Rachel Street

Klotz Sets New Deaf WR, Celaya-Hernandez Takes 4th

Chris Heigle
Chris Heigle
Communications Student Assistant

BATON ROUGE – The LSU swimming and diving team had impressive swims and dives across the board during the first day of competition at the Art Adamson Invitational and UT Diving Invitational. The day was highlighted by a new deaf world-record courtesy of Matt Klotz and a fourth-place finish on one-meter springboard by Juan Celaya-Hernandez.

There were impressive performances throughout the night for the Tigers at the Art Adamson Invitational. Both the men and women are in second place. The women have 201.5 points while the men have 197.

“As a whole I think we pieced together a good first day,” explained swimming head coach Dave Geyer. “Our women in the 500 free put together some races to get their teammates excited, and we carried momentum from there into the other individual events. Between the preliminaries and finals the men showed some great progress as well.”

Junior Matt Klotz was the highest placed finisher on the men’s side, swimming the 50-yard freestyle in 19.77 seconds to finish in fourth place. With that swim, Klotz broke his own deaf-world record and is the first deaf swimmer to swim the 50-yard freestyle in under 20 seconds. That time also cracks the all-time list, as Klotz now has the ninth fastest time in school history.

Klotz had broken the world-record in the preliminaries as well, touching the wall at 19.82 seconds to reach the A-Final.

Matt Klotz setting his new deaf world record in the 50 free was a great performance for him as he has a hunger to really prove himself in that event this year,” said Geyer.

Fellow junior Karl Luht was right behind Klotz, finishing in fifth with a time of 20.19 seconds. 

Tyler Harper won the C-Final at 20.65 seconds, and Jack Jannasch and Trent Schachter swam personal-best times of 20.84 and 21.13 seconds, respectively.

Senior Thomas Smith was the other A-Finalist for the men in the 200-yard IM. Smith claimed seventh overall with a time of 1:47.55.

Luca Pfyffer also won the B-Final with a personal-best time of 1:47.18.

Thomas Smith had a solid IM in the morning to grab a finals spot,” said Geyer.

The men started and finished the finals with bronze medals in the 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay.

Klotz, Luht, Lewis Clough, and Jannasch teamed up for the 200-yard freestyle relay and swam a 1:19.48, while Luht, Clough, and Klotz were joined by Luca Pfyffer to swim a 3:12.33 in the 400-yard medley relay.

The women’s side was highlighted by Haylee Knight’s win in the 50-yard freestyle.

Knight won the A-Final by half a second and earned an NCAA ‘B’-Cut in the process.

Knight was followed by Summer Spradley, who claimed bronze, touching the wall at 22.94 seconds. Helen Grossman, Leyre Casarin, and Katie Smith all set new personal-best times as well, coming in at 23.16, 23.30, and 23.78 seconds, respectively.

“Haylee showed some consistency in her swims and made a slight adjustment in her finals swim to give her a little edge for the win,” explained Geyer.

In the 500-yard freestyle, Lexi Daniels cracked the all-time list, swimming the fifth-fastest time in school history, coming in 10th place with a time of 4:49.26.

Tennyson Henry, Kit Hanley, and Alyssa Helak all set personal-best times throughout the day in the 500-yard freestyle, touching the wall at 4:50.56, 4:55.25, and 4:55.29, respectively.

Nicole Rozier came in under two minutes at 1:59.93 in the 200-yard IM preliminaries to reach the A-Final, where she finished eighth overall.

Brittany and Lauren Thompson also set new personal-bests in the B-Final with times of 2:01.43 and 2:02.55 to finish 10th and 13th overall, respectively.

“Nicole did her job in the preliminaries for her finals spot, and the Thompson sisters had nice drops in their IM’s there too,” said Geyer. 

In the relays, Knight, Grossman, Casarin, and Spradley took silver in the 200-yard freestyle relay, with a time of 1:31.06, while Kate Zimmer, Knight, Grossman, and Spradley took bronze in the 400-yard medley relay, coming in at 3:35.87.

“The 400-medley relay was two seconds faster than we were at SEC’s last year, so I’m excited about that,” said Geyer.

At the UT Diving Invitational, Juan Celaya-Hernandez competed against some of the top divers in the nation, finishing fourth in both the preliminaries and finals of the men’s one-meter springboard. The three-time SEC champion finished the finals scoring 390.45.

“The men’s one-meter contest was really strong, featuring five of the top eight men in the country. Juan did a nice job, but was one miss away from contending for the win,” said diving head coach Doug Shaffer.

Senior Matt McClellan was one spot away from reaching the finals, coming in ninth overall after scoring 304.35. Dakota Hurbis and Matthew Phillip finished 12th and 18th overall with scores of 294.70 and 277.35, respectively.

On the women’s side, Lizzie Cui was the highest-placed finisher, coming in 14th overall after scoring 281.70.

Aimee Wilson came in 22nd overall, scoring 261.00, while Jolie Blodgett scored 230.50 to finish 28th overall.

“The length of the day really took its toll on the women,” explained Shaffer. “We had some very positive efforts but were not very sharp. The entire preliminary was shaky and we fell right in that hole. Lesson learned, and tomorrow is another day.”

The Tigers continue competition tomorrow, with events starting at 10 a.m.                                            

For more information and updates on LSU Swimming and Diving please visit LSUsports.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook at LSU Swimming and Diving or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @LSUswimdive.



50 free- Haylee Knight (22.29)


Order of Events:

(Art Adamson Invitational)


Thursday, November 15:

200 M Relay

400 IM

100 Fly

200 Free

100 Breast

100 Back

800 Free Relay

Prelims: 10:00 a.m.

Finals: 6:00 p.m.


Friday, November 16:


200 Back

100 Free

200 Breast

200 Fly

400 Free Relay

Prelims: 10:00 a.m.

Finals: 6:00 p.m.


UT Diving Invitational:


Thursday, November 15:

Men’s 3m

Women’s 1m

Start time: 11:00 a.m.


Friday, November 16:

Men’s/Women’s platform


Start time: 11:00 a.m.




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