2017 M. NCAA 100 Breast Preview: Will Licon Beat Out Schwingenschlogl?



  • NCAA: 50.04 3/28/2014 Kevin Cordes, Arizona
  • American: 50.04 3/28/2014 Kevin Cordes, Arizona
  • U. S. Open: 50.04 3/28/2014 Kevin Cordes, Arizona
  • Championship: 50.04 3/28/2014 Kevin Cordes, Arizona
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Fabian Schwingenschlogl, Missouri

With eight swimmers in the field already under 52 this season, the 100 breaststroke is already shaping up to be a faster, tighter, and more exciting race than it was in 2016.

In large part, the heightened excitement comes from Texas and Big 12 record-holder Will Liconwho will be making his NCAA Championship debut in the event. After three seasons of choosing to take on the 400 IM on Saturday instead, to great success (winning the event in 2015 and scoring a silver medal behind soon-to-be-Olympian Josh Prenot in 2016), Licon will close out his college career with a schedule shake-up.

Just last month, Licon dropped a second and a half from his previous best SCY time in the 100 breast. He time trialed for 51.15 at Big 12 Championships, a time fast enough to boost him to the eighth-fastest swimmer in history in the event.

But, to take the title, Licon will have to hold off defending champion Fabian Schwingenschlogl, who became the first University of Missouri swimmer to win an NCAA title in program history last season with his 51.29. Schwingenschlogl has only gotten faster in the past year, putting up a 51.07 at the Mizzou Invite that ranks him as the fifth-fastest swimmer in history. With both at the top of their game this season and hungry for an NCAA title to close out their college careers, the pair of seniors will be the swimmers to watch.

However, after Licon and Schwingenschlogl, the field gets incredibly close. Last season, it took 51.53 to win the event. This time around, the top seven swimmers come in seeded underneath that time, with only two tenths of a second separating third from eighth seed. In fact, the field contains nine of the top twenty swimmers of all time.

Returning from last season’s A final will be Tennessee junior Peter StevensLouisville junior Carlos ClaverieSouth Carolina’s Nils Wich-Glasen, and Virginia Tech’s Brandon Fiala

Stevens is the defending silver medalist in this event, but, this time around, he comes in seeded 25th. However, don’t count him out. He went 51.9 at SECs last month in prelims, but was disqualified for a dolphin kick motion at the finish. His lifetime best, however, is a 51.51 from last year’s NCAA prelims.

Virginia Tech’s Fiala, who finished fourth, also has a good chance at the top eight, after knocking out 51.50 in ACC prelims last month and holding consistent with 51.51 in finals. Claverie tied Fiala for fourth last season at NCAAs with 52.14, and this time around, his season-best is a 52.05 from ACCs. He will have to drop a chunk of time to make it onto podium this time around.

Meanwhile, South Carolina’s 2016 7th-place finisher Wich-Glasen has a slightly better shot at making it back into the championship final, after improving to 51.58 at SECs last month.

Auburn senior and 2016 B finalist Michael Duderstadt has also been 51.50 this season. He outswam both Wich-Glasen and Schwingenschlogl to take the SEC conference championship in this event last month.

But, it is last year’s B finalist sophomore Ian Finnerty of Indiana who comes in seeded ahead of all these veterans. Finnerty comes into NCAAs third with his 51.38 that won him the Big Ten conference title last month. Last time around in 2016, Finnerty came into NCAAs with a 51.75, only to swim 52.60 in prelims and 54.43 in finals.

Duke senior Peter Kropp should also been in the mix, coming in off a 51.46 personal best that won him second place at ACCs.

1 Will Licon Texas 51.15 (2) 51.15
2 Fabian Schwingenschlogl Mizzou 51.07 (1) 51.07
3 Carsten Vissering USC 51.45 (4) 51.45
4 Ian Finnerty Indiana 51.38 (3) 51.38
5 Peter Kropp Duke 51.46 (5) 51.46
6 Peter Stevens Tennessee 52.56 (25) 51.51
7 Brandon Fiala Virginia Tech 51.50 (7) 51.50
8 Michael Duderstadt Auburn 51.50 (6) 51.50

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Ian Finnerty swims for Indiana.

Bay City Tex

Will is such a classy person. I hope he wins both breaststrokes and the 200 IM. Murphy vs. Will in the IM might determine swimmer of the meet, unless Caleb win the 100 fly.


Murphys guaranteed to win the 100 and 200 back and has a chance to break the 100 back record multiple times


Ian swims for IU, not USC.

John Murray out of retirement to touch out Peter Pan Kropp for the win


God, I miss John Murray! I miss anxiety before each start – will he DQ? I miss him swimming all 4 strokes in 200 MR. I miss his stare and his energy on the deck. I miss watching his Mom, one of few people bigger Psycho Parent than I am. I feel emotional now.

Peter Davis

Remember, whenever you think you are safe, psychodad is out there watching your mom

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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