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.
Alabama got a pair of 18-second relay legs from star sprinter Robert Howard, who currently leads the NCAA in the 50 free.
Swimming a tough Texas A&M team, the Crimson Tide won both relays on huge Howard anchor legs. While some of the nation’s top sprinters are struggling to break 20 early in the season, Howard managed to break 19 with a flying relay start. He started off the meet with an 18.94 closing off the 200 medley relay. That outsplit the field by nine tenths of a second, and bettered A&M’s best anchor leg by 1.2 seconds. Alabama went 1-2 to earn a 13-point advantage from the get-go.
With the meet already clinched before the final relay, Alabama won with style, rolling to a 1:18.31 on an 18.93 anchor leg from Howard. they won by more than two seconds, with Howard nearly a full second faster than anyone on the A&M relay. Alabama has the #1 time in the nation in that relay, a good 1.2 seconds faster than California.
In addition, Howard sits tied for the #1 spot in the nation in the 50 free, putting up a 19.77 in the A&M dual to tie Minnesota senior Bowen Becker.
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