2018 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 21 – Saturday, March 24
- Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center – Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Defending champion: Texas (3x) (results)
- Psych Sheet
- Championship Central
- NCAA record: Townley Haas (Texas), 2016, 1:30.46
- American record: Townley Haas (Texas), 2016, 1:30.46
- U.S. Open record: Townley Haas (Texas), 2016, 1:30.46
- 2017 NCAA Champion: Townley Haas (Texas), 1:30.65
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.
TOP 8 PICKS:
|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|