2018 Monday Preview #2: Which NCAA Meets to Pay Attention to This Week

Sometimes, there are too many meets to focus on in one week of the NCAA season. With all of the racing going on across the country this week, zone in on a few big ones that should produce fast swimming, great races, and more intrigue.

We’ll be previewing each week with at least a few great meets, typically on Mondays, through the rest of the fall semester and then again on through January. And yes, last week’s inaugural preview was not on a Monday! Despite me calling this series the Monday Preview! Sue me.

INDIANA V. FLORIDA V. TEXAS

  • Date – 10/19-10/20
  • Hosts – Texas

Why you should pay attention: This is the big leagues, folks, and it’s perennially a much-anticipated meet. We’ve seen Florida and Indiana in action already, but adding the Longhorns into the mix is bound to up the competitive stakes. Plus, other than the Longhorns’ intrasquad, we haven’t seen them race other teams, or a full set of events. We’ll get to see an all-star freshman class for the UT men and women, the clash of the freestylers from three loaded men’s teams, and undefeated Gator Mabel Zavaros will try to stay perfect in her young NCAA career.

MICHIGAN V. NORTHWESTERN

  • Date – 10/19-10/20
  • Hosts – Michigan

Why you should pay attention: Northwestern is on a path to gaining cred in the Big Ten after several tough seasons without making much headway. The completely overhauled coaching staff, led by former Boise State head coach Jeremy Kipp, will get its first test against a very tough opponent. Look for more fireworks from Michigan freshman Maggie Macneil — the Canadian NCAA newcomers have done very well thus far in the year, and she’s no exception, having already rocked a 52-mid 100 fly in a dual meet this year. And, obviously, let’s see what Siobhan HaugheyCatie Deloof, and Felix Auboeck are up to.

NC STATE V. DUKE

  • Date – 10/20
  • Hosts – Duke

Why you should pay attention: State is great! The Wolfpack women, in particular, were on fire last week, rolling over South Carolina. The Duke women will be more competitive, but with a rejuvenated sprint core (thanks to Ky-lee Perry and Sirena Rowe) and rookie strength already being shown by Sophie HanssonKylee Alons, and Emma Muzzy, the Blue Devils better be ready. Nyls Korstanje is living up to the hype, too.

FGCU V. AUBURN (W)

  • Date – 10/20
  • Hosts – Auburn

Why you should pay attention: It’s the first look at Gary Taylor‘s Auburn women. Aly Tetzloff is one of the best sprinters in the country right now, and Erin Falconer and Julie Meynen combine with her to form the base of a very solid sprint free group.

SOUTH CAROLINA V. ARKANSAS (W)

  • Date – 10/20
  • Hosts – South Carolina

Why you should pay attention: Arkansas isn’t usually making headlines, but they did last week with seven event wins against Georgia (including a 200 medley relay victory). At the heart of this upstart success is British sprinter Anna Hopkin — she had a 21.6 split on that medley relay, and knocked off UGA All-American Veronica Burchill in both sprint free races. Meanwhile, Emma Barksdale is always a bright spot for the Gamecocks.

FLORIDA STATE V. MINNESOTA

  • Date – 10/20
  • Hosts – Minnesota

Why you should pay attention: Breaststroke. Max McHugh of Minnesota is one of a few elite freshmen breaststrokers in the NCAA right now. Florida State’s Ida Hulkko of Finland, also a freshman, posted a 1:01 low to win the 100 breast at their meet with Pitt and Georgia Tech and split a speedy 27.1 on their medley relay there. Canadian import Nina Kucheran has been busy with the Youth Olympic Games, but she’s another breaststroke talent to keep an eye on for the Seminoles.

TEXAS A&M V. ALABAMA

  • Date – 10/20
  • Hosts – Alabama

Why you should pay attention: A fantastic SEC showdown is set for the men. Both teams came up a bit short against a tough Ohio State team already this season, but again, both teams are pretty tough themselves. For the women, it’s clear the Aggies have a backstroke problem. Is Sydney Pickrem their fix?

DENISON V. EASTERN MICHIGAN (W)

  • Date – 10/20
  • Hosts – Eastern Michigan

Why you should pay attention: While Denison, a dominant Division III team, taking on mid-major DI team Eastern Michigan is a good match-up, the key here is EMU senior Delaney Duncan. The Illinois native, who came into college with a 1:04 in the 100 breast, returns for her final college season after taking a very impressive 4th place at NCAAs last year. Her journey from 1:04 to 58.36 in three years seems improbable, but she’s really fun to watch.

USC V. UTAH (W)

  • Date – 10/19
  • Hosts – Utah

Why you should pay attention: The USC women have already had four different days of competition this season, but none have been traditional dual meets. More intriguingly, the Trojan women have only raced suited up, having hosted their Trojan Invite two weeks ago and then having eight of their best compete at the SMU Classic. This is their first good ole’ dual meet, so we’ll see if they can throw down some solid swims in practice suits for a single session outing.

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About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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