second in the 100 fly, third in the 100 back and fourth in the 50 free. Garcia set school records in the 100 fly (47.11) and 100 back (47.78). His time of 1:38.39 off the front of the 800 free relay is a school record, as was the foursome’s final time of 6:34.15.

Cornell’s depth accrued the bulk of its points, despite not getting a victory. Chris Kostelni came closest, just over a second in arrears of Wilmes in the 500. He was also third in the mile. Sebastian Wolff was Fallon’s runner-up in the 200 IM with a B cut, and Alberto Garciafinished second in the 200 fly with teammate Jacques Grove a spot back. Soodong Kim was third in both diving events.

On the women’s side of the Zippy Invitational, Akron’s win was borne out in its relay dominance. The Zips took home all five relays on the women’s side, with Madelyn Gatrall on all five squads and Abby Daniel on four. The 400 medley relay was home to the swim of the meet, courtesy of Gatrall, who led off in 51.84. That downs the Akron pool record, the Zips’ school mark and the Mid-American Conference record. It’s a quarter-second faster than the 52.10 set in 2019 by Akron’s Sadie Fazekas. Gatrall went a hundredth slower in 51.85 to win the 100 back event.

Gatrall won the 50 free – in 22.52, with Daniel third, both in NCAA B cuts – and the 200 back. Both backstroke swims were 1-2 finishes with teammate Weronika Gorecka.

Daniel won the 100 fly, was second in the 200 IM (both in B cuts) and posted the third-fastest time in prelims of the 100 free before scratching it to win the 200 fly in a B-cut time. Andrea Fischer won the 200 breast after finishing second in the 100 breast. Teammate Madeline Dyer took third in both. Rachel Sabotin landed third in the 200 IM, 100 fly and 200 fly. Rachel Schiffli finished second in the 100 free.

Oakland star Susan LaGrand reset her school records in the 200 IM and the 200 back. She set the Zippy Invitational record by clocking in at 1:57.33 in the former. The latter saw her finish third in the individual event after having booked a B cut of 1:53.37 in a time trial. She also won the 400 IM in a B cut of 4:15.49 and claimed third in the 100 back.

Jordyn Shipps (100 fly) and Taylor Bailey (200 breast) added runner-up finishes for the Grizzlies, the latter with an NCAA consideration time.

Penn did damage with its distance contingent. Anna Kalandadze led the Quakers to the top four spots in the 500 free with her B cut of 4:42.45. Second was Anna Moehn, who was also fourth in the 400 IM. Third was Catherine Buroker, followed by Sydney Bergstrom. Kalandadze (16:07.95), Buroker and Bergstrom swept the mile podium, the first two getting NCAA consideration times. Kalandadze was also third in the 200 free, and Vanessa Chong was the 200 fly runner-up.

Buffalo picked up wins on each of the last two days. Katie Pollock won the 100 breast in 1:00.92. Toni Naccarella, who had been second in the 50 and 200 free, won the 100 free in 48.94. Both are NCAA B cuts. Buffalo’s Tori Franz edged Paige Kalik of Akron in both diving events.

Cornell’s Melissa Parker won the 200 free, blasting a second off the school record to finish in 1:47.13, just .01 off a B cut.

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