There have been several interesting entry decisions for the 2018 women’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, revealed after Wednesday’s posting of the official psych sheets.
Perhaps the most intriguing of those decisions, though, was that of Cal junior Amy Bilquist, who will swim the 50 free, 100 back, and 100 free at the NCAA Championships.
- 50 free – 8th, 21.74
- 100 back – 11th, 51.28
- 100 free – 15th, 47.79
The event missing there is the 200 back, which she swam at the Pac-12 Championships and finished 4th in with a 1:50.23. The reason that’s significant is that because, if she had entered it, that would’ve been her highest seed at 7th. The event comes on the same day as the 100 free, where she’s seeded 15th and would only be seeded 10th with her lifetime best time of 47.55. Her 47.79 actual seed time is from a relay leadoff at Pac-12s.
From a scoring perspective, Cal also has the #2 and #19 seeds (besides Bilquist) in the 100 free, while they have the #1 and #31 seeds in the 200 back. In short, based on the public information, choosing the 100 free is more likely to cost them a point from bumping a teammate down the rankings than does the 200 back.
Thinking like a coach, though, by focusing on the 100 free instead of the 200 back will give more focus to Bilquist’s final taper, because then all of her races at NCAAs will be of the sprint, 100 yard-and-under variety.
The decision will probably only result in a few-points swing one way or the other – which is unlikely to impact Cal’s (or anybody’s) ability to catch the heavily-favored Stanford Cardinal. However, the battle for 2nd with Texas A&M could come down to a very narrow margin. Based on psych sheet scoring, Cal has a 28.5-point advantage, but A&M has a better shot at diving points thanks to junior platform specialist Alais Kalonji, who won the SEC title in that event.
Bilquist swam the 50 free (17th), 100 back (9th), and 200 back (14th) at last year’ NCAA Championship meet. She dropped time in the 50 free, added .01 seconds (seed to finals) in the 100 back, and added 1.97 seconds (seed to finals) in the 200 back.