2019 Men’s NCAA Championships: Day 1 Finals Preview

by Robert Gibbs 2

March 27th, 2019 College


We’re here at the Texas Swim Center in Austin, Texas, for the first night of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving championships.  There’s only one event tonight, but it should be fun as at least three or four teams figure to have a shot to win.

We’ll get to see three heats of the 800 free relay, which will be one of two races contested this week in a timed final format instead of prelims/finals (the other being the 1650).  We’re still waiting to see exact relay lineups, but here’s a quick heat-by-heat preview of what we’ll be keeping an eye on this evening.

Heat one should feature Florida State in lane 4, where they’re square off against Tennessee, Georgia, and Georgia Tech. The Seminoles typically excel more in the shorter relays, so we’ll see what they have in store here. This event tends to be Georgia’s wheelhouse, but they took a hit due to graduations. Tennessee may have the edge, thanks to Joey Reilman, who’s seeded 4th in the individual 200 free.

Stanford has lane 4 for the second heat, but they’ve taken a blow here as they’ve lost both Grant Shoults and Jack Levant. Meanwhile, make sure you’re watching lane 2. NC State, who’s won this event two years in a row, found themselves with only the 13th seed after apparently taking a bit easy at ACCs, but they could very well put up the fastest time of the evening in this heat. As this is a timed finals event, whichever teams puts swims the fastest time – regardless of the heat they’re in – will win. One more note on this heat – Harvard is will be in lane 5, so watch for Dean Farris to put up a very fast split.

The other teams with a shot to win will be swimming in the final heat. Florida will be in lane 4 after putting up a nation-leading 6:10.50 at SECs. Their team should include Maxime Rooney and Khader Baqlah, who’ve made the individual 200 free A-final before. However, the Gators face a deep field in this heat. They’ll have the California Bears and (presumably) Andrew Seliskar next to them in lane 5, a strong Indiana squad that should be featuring Zach Apple in lane 3, and Texas (lane 7), who will have the fastest man ever in the individual event, Townley Haas.

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1 year ago

That Townley is a good lookin man!

1 year ago

Didn’t you already do an 800 Free Relay preview article?