The HardCoreSwim of the week goes to Jacob Molacek, who quietly opened his senior high school season last weekend, or perhaps not-so-quietly, with a lifetime best of 20.08 in the 50 yard free at the Metro Omaha Swim Team Swimfest meet.
He only swam two races on the weekend: that 50 free and a 400 IM just before it where he was also a lifetime best of 3:56.54 (a 17 second improvement).
That 50 free, though, is scary, just a week after he made his verbal commitment to Auburn. It’s a reminder that when we’re posting recruits and talking about how they’ll fit into their college teams, we’re comparing times from after their junior year, and for elite male swimmers like Molacek, we’d expect them to keep grinding through their senior year and get that much better.
It also implies that we’ll likely have another sub-20 second freestyler in this impressive recruiting class nationwide that already includes four who did it as juniors (Ryan Held, Caeleb Dressel, Paul Powers and Brett Ringgold).
You wouldn’t have to look too far back to find classes where sub-20 sprinters were rarer than that even coming out of their senior season. Take the class of 2011, for example, where only David Nolan and Tyler Messerschmidt did it. The class of 2010 had two as well, Vlad Morozov and TJ Leon (who, like Molacek, is an Auburn Tiger). The class of 2009 was a bit of an anomaly, with the suited years, but even then there were only three seniors sub-20.
Molacek is a relative newcomer in the eyes of most American swimming fans, but he’s come on with a fervor and a versatility that rivals that of the Jack Congers, Joseph Schoolings, and Caeleb Dressels of the world.
Watch Molacek’s senior year very closely. Hopefully we’ll see an opportunity for him to race multiple events on a full taper in the spring, and the result could be a very special resume of results.
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