2017 W. NCAA Picks: Eastin Chasing Ledecky’s 400 IM American Record

2017 WOMEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY

  • NCAA record: Katinka Hosszu (2012)- 3:56.54
  • American record: Katie Ledecky (2017)- 3:57.68
  • U.S. Open record: Katinka Hosszu (2012)- 3:56.54
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Ella Eastin (Stanford)- 3:58.40

Defending champion Ella Eastin, a Stanford sophomore, will be chasing one of her teammate’s record at the 2017 Women’s NCAA Championships. In the 400 IM, Eastin will look to take down the American Record of 3:57.68, which was set by teammate Katie Ledecky at last month’s Pac-12 Championships. With her lifetime best 3:58.40, she’s already within a second of that, and will look to own both IM records if she can drop down from her time.

Eastin is the only swimmer entered in this event who has been below 4:00 in her career, but Texas’ Madisyn Cox could accomplish that feat in Indy. Cox, who placed 9th at 2016 NCAAs, has lowered her best time down to a 4:01.15 this season, and will very likely compete for a top 3 spot this time around.

Several All-Americans will return to this race, including Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem (4:02.25), Lisa Bratton (4:07.01), and Bethany Galat (4:03.88). Pickrem was a Canadian Olympian in this race, while Galat placed 3rd at the U.S. Olympic trials. Additional returning All-Americans include Minnesota’s Brooke Zeiger (4:02.71), Ohio State’s Lindsey Clary (4:04.09), and Georgia’s Emily Cameron (4:05.09).

It took a 4:07.60 to qualify for the championship final last season, but it could be significantly harder to do so this time around. That time would enter as the 20th seed, and it took a sub-4:05 to get a top 8 seed heading into the meet. Tennessee freshman Meghan Small has the 8th slot right now with her 4:04.93 from SECs, while Virginia Tech freshman Reka Gyorgy (4:04.97) is a nail behind as the 9th fastest swimmer in the nation this year. Between those two and Stanford freshman Allie Szekely (4:02.34), we could see several new faces in the championship final field.

TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:

Place Swimmer Team Seed Best Time
1 Ella Eastin Stanford 4:00.36 (#1) 3:58.40
2 Madisyn Cox Texas 4:01.15 (#2) 4:01.15
3 Sydney Pickrem Texas A&M 4:02.25 (#3) 4:02.25
4 Allie Szekely Stanford 4:02.34 (#4) 4:02.34
5 Bethany Galat Texas A&M 4:03.88 (#6) 4:03.88
6 Brooke Zeiger Minnesota 4:02.71 (#5) 4:02.71
7 Lindsey Clary Ohio State 4:04.09 (#7) 4:03.61
8 Meghan Small Tennessee 4:04.93 (#8) 4:03.96

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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