2016 M. NCAA Picks: Schooling, Conger Face Off With Dressel In 100 Fly

2016 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

100 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 44.18- Austin Staab (Stanford)- 3/27/2009
  • American Record: 44.18- Austin Staab (Stanford)- 3/27/2009
  • US Open Record: 44.18- Austin Staab (Stanford)- 3/27/2009
  • 2015 NCAA Champion: Joseph Schooling (Texas)- 44.51

After the Texas Longhorns put on a dominant showing at the 2015 NCAA Championships in the 100 fly placing 6 men in the top-8, it looks as though there will be a wider spread of teams represented in the championship final this year. Though the Longhorns look to have two of the top three spots locked up, they will be in tough to place anyone else in the A final with so many guys posting fast times so far this year.

After going 1-2 in both the 100 and 200 fly last year, the Texas duo of Joseph Schooling and Jack Conger find themselves in a similar position heading into this year. Schooling, a sophomore, leads the NCAA with his Big 12 winning time of 44.62, slightly off his 44.51 he went to win NCAAs last year and faster than the 44.81 he went at Big 12s in 2015. The NCAA record is 44.18 from Stanford’s Austin Staab set in 2009. Though Schooling still has some time to drop, it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Conger, a junior, will look to challenge Schooling in the final after coming just 0.04 short of the win last year when he went 44.55 to Schooling’s 44.51. Conger comes in ranked 3rd with his time of 45.19 from December, but if Schooling and Conger want to go 1-2 they’ll both have to get by one of the hottest swimmers in swimming.

Florida sophomore Caeleb Dressel comes in seeded 2nd after going 44.80 to win the SEC Championships, joining the elusive sub-45 club. Dressel is currently riding a wave of momentum after breaking NCAA and American records in the 50 free and the American record in the 100 free at SECs. This isn’t a new event for Dressel, as he won the consolation final last year after a poor morning swim. Dressel wasn’t able to match his SEC time at NCAAs in this event last year, but he has been on a whole new level this year and I think he’ll have an unbelievable meet. I don’t see him or anyone getting by Schooling, but I think Dressel will have too much speed for Conger and ultimately knock him down to 3rd.

After those three, there have been eight other guys who have broken 46 this year, and that’s what its going to take to earn a lane in the championship final. Logan Rysemus of LSU and Arthur Mendes of Auburn finished behind Dressel at SECs, both dipping below 46. Rysemus went 45.59 for 2nd, cracking the barrier for the first time. Mendes swam a personal best of 45.72 in prelims and then followed up with a 45.98 in finals for 3rd. Mendes was 16th in this event last year, while Rysemus didn’t even compete in this event. Both have a great chance to snag a top-8 spot.

At the Big Ten Championships Ohio State junior Matt McHugh and Indiana freshman Vinicius Lanza both threw down personal bests in the final, with McHugh going 45.46 for the win and Lanza finishing 2nd in 45.64. McHugh, who was 7th in last years NCAA final, comes in ranked 4th in the NCAA and will look to breakup the perennial top three of Schooling, Dressel and Conger. Lanza, who hails from Brazil, didn’t start swimming yards until this season. He came in with a long course best of 53.02 which roughly converts to a 46.5 in yards, but he has proved to be even better than that. His two sub-46 swims from Big Ten’s show that there is a lot of good things to come from this young man, and that he is a real contender heading into first NCAAs.

Despite a relatively slow final at the conference championships, the Pac-12 still boasts plenty of talented 100 flyers who could contend at NCAAs. Cal sophomore Justin Lynch comes in ranked 6th with a 45.62, a time he swam at Pac-12 prelims before going 46.08 in the final to hang on for the win. After a disappointing 18th place finish last year, Lynch will look to make his way into the A-final this year. Lynch’s Cal teammate Long Gutierrez could also be a factor in this race, as he comes in ranked 10th with a time of 45.80. That was a best time for Gutierrez, who didn’t show his hand in this event at Pac-12s as he cruised the final in order to rest for the 200 free. With him entered in both events again here, we’ll most likely see him try and make the final in both and make decisions from there.

Along with Schooling and Conger, Texas still has many men who have a good chance at earning a second swim. Will Glass, Matt Ellis and John Murray all made the A final last year, and Brett Ringgold has had a great year. Glass comes in ranked 13th, Murray 21st, Ellis 23rd, and Ringgold 30th, signalling the championship final won’t be the dominant showing it was last year. The three who made the A final last year all went sub-46 to do so, and will need to get down there once again to have a chance to make the top-8.

The two other swimmers who have cracked 46 seconds this season are Sam Lewis (45.77) and Philipp Sikatzki (45.90). Lewis, a North Carolina senior, was the other non-Longhorn in last years A final along with Matt McHugh, and swam his 45.77 on the way to the ACC title. Sikatzki, a junior from Cleveland State, broke 46 for the first time at the recent Horizon League Championships, and will look to earn a second swim at his first NCAAs. Auburn sophomore Luis Martinez also comes in seeded under 46 with a time of 45.96, which is converted from his long course swim of 52.35 from Winter Nationals. His best yards time is 46.22 from SECs.

Top 8 Predictions

SWIMMER SCHOOL SEED BEST TIME
Joseph Schooling Texas 1st – 44.62  44.51
Caeleb Dressel Florida 2nd – 44.80  44.80
Jack Conger Texas 3rd – 45.19  44.55
Vinicius Lanza Indiana 7th – 45.64  45.64
Logan Rysemus  LSU 5th – 45.59  45.59
Matt McHugh Ohio St. 4th – 45.46 45.46
Sam Lewis UNC 9th – 45.77 45.60
Justin Lynch Cal 6th – 45.62  45.62

Dark Horse: Louisville senior Pedro Coutinho comes in seeded 14th with a time of 46.02 from the ACC Championships. If Coutinho, who placed 11th in this event last year, can improve on his best time of 45.84 in prelims, he has a shot at making the A final. 

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11 Comments on "2016 M. NCAA Picks: Schooling, Conger Face Off With Dressel In 100 Fly"

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Conger’s gonna take it

Irish Ringer

Yep, Schooling has peaked and will get 3rd.

I want Conger to win one this year badly, but that will not be in 100 fly. Schooling all the way. Hook’em!

SERIOUSLY would love to hear GMMs predictions on this race.

i think schooling goes 44.32
conger goes 44.48
dressel goes 44.63

but i’m also hoping one of them goes bananas and drops a 43… it would be tough, gotta drop half a second off best times but how i wish i could be there to see that one day, that roof would explode.

phelps swims 200 breast rio

I’ve got a good feeling about this one- 43!

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs, where he is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 11th season as a competitive swimmer.

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