And Then There Were Three: Scoring Outlook For Men’s NCAA Day 4

2018 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

We started with five viable NCAA contenders, and although the meet isn’t over ’til it’s over, we’re effectively down to three contenders, barring any miracles. Let’s take a look at day 4 scoring chances for Indiana, Texas and Cal.

Current scores:

  1. Indiana – 325
  2. Texas – 306
  3. California – 291.5
  4. NC State – 252
  5. Florida 246

Below are the swimmers seeded to score (and divers expected to score) for each of the top three teams tomorrow:

Indiana Hoosiers

IU needs to make the most of its limited scoring opportunities. That’s been the caution against their chances all week – yet they’ve been nearly perfect in their chances so far. IU has no entrants in the mile. They’ll need their three high seeds to finish top-3 (Pieroni, Finnerty and Lanza) or better, and they might need Capobianco to be top-3 in platform diving – a real possibility.

The 400 free relay isn’t IU’s best, so they’ll probably need to have the meet wrapped up by diving, assuming they get a minimum of 22 points from making the A final in the relay. Diving points won’t be as big as they were Friday (40 points), but still probably figure in the 15-20 point range.

Texas Longhorns

  • 1650 free:
  • 200 back: Austin Katz, Ryan Harty, Jonathan Roberts
  • 100 free: Tate Jackson, Brett Ringgold
  • 200 breast:
  • 200 fly: Joseph Schooling, Sam Pomajevich
  • Platform diving: Jordan Windle, Jacob Cornish
  • 400 free relay: 3-seed

Texas will need to be great in its strong events to make up for relatively weak chances in the mile and 200 breast. The 200 back could be a game-changer, with 3 seeded in the top 10, not including Shebat, who is seeded 31st but was the runner-up last year and took second in the 100 back this year.

The 100 free also doesn’t yet include Townley Haaswho split as fast as 41.0 last year and could be a big scoring threat. Schooling is still an enigma in the 200 fly, with the potential to win (like 2015 and 2016) or miss scoring altogether (2017). Pomajevich has been fast so far, though, and should give the Longhorns an A final swim.

Platform is the best event for Windle and Cornish, who should both probably score. Windle is expected to make the A final and perhaps contend for the title, while Cornish should probably at least make the B final like he did on 1-meter. Diving points won’t be as big as they were Friday (26 points), but still probably figure in the 15-30 point range.

The relay should be perhaps Texas’s strongest of the week, especially if Jackson and Haas are on in the 100.

California Golden Bears

Cal’s fates are very likely going to come down to its freshman class. Hoffer has been a big factor so far, and he’ll have to move up from his 15th seed if Cal is going to win this thing. The Bears will also need points from rising backstrokers Daniel Carr (17th seed) and Bryce Mefford (21st), both of whom have had good meets so far. In addition, Grieshop is seeded 10th in the mile, but has dropped time in his other two events and could be a top 8 finisher there.

Seliskar probably has to win the breaststroke for Cal to take the meet – he’s been great in the morning but hasn’t closed the deal yet in finals.

Quah has been a little less impactful than expected this week, but could redeem himself with a high 200 fly finish. Thomas and Josa are both A final candidates but also no guarantees to score.

Cal should be fairly good in the relay, but a win is probably a tall order. They’ll have to be set up awfully well coming out of the 200 fly to feel good about their chances of hoisting the team trophy.

 

And before we upset anyone’s impassioned fandom, it’s too early to fully count NC State and Florida out. They’ll both need to make up 70+ points in a day to win the title, but they do have some chances. Here are quick looks at their prospects as well:

NC State Wolfpack

  • 1650 free: Anton Ipsen
  • 200 back: Coleman Stewart, Hennessey Stuart
  • 100 free: Ryan Held, Justin Ress, Jacob Molacek
  • 200 breast:
  • 200 fly: Andreas Vazaios
  • Platform diving:
  • 400 free relay: 1-seed

The Wolfpack could theoretically put three into the A final of the 100 free, depending on the health of Ress. Their 400 free relay is also scary – again, depending on Ress’s status. Ipsen could win the mile, where he’s the top seed.

Diver James Brady was 34th in this event last year, so it’d take a big improvement for him to score.

NC State can probably keep pace with any other team in Saturday scoring… but with a 73-point deficit, they need a lot to go their way, including a win in the 400 free relay and maybe a well-timed DQ to someone else’s relay to be in the hunt.

Florida Gators

  • 1650 free: Blake Manganiello
  • 200 back: Michael Taylor
  • 100 free: Caeleb Dressel
  • 200 breast: Mark Szaranek
  • 200 fly: Jan Switkowski
  • Platform diving:
  • 400 free relay: 2-seed

Dressel should win the 100 free, and his likely leadoff split could very well propel Florida into title contention in the 400 free relay, as he did successfully in the 200 free relay. But good scoring opportunities are few and far between.

Florida’s path to the win probably requires all three milers to blow up and needs scoring swims from 100 freestylers Maxime Rooney and Khader Baqlah. That, plus explosive event wins from Szaranek and Switkowski in somewhat open fields might be enough to put Florida back in the hunt.

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ems

200 back the new 100 fly

Swimmer

Texas relays 3,4,5 and 9th. Ouch. Would never have imagined.

Swimming Fan

Entirely predictable with regard to the two medley relays as they’ve been searching all year for a breaststroker.

Zanna

Wouldn’t it be something if it came down to the last relay. If Cal can’t win, I hope Indiana takes the title.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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