2019 M. NCAA Champs Day 3: Times Bounce Back a Bit After Slower Day 2

by Robert Gibbs 2

March 29th, 2019 College

2019 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Yesterday, we compared what it took to make the championship or console finals this year versus year and noted that the times were slower this year than last year in most of the morning’s events, albeit not by much. That’s fairly unusual, as we’ll most events get faster from year-to-year.

Things regressed (or is it progressed?) closer to their normal state of affairs this morning, as it took a faster time this year than last year to make 8 of the possible 12 finals. Take a look at hte chart below to compare this year’s 8th/16th place times to last year’s. The last column shows where the 16th-place prelims swims from 2018 would have placed this morning.

8th, 2019 8th, 2018 16th, 2019 16th, 2018 Place 2019
400 IM 3:40.78 3:39.52 3:42.77 3:41.72 11th
100 Fly 45.31 45.29 45.64 45.70 18th
200 Free 1:32.42 1:32.84 1:32.93 1:33.70 22nd
100 Breast 51.93 52.28 52.25 52.47 18th
100 Back 45.09 45.21 45.37 45.93 24th
200 Medley Relay 1:24.07 1:23.79 1:24.83 1:25.17 20th

At first, it looked we the trend from yesterday was going to continue, as the 8th and 16th place times in the 400 IM were each about a second slower than last year. That’s largely a reflection of how few A-final returners we had in this event and some “off swims” from some of the potential contenders, meaning that the top guys didn’t have to do as much to make it back.

The 100 fly was pretty much the same as last year, with the qualifying times for each final within a few hundredths of last year’s time.

The 200 free saw the big leap forward. Last year Cal’s Bryce Mefford made the A-final with a 1:32.84. This year that time would’ve finished 14th, and it took a 1:32.9 to score at all. Mefford found himself at 17th after going 1:33.06. Just three years ago, a 1:33.06 would’ve placed 7th in prelims. At the same meet, a 1:32.42 would’ve been good for 2nd in prelims; today, that’s what it took to make the A-final. We’re likely to talk more about the insane progression we’ve seen in the 200 free after tonight’s final, but for now we’ll just saw that this event has gotten really really fast in a relatively short period of time.

Two of the final three events of the morning saw times get faster. The biggest jump in terms of sheer time came in the 100 back, where the 16th place time was over a half a second faster this year than last year, and where the 45.21 it took the make the A-final last year was only good enough for 13th last year. But, as one of our commenters pointed out below, the 52.25 took to make top 16 in the 100 breast this year would’ve been fast enough to make the top eight last year.

Finally, it was something of a mixed bag in the 200 medley relay, where it was easier to make it into the A-final this year than last year, but more difficult to make into the B-final.

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PK Doesn’t Like His Long Name
3 years ago

The biggest jump is that all 16 scorers in the 100 breast would have made the A final last year.

SwimSam
3 years ago

Honestly, Haas had me a little worried he was going to miss the A final! In all seriousness, it is absurd how fast this meet, and the other divisions of NCAA’s, have gotten, when even the top guns need to throw down in prelims just to make sure they make it back at night! I think tonight will be the session of the meet, some of the best match-ups to look forward to!

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