Reigning champion Texas looks tough as nails heading into Men’s NCAA Swimming Championships. As mentioned previously, Texas doesn’t have much of a “conference” meet which is exactly why they tend to score far more points than seeded with. It also doesn’t hurt that they have the best coach in the history of swimming.
California, NC State, Indiana, and Florida will most likely be swimming for 2nd and 3rd place overall but anything is possible. Big name swimmers will miss out on Finals and Consols. Relays will be disqualified. Diving points count.
It comes down to great morning swims and even better relay swims.
After visiting NC State a couple months ago, it’ll be interesting to see how they perform. They are finally in a position to be on multiple individual podiums, win multiple relays, and perhaps even the whole enchilada. Eight of their guys didn’t shave or rest for ACC’s — that’s basically the entire core of the team, including all the relay players. Andreas Vazaios, their 2nd semester Greek Olympian addition, is the real deal. He can be put on any relay and can cover 3 of the 4 strokes. Need a backstroke lead off? No sweat. Vazaios dropped a 45.32 on the 4MR at ACC’s. He’s also been 49.1 LCM on a relay.
Cal has a 2nd semester addition themselves: Zheng Quah of Singapore who popped off a 1:40.36 in the 200 Fly in an exhibition swim. He’s another guy they can throw on multiple relays — he’s been 49.7/1:49.4 flat start long course freestyles and 52.0 100 Fly. It’ll be interesting to see where they use him and how he executes.
The events I’m most excited about? The 50/100/200 Freestyle for obvious reasons. Will we see the first 17, 39, or 1:29? Will stud freshman Dean Ferris (Harvard) and Cameron Craig (Arizona State) be able to pull out a victory in the 200 over defending Townley Haas?
How many records will go down? It seems they all have a chance…okay, perhaps not the 100 Breast. The women broke 8 NCAA records last week but I expect to see 10 on the Men’s side of things.
Men’s NCAA Swimming Championships will follow suit and show exactly why it’s the fastest meet on the planet: it’s all about TEAM.