After winning the 50 freestyle finals at the 2023 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships Thursday evening, overnight sensation Jordan Crooks has stamped himself as the fastest swimmer in the world for collegiate athletes.
The 20-year-old had the slowest reaction time (+.74) off the blocks not only in the ‘A’ final but of all 16 finalists. However, he still managed to comeback and touch the wall in 18.32 seconds ahead of Josh Liendo, 18.40, and Bjorn Seeliger, 18.67, to win gold.
The Tennessee sophomore entered the 50 free final at the most significant sporting event for collegiate athletes in America as the top seed after putting down a time of 18.25 seconds in the prelims.
Prior to that, he, along with teammates Björn Kammann, Michael Houlie and Gui Caribe clocked a 1:21.59 in the 200-medley relay to earn sixth and All-America first team honors at Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
The win marks Crooks’ first NCAA title. Last year, he tied for third in 18.60, and now he’s on the top step of the podium as a sophomore. He is now only the second man from Cayman to win a NCAA Division I Championships title after track-and-fielder Kareem Streete-Thompson.
- Jordan Crooks, Tennessee: 18.32
- Josh Liendo, Florida: 18.40
- Bjorn Seeliger, Cal: 18.67