AUSTIN, Tex.— Junior Kane Follows became the first University of Hawaii swimmer to be named an All-American since 2003 with his seventh-place finish in the 200 backstroke on the final day of the NCAA Championships at the Lee & Joel Texas Swimming Center on Saturday.
Follows narrowly made the cut for the NCAA championships as he qualified with a time of 1:41.51 in the MPSF Championships back in February. Entering the final day of competition, Follows ranked No. 36 in the 200 backstroke event, but in the preliminary round, he touched the wall at 1:39.15, breaking the UH school record and putting an end to a 16-year drought set by Cheyne Bloch. During the championship race, Follows finished with a time of 1:40.14 for seventh overall and is the highest finish for a UH swimmer in the NCAA Championships since 2000.
"Anyone that knows Kane won't be surprised by his swims today," said head coach Dan Schemmel. "He is an incredibly hard worker, and we were all just waiting for that breakout swim. We are super proud of him and look forward to him leading this team in and out of the pool for another year."
The historic day was not over for the Rainbow Warriors as junior Olli Kokko notched his second Honorable Mention All-American finish of the championships with a 15th place finish in the 200 breaststroke. Kokko is the first UH swimmer to become a two-time honorable mention in the same year since 2002, an honor also held by Cheyne Bloch.
Rounding out the final day was senior Metin Aydin placing at No. 23 overall in the 200 backstroke and senior Johan Sandell finishing at No. 41 in the platform dive.
As a team, UH tallied 17 points in the championships to finish at 29th overall. The 17 points are the highest point total for the program in over a decade in the national championships, with the last being when the 2008 squad accumulated a score of 33 points.