A thrilling men’s NCAA championships wrapped up a couple weeks ago, but we’re still reflecting on what we saw in Indianapolis. And while the pool at the IUPUI Natatorium is probably just now settling down from the waves produced by some incredibly fast swimming there, we’re pretty sure that both coaches and swimmers alike are already thinking about next year, and of course, we are too.
One might expect that Texas will be taking a bit of a hit after having three seniors accounting for six individual victories, and sure enough, seniors Mark Anderson, Jack Conger, Will Licon, and Clark Smith earned a whopping 153.5 individual points out of the Longhorns’ 542 total points.
Yet, such is Texas’s depth, that even losing those four competitors, they are still slated to return the most individual points, thanks to very strong sophomore and junior classes. The Longhorns will need those swimmers to step again next year, as several other teams look to be within striking distance of the 160.5 individual points that the Longhorns will bring back next year.
While the Longhorns are losing the most points, the Missouri Tigers are arguably taking a bigger hit, as they are losing every single one of the 78.5 individual points they earned this year, as they were all courtesy of seniors Michael Chadwick, Carter Griffin, Andrew Sansoucie, and Fabian Schwingenschlogl. Not only that, but the Tigers only had a single individual swim from any non-seniors, meaning that they’ve got a lot of rebuilding ahead of them.
California and Georgia both lose 66 points. Eight-time individual backstroke champion Ryan Murphy was responsible for 56 of the points earned by California seniors, and he’s been a key member of most of Cal’s relays next year, so that’s going to be a big loss for the Bears. His absence should be tempered, however, by a very strong incoming freshman class, as well as a likely 20-30 points Cal left on the table due to DQ’s. The Bulldogs lose almost half of their individual points, including 34 earned by Chase Kalisz.
The teams which ranked 3rd-7th this year all appear to be in very similar shape heading into next year. None of those teams lose more than 21 individual points from senior graduation, and all will return between 110 and 132.5 individual points, setting up what should be another great team battle next year, and meaning that incoming freshmen and relay performance could be critical than normal to the overall team rankings.
Here’s a team-by-team look at the top 12 teams from the 2017 NCAA Championships:
|Team||Senior Points||Non-Senior Individual Points||Returning Points (including relays)||Senior Relay Swims*|
|NC State||21||121.5||251.5||8 (1)|
*swimmers who competed in prelims, but were swapped out in finals are in parentheses
**plus two legs of a DQ’d relay
Note: totals include divers and diving points.