2017 M. NCAA 400 IM Preview: Kalisz Looking for Title Redemption

2017 MEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

400 YARD IM

  • NCAA record: 3:34.50 Chase Kalisz (Georgia) 3-28-2014
  • American record: 3:34.50 Chase Kalisz (Georgia) 3-28-2014
  • U.S. Open record: 3:34.50 Chase Kalisz (Georgia) 3-28-2014
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Josh Prenot (Cal) – 3:35.82

Chase Kalisz stormed to a new NCAA, American, and U.S. Open record at the 2014 NCAA Championships in a dominant performance, earning himself a NCAA title in his sophomore season. His junior year, though, he was off of his best by a considerable margin, and conceded the victory to Texas’s Will Licon.

Licon has opted for the 100 breast, however, this year, which should make it a bit easier for Kalisz to return to the top. It won’t be easy, though, with Florida junior Mark Szaranek and fellow U.S. Olympian and Georgia teammate, Jay Litherland, breathing down his neck. Kalisz is the top seed with a 3:36.21– the fastest he’s been since his 3:34.50, and faster than his 2014 SEC performance by over half a second. Szaranek is right behind him with a 3:36.54, and Litherland is a bit further back at 3:38.19.

Last year, Litherland touched third behind Prenot and Licon, while Szaranek won the B final. A key difference, here, is that Litherland comes in to the meet at about the same place as last year, while Szaranek comes in over five seconds ahead of where he was in 2016.

Virginia Tech’s Robert Owen (#4 3:38.43) and Cal’s Andrew Seliskar (#5 3:39.53) are the remaining two men under 3:40 this season. Owen had the performance of his life at ACC’s, as his 3:38.43 marked his first time under 3:40. Seliskar has looked good this season, and will try to finish in the top 5 again after touching 5th at NCAAs last year.

Texas’s Jonathan Roberts will try to make the A final here with his teammate Licon out of the event– Roberts comes in with a 3:40.26, just ahead of UNC junior Henry Campbell (3:40.88). Both men went best times at their respective conference meets, while Campbell had never broken 3:46 until ACCs. Michigan freshman Charlie Swanson leads the Big Ten with a 3:41.13 for the 8th seed, just over Aidan Burns of Georgia (3:41.56).

The Stanford contingent of #10 Abrahm Devine, #11 Curtis Ogren, and #13 Max Williamson is back after Devine scored in the A final and Ogren in the B final last year. Williamson was 21st, but not far out of scoring range in 2016. Meanwhile, #14 Sam McHugh of Tennessee (3:42.54) and #17 Gunnar Bentz of Georgia (3:42.89) return after scoring in this event last year in the A final.

 

TOP 8 PICKS:

PLACE SWIMMER TEAM SEED BEST TIME
1 Chase Kalisz Georgia 3:36.21(#1) 3:34.50
2 Mark Szaranek Florida 3:36.54 (#2) 3:36.54
3 Andrew Seliskar Cal 3:39.53 (#5) 3:37.52
4 Jay Litherland Georgia 3:38.19 (#3) 3:38.19
5 Abrahm Devine Stanford 3:41.64 (#10) 3:40.06
6 Gunnar Bentz Georgia 3:42.89 (#17) 3:38.59
7 Robert Owen Virginia Tech 3:38.43 (#4) 3:38.43
8 Sam McHugh Tennessee 3:42.54 (#7) 3:40.64

Dark Horse: #11 Joseph Patching (Auburn). Patching finished 11th in this race last year. The 11-seed is a senior, with loads of experience, but will need to go a lifetime best in all likelihood to be safe into the A final.

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THEO
5 years ago

an olympian getting fourth, you say! What a time to be alive. Amazingly, I actually agree with that prediction. This event just has some crazy power in it.

Sir Swimsalot
5 years ago

I have a feeling Seliskar is going to pull of something special this year, even if it’s not in this event.

Zanna
Reply to  Sir Swimsalot
5 years ago

I agree.

Uberfan
Reply to  Sir Swimsalot
5 years ago

Yes Seliskar will get second

Dcrabbe6
5 years ago

Georgia men too deep in this event ! So impressive

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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