Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks some as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Despite the disclaimer, this week’s featured swim is not one that “slipped through the cracks.”
Queens sophomore Matt Josa probably dominated the SwimSwam headlines as much as any athlete in the world last week, and for good reason. The second-year collegiate swimmer put up 6 wins and 5 NCAA records in leading Queens to its first NCAA Division II title in history.
To say Josa was the driving force behind that title run would be to understate what Josa accomplished. Talking purely in terms of points, Josa scored nearly one-fourth of all the Queens points on the weekend. Between 4 individual wins (at 20 points apiece) and 2 relay wins (dividing the total points equally between all four swimmers gives Josa 10 apiece), Josa put up a round 100 points, a huge portion of Queens’ 433.5 finishing total.
You could make the argument, too, that Josa accounted for more than 1/4 of each relay victory. On the 400 medley relay, he split an insane 44.24 on the fly leg, 1.5 seconds faster than the next-best flyer in the field and 2.9 seconds faster than the average of the fly legs on the other A final relays (47.16).
The 800 free relay was equally impressive, with Josa going 1:35.76 for the best split in the field. His relay-mate Nick Arakelian was the next-closest competitor.
Amazingly enough, Josa could’ve had an even better weekend had the Queens 200 medley relay not been disqualified out of prelims for a relay-card infraction. Josa likely would have been on the relay in the final.
On top of the objective “points-scored” category is perhaps where Josa made his biggest impact: team momentum. You can’t overstate the effect it has on a team when one of its own swimmers becomes the fastest man in league history in an event, and Josa did it no less than 5 times.
Both relays mentioned above broke Division II NCAA records, and Josa took down individual marks in the 200 IM (1:41.94), 100 fly (44.89) and 200 fly (1:42.96), all times that would make him a scoring factor at the Division I level. The only thing preventing Josa from a clean 4-for-4 sweep of individual records was the 200 back, an event where Josa already owns the Division II mark. By the final day of competition, an exhausted Josa didn’t quite have the speed to take down his own record, but still won the race handily in 1:41.45.
You can find our final-day coverage from the NCAA Division II Championships here.
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