WKU Swimmer places at NCAA championships, earns All-American honors

Lucas Aulbach

A WKU swimmer pulled off a feat this weekend that hadn’t been accomplished since Olympic gold-medalist Claire Donahue wore the Topper red and white.

Junior swimmer Fabian Schwingenschlogl placed No. 20 in the 200 breast event at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday, putting a cap on the 2013-14 swimming and diving season at WKU.

His No. 8 performance in Friday’s 100 breast event earned him All-American honors, the first time a WKU swimmer has earned the award since Donahue in 2011.

Schwingenschlogl said while he was less than a second away from setting a personal record, he was pleased with the way he performed at the NCAA Championships, held at the University of Texas campus.

“To be eighth out of the top 10 in the nation is awesome,” he said. “I never expected that. It feels a little unreal.”

His feat is even more impressive considering his learning curve. Schwingenschlogl, who was named the Conference USA Male Swimmer of the Meet in the conference title meet earlier this month, was an accomplished swimmer in his home country of Germany before moving to America just three months ago.

He said he struggled to adjust to swimming in America, where races are measured in yards instead of meters, but his teammates and coaches helped him ease into his new role.

“It was a little different, but I learned it fast,” Schwingenschlogl said. “I didn’t expect that I’d swim so fast. I think the practice was good and the race against others helps me a lot.”