As fans of Penn swimming and diving scanned the names of those invited to the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s swimming and diving championship in Minneapolis next week, they might have been surprised by one name missing from the list.
The Daily Pennsylvanian has learned that Matt Fallon, a first-team All-American and Ivy League Championship record holder in the 200-yard breaststroke, will reportedly miss this year's event due to an undisclosed injury. In his freshman season, Fallon turned heads — finishing third in the 200 breast at the NCAA championships. Now in his sophomore season, he currently holds the fourth-best time in the country for the event.
There was high anticipation for Fallon who just this summer posted the seventh fastest time in U.S. history for the 200 breast. In January, he won seven straight events and earlier in the year, posted an NCAA A-cut time for the 200 breast, meaning he would automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Fallon’s third place finish in the 200 breast at the Ivy League Championships raised some eyebrows after a stretch of such consistent dominance. His time was over three seconds slower than his season best from November, although it is worth noting that the Ivy Championships were nearly a month before the NCAA championships.
Despite Fallon’s absence, Penn will still be sending senior Anna Kalandadze to Knoxville, Tenn. for the NCAA Division I women’s swimming and diving championships from March 15-18.
Kalandadze qualified for both the 1650-yard and 500-yard freestyle. She will be looking to cap off her already impressive season that includes two individual Ivy titles in both events and a program record in the 1650 free.
From last year's NCAA championships, Kalandadze has shaved off nearly 40 seconds from her time in the 1650 free and over eight seconds from the 500 free. Her 15:53.88 finish in the 1650 free is currently sixth fastest in the nation. In Knoxville, Kalandadze will try to defend Penn’s national title in the 500 free won last year by Lia Thomas.
Despite no one traveling to Minneapolis to represent the men's squad, Kalandadze keeps Penn's hopes of a NCAA championship title alive.