Former USC, Peters swimmers complete All-American seasons
Former Upper St. Clair standout Fynn Minuth had an All-America season for the University of South Carolina men’s swim team. The sophomore earned the acclaim three times during the NCAA Division I Championships. He also shattered two school records during the meet held in Indianapolis.
Minuth finished fifth in the 500-yard freestyle. He broke his own school record in the event. His school record came in prelims, as he finished first with a time of 4:09.55, which broke the South Carolina record that the sophomore set at the SEC Championships.
The finish was Minuth’s career best at NCAAs after he only competed in the 800 freestyle relay last season.
Minuth finished 13th in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:42.05. He lowered his time of 1:45.10 in the prelims as well as the previous school record of 1:42.48, which was set by Nick Walkotten in 2009.
Minuth also earned All-America laurels with the 800-yard freestyle relay. The unit placed 13th at nationals, which were won by Texas. California, Florida and NC State and Stanford rounded out the top-five while the Gamecocks finished 15th as a team, their best overall result in 29 years.
Earlier in the season, during the SEC Championships, Minuth won the 500 free for his first conference title. He clocked a 4:11.07, just missing the SEC record by .34 seconds. He also captured the bronze medal in the 200 free. He posted a new personal record and school record in the event to finish third with a time of 1:33.67, just .49 seconds shy of first place.
Born in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany, Minuth attended Upper St. Clair High School, where he set seven school and seven pool records. The two-time state champion was a German Age Group Champion as well as a three-time runner-up at the national level.
The son of Mark Torsten and Britta Minuth has one brother, Ole, and one sister, Neele. Academically, he is majoring in finance and accounting at South Carolina.
Minuth was not the only local athlete experiencing success at nationals.
Kyle Higgins of McMurray closed out his collegiate career with a strong showing in his signature swim, the 200-yard butterfly. The Kentucky record holder in the event touched the wall with a time of 1:42.78, just off his school mark and finished 21st overall.
“So proud of Kyle and the career he had here at Kentucky,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “He has accomplished so much and had a great (national) meet.”
For Higgins, who is a member of the Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club, it was his third straight appearance in the NCAA Championships. He entered the meet as the No. 18 seed in the race with his qualifying time of 1:42.66. The senior also competed in the 500 free and the 100 fly, having posted B cuts in both.
A Peters Township High School product, Higgins has been a US Olympic Trials qualifier and semifinalist as well as a two-time SEC academic honor roll selectee during his collegiate career.