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: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2017, 43.58
- American record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2017, 43.58
- U.S. Open record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2017, 43.58
- 2017 NCAA Champion: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 43.58
Florida’s Caeleb Dressel has been pretty quiet in the 100 fly this season. In fact, he enters NCAAs with a season best time of 46.89 from his first meet of the season. Dressel clearly hasn’t shown all of his cards yet, but if his performances in his other events at SECs and his fly speed in the 200 IM are any indication, we could be in for something special.
This season marks the final NCAA showdown between Dressel and former Bolles club teammate Joseph Schooling of Texas. Schooling, the Olympic 100 fly champion, is the top seed heading into the meet with a 44.78 from midseason. Schooling, who said he felt he had lost himself after finally achieving his dreams in Rio, was the NCAA champ in both butterflies for his freshman and sophomore seasons. Last year, Dressel claimed the 100 fly title from him, and Schooling missed out on the 200 fly final altogether. Despite taking some breaks from training, he still went a lifetime best to break 44 as he finished runner-up to Dressel.
This year, Schooling is back to try to reclaim his place on top of the 100 fly podium, but Dressel should be extremely hard to beat. After all, Dressel is the fastest man ever in yards and narrowly missed Michael Phelps’ long course World Record when he won the 100 fly at Worlds last summer. Still, with the Texas guys likely doing fairly heavy training through Big 12s, we’ll have to wait and see what Schooling has in store. Neither one of these guys has really shown what they can do yet this season.
While Dressel and Schooling are the favorites for the top 2 spots, we could see several men dip into the 44-range. This race could also play a big role in the team battle as the Cal Bears try to snap Texas’ winning streak. Cal has a strong group in this event that includes Matt Josa, Justin Lynch, and Zheng Quah. Last season, Josa qualified for the final, but was disqualified in the championship heat. His lifetime best 44.89 from the 2015 Division 2 NCAA Championships makes him a strong contender for a spot in the top 5. He hasn’t broken 45 since then, but his performances this season bode well. His 45.27 from midseason is his 2nd fastest ever. Quah returns after placing 5th last season, while Lynch was the B final winner in 2017. Both have come very close to breaking 45 seconds with their best times.
NC State’s Ryan Held and Coleman Stewart are both seeded in the top 5 thanks to their ACCs performances. Stewart dropped over a second with a 45.11 at conference. He’ll be swimming a double on this day, but the 100 fly will come first for him individually. Held is one of just 3 men to have broken 45 so far this season. He’s the 3rd seed in 44.96 behind Schooling and Indiana’s Vini Lanza.
Florida’s Jan Switkowski has been looking great this season. At SECs, he notched a new best time, dropping 3 tenths for a 45.26. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him drop below 45 given he typically makes big drops from SECs to NCAAs in this event. In-state rival Kanoa Kaleoaloha of Florida State made a big drop from ACCs to the American Short Course Championships. Before this season, his best was a 48.20. Now, he’s the 8th seed for NCAAs in 45.28. USC’s Santo Condorelli is another one to look out for. Condorelli, the Canadian Record holder in the long course 100 fly, hadn’t swum a best time in this event since 2015 NCAAs. That all changed at 2018 Pac-12s when he dropped down to a 45.36.
TOP 8 PICKS:
|Place||Swimmer||Season Best||Lifetime Best|
|1||Caeleb Dressel (Florida)||46.89||43.58|
|2||Joseph Schooling (Texas)||44.78||43.75|
|3||Ryan Held (NC State)||44.96||44.79|
|4||Jan Switkowski (Florida)||45.26||45.26|
|5||Matt Josa (Cal)||45.27||44.89|
|6||Vini Lanza (Indiana)||44.79||44.79|
|7||Justin Lynch (Cal)||45.14||45.14|
|8||Zheng Quah (Cal)||45.6||45.06|