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 as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
An NCAA freshman is an unpredictable beast. At times, the adjustment to an entirely new setting, a new training system, a new lifestyle, new coaching and a new schedule can spell disaster for a top prospect, or at least require a year or two to fully adjust. Then again, for some athletes, the step into a new system can be a breath of fresh air, a jolt of electricity that kickstarts some massive time drops.
North Carolina freshman Sophie Lindner is putting herself solidly in the latter category. A solid backstroker out of SwimMAC in North Carolina, Lindner went 4-for-4 in lifetime-bests last week, including a massive 200 back drop that powered the Tar Heels past South Carolina.
Lindner won three individual events and powered one winning relay for the Heels. She kicked the meet off with a 25.45 backstroke leadoff on the 200 medley relay as UNC won by almost two seconds. Later, she came back to go 53.85 in the 100 back, winning and shaving a tenth off her personal best from Winter Juniors last December. Towards the end of the meet, she’d go 54.00 in winning a touchout of the 100 fly – that’s a drop of two tenths from her best.
But the swim of the week came in the 200 back, where Lindner blasted a 1:55.40 to crush the field by nearly three and a half seconds. The time was a personal-best by 1.4 seconds and currently ranks 5th in the NCAA this season.
For UNC – which finished 25th last year at NCAAs, but graduated its only individual scorer – Lindner’s rise is a much-needed boost for the coming college season.
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