Utah's Breakthrough: Pioneering a New Era in Collegiate Open Water Swimming at the MPSF Open Water Championships

Utah’s Breakthrough: Pioneering a New Era in Collegiate Open Water Swimming at the MPSF Open Water Championships

The University of Utah’s swim teams delivered an unforgettable performance at the MPSF Open Water Championships, achieving a remarkable sweep of the inaugural team titles. The event took place on October 21, 2023, at Marine Stadium in Long Beach, California, setting the stage for a historic day in Utah swimming history.

The women’s team amassed an impressive 208 points, eclipsing their nearest competitors, San Jose State University, by a substantial margin. The men’s team followed suit with 190 points, topping the leaderboard over California Baptist University and other contenders.

Utah’s Cameron Daniell won the women’s 5K with a time of 59:39, marking a significant personal and season milestone. Not far behind, Abby Pope and Milla Ruthven secured the second and third spots, illustrating the depth and dominance of the Utah team.

On the men’s side, the 5K race saw Dylan Becker and Tomas Chocholaty make a splash, securing the second and third places with times of 55:04 and 55:07, respectively. Their performances set a strong precedent for the races to follow.

In the relays, Utah’s men’s and women’s teams outpaced the competition, with the men’s team completing the 2000-meter relay in a swift 24:01 and the women’s team in 26:07. These victories were not just about fast times; they were a testament to the team’s cohesion and relentless training.

“We were incredible today,” said associate head coach Michele Lowry.

“We took home team championships for both men and women and the team had incredible energy and so much support for one another. Open water is a totally different beast and the Utes performed incredibly. I am so proud of each and every one of them. We are hopeful the NCAA will recognize that there is strong support to add open water to the swimming lineup and we will be able to race more in the future.”

The success at the MPSF Open Water Championships is not just a feather in the cap for the University of Utah but also a ripple effect that could influence the broader swimming community and the NCAA’s recognition of open water swimming as a competitive collegiate sport.

Final Standings:


1 Utah–208
2 San Jose State University–120
3 Grand Canyon–93
4 Fresno State–89
5 San Diego State–76
6 University of San Diego–75
7 California Baptist University-64
8 Loyola Marymount University–39
9 University of the Pacific–22
10 Whittier College–6
11 Pepperdine University–2


1 Utah–190
2 California Baptist University–140
3 Grand Canyon–103
4 UC Santa Barbara–100
5 Whittier College–84
6 University of the Pacific–46

2023 MPSF Champions:

Men’s 5K:

Mark Kovacsics-Cal Baptist (54:58)

Women’s 5K:

Cameron Daniell-Utah (59:39)

Men’s 2000-Meter Relay

Utah (24:01)

Women’s 2000-Meter Relay

Utah (26:07)

MPSF Championship Complete Results