2015 M. NCAA Picks: Texas’ Strongest Event, 100 Fly, Features Title-Hungry Schooling and Conger

2015 NCAA MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS

100 BUTTERFLY

  • NCAA record: 44.18 — Austin Staab (Stanford) — 3/27/2009
  • American record: 44.18 — Austin Staab (Stanford) — 3/27/2009
  • U.S. Open record: 44.18 — Austin Staab (Stanford) — 3/27/2009
  • 2014 NCAA Champion: Marcin Cieslak, Florida (44.87)

Four seniors took the top four spots last year, while Texas Longhorns Tripp CooperJack Conger, and Will Glass took 5th through 7th. Coming in with the top two seeds are Conger (44.78) and Longhorn freshman Joseph Schooling (44.81), while Cooper (45.79) and Glass (45.96) are back at 5th and 12th, respectively.

Conger has had quite the year. He came to Texas with huge expectations after being so heavily recruited in high school, though he didn’t have the spectacular freshman season to live up to the hype. Nevertheless, he has proved his worth this year, highlighted by a new American record in the 200 butterfly in a Big 12 Championships time trial as well as dropping a 51.64 in the 100 meter butterfly at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin. IN JANUARY. It’s never easy to predict (it’s usually a guess) how tapered and shaved a swimmer is, but not only is that 51.64 an incredibly fast time on its own, it was done in January, in the thick of the NCAA season, after mid-season invites.

The Bolles’ swim program is one of the best in the nation, and Schooling was a part of multiple relays which broke national marks, two of which still stand (200 and 400 free relays). He is the fastest 100 butterflier, public or private, at the American high school level, to date. This year, he comes into the meet just three hundredths behind Conger, and both go into the meets with their seed times being their life time best times.

Another freshman set to make things interesting is Schooling’s former Bolles teammate Caeleb Dressel (Florida), who is primarily a sprint freestyler. Dressel broke 19 seconds with a flat start in high school, which was one of many big swims that made him a coveted recruit. He won the SEC Championships with a time of 45.28, which was a personal best. While Dressel’s bigger races may lie in the 50 and 100 freestyle, where he is the 2nd seed behind Kristian Gkolomeev (Alabama), he is flirting with the 45 second barrier. Tom Shields‘ 17-18 NAG record sits at 44.91, and Dressel doesn’t turn 19 until August.

After Conger, Schooling, and Dressel, the fourth seed (Matt McHugh, OSU) and the 12th seed (Glass, Texas) are separated by just 21 hundredths. That’s a lot of talent bunched up. Of these nine swimmers, only four have ever made finals in this event: Cooper, Glass, Sam Lewis (UNC), and Seth Stubblefield (Cal). Lewis and Stubblefield are ranked 11th and 6th, respectively.

Two of the nine are USC Trojans, sophomore Santo Condorelli and freshman Ralf Tribuntsov. Condorelli has had a great season, capped off by 2nd place finishes in the 50 and 100 free as well as the 100 fly at the Pac 12 Championships. Tribuntsov, who didn’t make much noise during the regular season, beat David Nolan in the 100 back, and placed 3rd in the 100 fly and 5th in the 100 free at Pac 12s. Getting both of them into the A final would be huge for the Trojans, who are looking to possibly challenge Cal and Texas in the top 3.

Two juniors sit at 45.92– Pedro Coutinho (Louisville) and Arthur Mendes (Auburn). Mendes just missed the B final last year with a 46.42 in prelims, while Coutinho was back at 28th (47.05). Both come back seeded at least three tenths faster than their seed times last year. Mendes was a 46.24 while Coutinho was a 46.58. These two have NCAA experience and will be looking to score as the top butterfliers on their respective teams.

TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

Swimmer Seed Best Time
Jack Conger 44.78 44.78
Joseph Schooling 44.81 44.81
Caeleb Dressel 45.28 45.28
Tripp Cooper 45.79 45.46
Seth Stubblefield 45.84 45.84
Matt McHugh 45.75 45.75
Arthur Mendes 45.92 45.92
Santo Condorelli 45.85 45.85

Dark Horse: Matt Ellis (Texas). The Longhorn butterfly group is no joke, and Ellis was tied for 13th last year. He threw down a 51.73 in the long course pool at U.S. Nationals, and if he can make that magic happen again at NCAAs, the top 8 should be no problem for him. 

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SamH

I definitely agree with the top 3 and their order. There could definitely be some shifting down below though.
As far as records and times go, I think Conger will win with 44.3, Schooling second 44.5, Dressel 44.75. Conger won’t get the record this year, next year I would be surprised if he wasn’t under 44.18.

As a Cal Bear fan, I hope Dressel can pull something off here for the win, but either way, TX is scoring big points here. I think you’re being a bit over-exuberant on the times though. I’m guessing 44.7 is as fast as any of these guys go this year and I’d be surprised if any of these guys go under 44.18 next season. I really thought Tom Shields would break the record at some point after pulling off a 44 second 100 fly freshman year. He never swam faster than 44.6 if I recall.

lane 0

It’ll be close, I may be a minority here but I’m picking Schooling for the win and I think he has a shot at the record but he has to be a 20.2 or 20.3 at the 50.
You’d think this would be a tin event this year with all the seniors last year but everyones really stepped it up.
my picks:
1. Schooling
2. Conger
3. Dressel
4. Cooper
5. Glass
6. Stubblefield
7. Ellis
8. Condorelli

dark horse: Kip Darmody
Darmody went 46.2 100 fly at the the same meet as a 46 mid 100 back, if he can get down to 45 low 100 back then his 100 fly could be something to watch.

Lane 1

The crazy thing is, I feel this is underestimating the longhorns by only putting three in the A-final. Ellis is a national team member in this event and Glass was in the A-final as a freshman. I guess we will see, who knows what Darmody/Murray can also go

LOLLERcoaster

Longhorss 5 up 1 down.

A final
Conger Schooling Cooper Ellis Glass
B final
Darmody

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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