2017 MEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 22 – Saturday, March 25
- IUPUI Natatorium – Indianapolis, IN
- Prelims 10AM/Finals 6PM (Eastern Time)
- Defending Champion: Texas (results)
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheet
- Live stream: Wednesday/Thursday Prelims & Finals, Friday/Saturday Prelims / Friday/Saturday finals on ESPN3
- Live Results
200 YARD FREESTYLE
- NCAA record: 1:30.46, Townley Haas (Texas) 2016
- American record: 1:30.46, Townley Haas (Texas) 2016
- U.S. Open record: 1:30.46, Townley Haas (Texas) 2016
- 2016 NCAA Champion: Townley Haas (Texas) – 1:30.46
Texas sophomore Townley Haas won an NCAA title, posted the fastest split on the American gold medal 800 free relay in Rio, and now he’s back to defend his crown. But despite taking the 200y free to new heights last spring, Haas doesn’t come in with the same momentum as two new kids on the block.
Dean Farris is the first name you need to know. Hailing from the Atlanta area, Farris was a pretty strong recruit for Harvard– a 20.3/44.6/1:38.7 freestyler when he committed in October of 2015. That spring, he was down to 43.7/1:36.0, but he didn’t stop there. Having the ultimate freshman season and putting Harvard (and the Ivy League) on the map, Farris unleashed a 1:31.56 at Ivies for the sixth-fastest time ever and the fastest time this season. He was an absolute stud on all of Harvard’s relays that he swam, and was very impressive in the 100 back (45.38), where he’s seeded 9th overall.
The freshmen madness doesn’t stop there– leading a fast-rising Arizona State program is Michigan native Cameron Craig, who came into college with some international experience under his belt after competing at the 2016 Jr Pan Pacs. Craig went 1:31.71 to win Pac-12s, taking out USC’s Dylan Carter (1:31.98) at the wall. The freshman Craig swims similarly to Mallory Comerford– out somewhat strong, but comes home like a monster; an epic closer. Carter, a USC junior, is having a great year in his own right after redshirting last season for the Olympics.
The question will be – how much further can those two go this season. This is their chance to prove it. But for now, we’ll rely on history that freshmen who come-from-nowhere at conference meets slide when they get to NCAAs.
Indiana’s Blake Pieroni has also broken 1:32 this season, his 1:31.83 earning him the #3 seed for NCAAs. Pieroni was flat at NCAAs last year, adding time from his seed and falling to 8th. He’s been faster this year, though, and after a huge summer (which included him making the U.S. Olympic team), Pieroni certainly has the momentum to push for a top 3 finish.
Then there’s Haas, who has been 1:32.17 this year. A slower seed time shouldn’t be a cause for concern– the Longhorn was seeded with a 1:33.19 last season when he destroyed the American record, so being a full second faster thus far in the season as compared to last year could actually be a sign that the 1:30 barrier will come crashing down this year. Another freshman, Florida’s Maxime Rooney, follows directly behind Haas at 1:32.18, as he’ll look to make his first NCAA final for the Gators.
A group of seniors are the next four seeds, with NC State’s Soeren Dahl and Louisville’s Trevor Carroll representing the ACC and Ohio State’s Joshua Fleagle and IU’s Marwan El Kamash representing the Big Ten. Dahl and Carroll made the B final in this race last year, while Fleagle made the A final at the 2015 NCAA champs before he took a redshirt year. El Kamash is part of an Indiana freestyle group that has been on fire this year, although he’s a swimmer a bit better equipped for the longer races.
Meanwhile, Mitch D’Arrigo, who was 6th in this event last year, can’t be underestimated because of his low seed. He’s been 1:34.01 this year for 27th, but he was a 1:34-low last year coming in and busted a 1:32.6 anyways to make the A final. The Florida senior will be on a mission to cap off his career on top.
TOP 8 PICKS:
|1||Townley Haas||Texas||1:32.17 (#5)||1:30.46|
|2||Dylan Carter||USC||1:31.98 (#4)||1:31.98|
|3||Blake Pieroni||Indiana||1:31.83 (#3)||1:31.83|
|4||Maxime Rooney||Florida||1:32.18 (#6)||1:32.18|
|5||Dean Farris||Harvard||1:31.56 (#1)||1:31.56|
|6||Cameron Craig||Arizona State||1:31.71 (#2)||1:31.70|
|7||Mitch D’Arrigo||Florida||1:34.07 (#27)||1:32.62|
|8||Soeren Dahl||NC State||1:32.74 (#7)||1:32.74|
Dark Horse: Jan Switkowski (Florida). Like D’Arrigo, Switkowski is a ways down the psych sheet– #33 with a 1:34.41. He was seeded with a 1:34.99 last year, though, and dropped tons of time to ultimately end up 4th overall. It’s hard to judge whether this is an off season for him or if he’s just saving his best meet for the last meet of the year– if it’s the latter, he could scare for the top 3.