Florida senior Elizabeth Beisel and the Gator coaching staff has opted to have their Olympic medalist swim the 200 IM as her individual event on the second day of the 2014 SEC Championships, and first day of individual events, rather than the 500 free.
All season long, Beisel has been flipping back-and-forth between this 200 IM and the distance freestyle events, and she has been good enough in those distance freestyles to warrant consideration of a different event schedule than she’s used to at this season’s championship meets. For now, though, she’s sticking with the 200 IM that she’s swum each of the last two years at NCAA’s.
Coming into SEC’s, Beisel ranks 5th in the country in the 200 IM (and is the second seed), and 6th in the country in the 500 free (where she also would have been the 2nd seed). The difference falls largely in the number of other potential scorers that the Gators have in both events; in the 500 free, they could have as many as 8 grab points behind Beisel, with only 4-5 in the 200 IM. Every potential scorer who would have placed behind Beisel will cost the team at least a point for being bumped down a spot.
At any rate, there’s no rules against Beisel switching her events between the SEC Championships and the NCAA Championships, especially with the NCAA Championships having a much different schedule than SEC’s. However, this is the first strong indicator we’ve gotten about which way she’s leaning.
She’ll be in a dogfight with Olympian Erica Dittmer from Texas A&M and Georgia’s star senior Melanie Margalis, among others, in the 200 IM. The SEC doesn’t require coaches to cut their psych sheets below the event limits until the day of the actual races, so there’s still a whole lot of ‘up in the air’ about how the rest of Beisel’s meet will go.