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.
The NCAA swim season is off and running, and though we haven’t had much action in the two weeks of swimming so far, we did manage to hit the first minor milestone of the NCAA season.
At the All-Florida Invite, Florida Gator Pawel Werner became the first NCAA swimmer of the season to hit an NCAA “B” cut with his event-winning 500 freestyle.
Plenty more “B” cuts were achieved over the course of the three-day meet, but Werner’s was officially the first, as he won the first men’s event of the meet (and none of the women in the 500 free made a “B” cut of their own).
That Werner hit a “B” cut is probably not worthy of the Swim of the Week on its own. The NCAA system uses “A” cuts as automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championships, but “B” cuts are merely enough to earn eligibility for an NCAA invite if your time ranks highly enough in the nation at the end of the year. “A” cuts are like the elevator that takes you directly from the ground floor to the penthouse suite that is the NCAA Championship meet. “B” cuts are the floor, above which you’re merely inside the building while still hoping for an invite to the top floor meet.
But Werner’s swim was an outstanding one for September. His 4:24.55 now leads the nation – in fact, outside of teammate Mitch D’Arrigo, who pushed Werner for the win, no one has been within 5 seconds of Werner’s time this year.
The time is also a whopping 4 seconds faster than Werner was at this very meet last year, a meet that took place about two weeks later in the season, in early October.
Werner looks ahead of pace already by a longshot. If he can stay ahead of his 2014-2015 times, Werner could be looking at a huge senior season for the Gators.
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