Holding the third-best time in the country this year, Harvard sophomore Dean Farris did not enter the 100 back, electing not to take on a brutal double with his top-seeded 200 free.
Farris tried that double last year as a freshman and struggled through the backstroke. Despite ‘cruising’ his 200 free as best he could (Farris came in with a seed of 1:31.56, and went 1:33.0 in prelims to take 7th), he still added a second and a half in his backstroke, falling from 45.3 to 46.9 and missing the final in 31st. That combo is especially brutal on the legs, with only heats of the 100 breaststroke in between.
This year, Farris is the top seed in the 200 free and will give up the backstroke to have just one event on Friday. Instead, he’s entered in the 50 free, alongside the 200 back, where he finished 14th last year.
Farris is a much longer shot to score in the 50, with his lifetime-best of 19.68 ranking him just 69th right now. (Many of those ahead of him will clear out, though, as only the top 28 or 29 swimmers in each event should earn invites based on our cut line analysis).
We will still likely see Farris swim a 100 backstroke as part of Harvard’s 400 medley relay on Thursday.