Big Ten Champion Bence Szabados Returning To Michigan For COVID-19 Fifth Year


By Anya Pelshaw on SwimSwam

2024 Big Ten Champion in the 100 freestyle Bence Szabados has announced on Instagram that he will return to Michigan to use his COVID-19 fifth year during the 2024-2025 season.

Szabados competed for the Wolverines as an undergrad and finished up his season at NCAAs swimming in prelims of the 50 free (19th, 19.09) and 100 free (41st, 42.43). He swam on four of Michigan’s relays helping them score in three of them. The Michigan men finished 14th at NCAAs last week, higher than their 20th place finish from 2023.

In February, Szabados won his first Big Ten title winning the 100 free in a 42.09. He also was 2nd in the 50 freestyle swimming a 19.00, finishing 2nd in back-to-back seasons. Both swims were personal best times. He won the B final of the 100 free in a 46.05, another personal best.

Szabados scored 80 individual points at Big Tens, the 2nd most of the Michigan men. Only Gal Groumi scored more points with 92 total. Szabados was the team’s highest senior scorer by a large margin as the next highest-scoring senior was Ansel Froass who scored 35 points. The team went on to finish 3rd out of eight teams, finishing only behind Indiana and Ohio State.

Notably, his best finish at Big Tens during his freshman season was 12th in the 200 butterfly as he swam a 1:46.32 for 12th then. He hasn’t swam the 200 fly at a championship meet since then, instead, swimming the 50 free on day one instead of competing in the 100 free and 200 fly on the final day of a championship meet.

Time Progression:

Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
50 free 20.51 19.25 19.05 19.00
100 free 43.39 42.60 42.60 42.09
100 fly 47.34 46.25 46.40 46.05

Szabados will be pursuing a Master of Management from the Ross School of Business. He told SwimSwam, “Once I was accepted it was an opportunity that was really hard to say no to as it’s one of the best business schools in the country. On top of that, Matt and the new coaches have made a lot of really great changes within the program, both from a performance and culture standpoint. The vibes at practice were so great this past year and I wanted to continue to experience that as well as be a part of rebuilding the program and getting Michigan back to where it should be.”

SwimSwam: Big Ten Champion Bence Szabados Returning To Michigan For COVID-19 Fifth Year

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