Swimmer 4th in backstroke
As the only representative from the Eastern Michigan University men’s swimming team, senior Jacob Hanson placed the highest among mid-major swimmers in the 200-yard backstroke final at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., this past weekend.
Hanson finished in fourth place in 1 minute, 39.87 seconds.
“It was awesome,” Hanson said. “I couldn’t be happier of how my collegiate career ended.”
Though he competed alone, his teammates were on hand to cheer him on.
“I was absolutely going nuts during his race,” EMU freshman swimmer Audra Burtch said. “No one in the history of NCAA has ever finished that high from a mid-major school. I couldn’t be prouder to have him as a teammate and to call myself an Eagle.”
University of Wisconsin sophomore Andrew Teduits went on to win the race in 1:38.27, and earned the school’s first NCAA title since Fred Westphal won the 50 freestyle with a 22.3 in 1959.
Stanford University sophomore David Nolan raced to second in 1:39.31, while University of
California-Berkeley freshman Jacob Pebley put up a strong time of his own with a third-place effort of 1:39.71.
On day one, Hanson finished 32nd in the 200 individual medley preliminary, touching the wall in 1:45.75.
It was good enough to qualify for the finals.
On day two in the 100 backstroke preliminary, Hanson touched the wall in 46.89, enough for 22nd.
When asked about how it felt to have members of the team there to support him, Hanson said it was “awesome.”
“Last year it was so far in Seattle, it was just me,” Hanson said. “But to see the Eastern flag when I was done and have some Michigan supporters there meant a lot to me.”
The event was held from March 28-30 at the IU Natatorium.
The University of Michigan, a team EMU lost to in a dual meet on Jan. 11 with 196-133, won the 2013 National Championship and their 12th NCAA title.
Burtch’s brother, University of Louisville senior Alex Burtch, was part of a quartet that finished fourth in the 400 freestyle relay.
A total of 270 student-athletes competed in the championships (235 swimmers and 35 divers).
The event concludes the season for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.
ESPNU will carry a 90-minute special on the men’s championships on April 10 at 7 p.m.
Follow me on Twitter @EasternEchoGeno.