Fordham Adds Maryland High School Medalist John Koebel for 2023


By Jack McCormick on SwimSwam

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A 2020 and 2021 Open Water Junior Nationals qualifier, John Koebel of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) has announced his college decision for this fall, committing to swim, as well as be a member of the ROTC, at Fordham University.

“I am thrilled to announce my verbal commitment to Fordham University! Fordham allows me to pursue my goals in the pool and in Open Water, while also allowing me to be member of Army ROTC. I would like to thank my family, friends, and coaches who helped me get there. Go Rams!”

As an open-water swimmer, Koebel has seen success at both the local and regional level. He has twice qualified for the Open Water Junior National Championships in the 7.5k, most recently finishing 19th in the event in 2021. He was also the 2022 17-18 5k champion in 2022.

In the pool, Koebel helped lead his high school, Loyola Blakefield High School, to a National Catholic Schools title in January of 2022. He competed in two individual events, taking 8th in both. He swam lifetime bests during prelims of both races, touching in 1:45.27 in the 200 free and 4:46.79 in the 500 free. He also anchored his team’s 200 free relay, splitting 21.98 to help his team take 5th in the event.

Koebel was also a two-event finalist at the MIAA A Swimming and Diving State Championships, coming home with a bronze medal in the 500 free. He finished with a time of 4:44.66, just a second back from second place. He also added a fifth-place finish in the 200 free (1:45.65). Loyola Blakefield finished second overall.

Top SCY Times

  • 200 free – 1:45.14
  • 500 free – 4:43.36
  • 1650 free – 16:08.63

Koebel is a huge addition to the Ram’s distance group, with times that will immediately make him one of the top athletes on the roster. Last season, he would have led the program in the 1650 by over thirty seconds and would have been the third fastest in the 500. His mile time would have been fast enough to earn him 15th at the 2022 Atlantic-10 Swimming and Diving Conference Championships.

Last season, Fordham finished 7th out of 8 teams at the conference championship meet. The team’s biggest individual contributor was current junior Alex Wilhelm, who finished in the A-final of both the 100 back and 200 IM. The Rams didn’t score points in either of the distance events last season.

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SwimSwam: Fordham Adds Maryland High School Medalist John Koebel for 2023

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