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
3 years ago

200 back the new 100 fly

Swimmer
3 years ago

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

Swimming Fan
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

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

Zanna
3 years ago

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

Buona
3 years ago

Hope Schooling can win 200 fly but doesn’t seem to be promising from his swim so far.

Swimmer
Reply to  Buona
3 years ago

He will be lucky to final. Disastrous meet so far.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

Agreed. When are people going to realize that Schooling is just Tyler Clary-lite? Clary won some NCAA titles, then caught a break beating an exhausted Lochte (coming off the 400 IM, relays, and trying to double that day in the 200 IM) to win the 200 back at the Olympics. He’s an Olympic gold medalist, but no one would consider him one of the all-time best in his gold medal event. Schooling won some NCAA titles, and caught a break when he beat an exhausted Phelps, LeClos, and Cseh at the end of Rio. His best times are now a body length behind Dressel in SCY and LCM. This Schooling idol worship is more absurd than the Dean Farris meme.

j pine
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Idol Worship? The dude gets more hate than Chad Le Clos these days. I would understand the admiration that comes from his country though. Guy won their first Olympic gold and showed them anything’s possible really. I do think there’s something wrong with at this meet. Swimming times slower than his freshman year. Could it be a missed taper? We don’t know, but a few Texas guys are looking like they missed their taper this season (Ringgold, Harty as well, maybe Jackson) I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

Swimmer
Reply to  j pine
3 years ago

Representing Singapore?? He has lived in the US most of his life.

ems
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

I think you’d need to do some research here…Moved to the US when he was 14 for high school. Unless he’s 29 this year, he hasn’t lived in the US for most of his life. Last I checked he’s still 22

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  j pine
3 years ago

What Olympic champion ever “missed a taper” as their excuse? None. He’s just way overrated — as evidenced by his average of 1:44 in the last two NCAA 200 flys.

Bear drinks beer
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Except that Tyler Clary is not the first man in his country to win an Olympic gold. It takes courage and determination to be the first person to say ‘I wanna become an Olympic champion’ in a nation without too much sports tradition, especially when he has to face the GOAT of his sport to fulfill this ‘crazy dream’. That is the biggest reason why he is idolized. He achieved what his countrymen thought is impossible to achieve. He’s definitely not the greatest in his event but he’s a really encouraging figure to his compatriots, and he brought changes to the whole sporting culture in Singapore.
I still remember him saying at the press conference after that 100 fly… Read more »

Swimmy
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

He knows he has to tough it out for the two swims. Hopefully they’ll put him on the 4 free relay and
Give them a shot at winning it.

What ever happened to bobo gigi?
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

Bring on the downvotes. This is an Olympic champion. Who has won multiple ncaa titles. Who apparently has never recaptured his form after winning that gold medal. Who has a meme making fun of him “Joe schooling swam faster in practice”

He has been having a rough meet for sure. What’s going on? Why hasn’t he been back to 2016 form?

Swim4
Reply to  What ever happened to bobo gigi?
3 years ago

My thought is he had the perfect lead up to the Olympics – both physically and mentally. He was firing on all cylinders. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, when I reach a goal that I worked long and hard for, that same motivation just isn’t there right after. Sure it has been almost 2 years since Rio, but give this KID a break. He can bounce back.

Swimmer
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

Confirmed. Not making it back tonight. Told ya.

Buona
3 years ago

Why u sound so confirmed?

Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Well-deserved —- for their divers.

Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Maybe they can throw the diving coach in the pool at the end of the meet instead of Eddie.

Wahooswimfan
3 years ago

Indiana has had multiple divers score in every dive event so far; I predict they do it again in platform and that propels them to the title.

ems
Reply to  Wahooswimfan
3 years ago

Texas has a platform title contender in Jordan Windle ???

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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