Thyn Van Lier Switches from Basketball to Swimming; 1 Year Later He Commits to FAU

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Thyn Van Lier from Spring, Texas, has committed to swim at Florida Atlantic University beginning next fall. The 6’3” senior took up swimming again, after a four-year absence, during his junior year at The Woodlands High School; he added club swimming with Swim Streamline at Northampton at the end of 2021. Not quite a year later, in October 2022, he made a verbal pledge to Florida Atlantic for 2023-24.

Van Lier is still figuring out which events he will swim in college, but to give an example of his potential, he went from 1:03.68 in the 100 breast to 56.63 during his first year back in the pool. The only SCY events he has swum in the last 12 months are 50/100 free, 50/100 back, 100/200 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM. His first competitions, in late 2021, saw him dropping gobs of time – almost as if he had never taken a break and had just made steady improvements every year. He took 4.9 seconds off in the 50 free, 10.6 seconds in the 100 free, and 12.4 seconds in the 100 breast. In 2022, he tried a few more events and dropped 4.6 seconds in the 50 back, 14.2 seconds in the 100 back, 30.7 seconds in the 200 breast, 14.1 seconds in the 100 fly, and 20.6 seconds in the 200 IM.

Van Lier told SwimSwam, “I still haven’t had to option to explore many other events but I am looking forward to seeing what I can do in other events too!”

Currently, his best SCY times are:

50 free – 21.68
100 free – 49.81
50 back – 25.54
100 back – 53.40
100 breast – 56.63
200 breast – 2:17.60
100 fly – 53.45
200 IM – 2:00.59

FAU men placed second at the 2022 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships. Van Lier’s 100 breast time would have scored in the A final along with Enrique Prats Ruedi (runner-up, 55.55) and Will Henderson (fourth place, 56.19). While neither is back with the Owls this season, there is a robust breaststroke group in place led by senior Dalton Lillibridge, fifth-year Alec Peckmann, and sophomores Brett Sasser and Nick Shaffer.

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