2018 M. NCAA Previews: 4 Fastest Men Ever Will Race for 200 Free Title



Texas’ Townley Haas is eyeing his 3rd-straight title in the 200 free at the upcoming Men’s NCAA Championships. This time around, he’s not the only man entering with a lifetime best in the 1:30-range. We could see a good race between Haas, Indiana’s Blake Pieroni, and USC’s Dylan Carter.  On the other hand, Harvard’s Dean Farris is actually the nation-leader at this point.

It’s hard to bet against Haas given he’s the American Record holder, fastest ever, and reigning champion, but Pieroni and Carter are the 2nd and 3rd fastest ever respectively. After blasting his 1:31.12 at the Ivy League Championships, Farris is now the 4th fastest man in history. That means we’ll see the 4 fastest men ever going head-to-head. Both Haas and Carter have been pretty far off their bests this season, but expect them to be much better at the big showdown.

It took a 1:33.21 to make the final last time, but it’ll likely be much faster this time around. Texas’ Jeff Newkirk could give Texas 2 in the final. He’s already been a lifetime best 1:32.80 this season. Indiana has a shot at getting 2 in with Mohamed Samy seeded inside the top 8. Florida has 2 men in the running for a finals spot with this season’s SEC champion Khader Baqlah and 2017 SEC champ Maxime Rooney. Last season, Rooney placed 6th in the final. Another returning finalist is Arizona State’s Cameron Craig, who topped Carter for the Pac-12 title for the 2nd year in a row.

We’ve seen plenty of guys dip below 1:33 this season. NC State’s Justin Ress has been looking good lately after putting up a lifetime best at ACCs to win the event. Ohio State’s Paul DeLakis has a shot at making the final as a freshman after his 1:32.86 at Big Tens. Auburn’s Zach Apple, who had a breakthrough last season, clipped 1:33 with a 1:32.92 at SECs. Michigan’s Felix Auboeck hasn’t gotten into the 1:32-range yet this season, but his best is a 1:32.02.

There could be a few guys who crack 1:33 at the meet. A few of the darkhorses to consider are Stanford’s Grant Shoults, South Carolina’s Fynn Minuth, and Alabama’s Robert Howard.


Place Swimmer Season Best Lifetime Best
1 Townley Haas (Texas) 1:32.40 1:30.46
2 Blake Pieroni (Indiana) 1:31.14 1:30.87
3 Dylan Carter (USC) 1:33.15 1:30.95
4 Dean Farris (Harvard) 1:31.12 1:31.12
5 Justin Ress (NC State) 1:32.66 1:32.66
6 Khader Baqlah (Florida) 1:31.96 1:31.96
7 Cameron Craig (ASU) 1:32.72 1:31.71
8 Maxime Rooney (Florida) 1:32.97 1:32.18

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5 years ago

The top 4 guys are all contenders for the title and the record.

They all have their own distinct style of swimming freestyle. Townley Haas, for example, seems to skim across the water, even though he’s big and tall. Dean Farris, in comparison, powers through the water and kicks like crazy.

I think we’ll know more about the contenders after the relay tonight.

Reply to  marklewis
5 years ago

Blake Pieroni was absolutely flying in his record-setting 200 free leadoff. He started off fast and didn’t seem to slow down at all.

So, he’s the favorite now.

Reply to  marklewis
5 years ago

For sure the favorite

5 years ago

I think Blake takes it this time

Tom Merchant
Reply to  BSD
5 years ago

Looks like a distinct possibility now that he just split a 1:29 to break the record in the 800 free lead off! Insane split!

5 years ago

I find it absolutely insulting that Dean Ferris isn’t picked to win first, second, and third. Kid is clearly so huge he will just occupy this entire podium.

Steve Nolan
5 years ago

Dean knows some nonbelievers are still out there and he forgives you, Lauren.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 years ago

Didn’t Dean give Mark Zuckerberg the idea for Facebook?

Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 years ago

The true Messiah will reveal himself as the victor of this race, not sure who but i dont think it will be haas.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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