Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Fail Wins NCAA Bid With Gutsy Last-Chance 500


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.

Last chance swims aren’t easy.

The pressure is immense. There’s always something on the line (you wouldn’t be doing a last chance swim otherwise!) and in many cases it’s a berth at the world’s fastest short course yards meet: the NCAA Championships. You’re often swimming alone with no competitors to push you or to help you set your pace. The atmosphere is generally quieter, less conducive to excitement and adrenaline.

Despite all of that, Arizona freshman Brooks Fail had a stellar last chance meet swim on Saturday in one of the toughest events to time trial by oneself: the 500 free. His time trial appeared to come at some point during the Saturday night portion of the Pac-12 Championships at the King County Aquatic Center. Fail was listed as part of the Arizona roster for Pac-12s on Meet Mobile, but we’re told an illness prevented him from swimming any official events during the meet.

Fail smashed 1.4 seconds off his mid-season best, and has now dropped 10.6 seconds over the course of his freshman season, going 4:14.82 to make the NCAA Championships.

Not only did Fail make the meet, he’s now seeded 17th, with a great chance to score points for an Arizona team looking to make a statement in its first year under head coach Augie Busch. Fail is also entered in the 400 IM and 1650 free, where he’ll look for equally big drops after missing what would have been a taper meet at Pac-12s.


There isn’t a second that goes by when the team at blueseventy aren’t thinking about you. How you eat, breathe, train, play, win, lose, suffer and celebrate. How swimming is every part of what makes you tick. Aptly named because 70% of the earth is covered in water, blueseventy is a world leader in the pool and open water. Since 1993, we design, test, refine and craft products using superior materials and revolutionary details that equate to comfort, freedom from restriction and ultimately a competitive advantage in the water. This is where we thrive. There is no substitute and no way around it. We’re all for the swim.

2016 blueseventy banner for Swim of the Week b70_300x300-aftsVisit to learn more.

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Twitter: @blueseventy


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3 years ago

With the pressure on, Brooks delivered a PB and a NCAA qualifying time.

The fact that he swam his 500 free time trial solo shows a great sense of pace.

By qualifying in the 500, he gets to swim 3 individual events. A big accomplishment for a freshman.

3 years ago

Congrats to Fail.

That said, isn’t the 1st sentence of blueseventy’s blurb grammatically incorrect? It should be “There isn’t a second that goes by when the team at blueseventy ISN’T thinking about you” since team is a singular noun.

Reply to  iLikePsych
3 years ago

“Is” or “are” can both be used. “Team” could be referring to individual members or multiple departments within blueseventy, so “are” could be appropriate (ie. R&D, marketing, sales, etc). The “are” could just emphasize there are multiple teams within the larger team that are “thinking of you”.

Reply to  Swimmer!
3 years ago


Reply to  Currentcollegeswimmer
3 years ago

I am not saying I would use “are” in that situation, just saying it technically is not grammatically incorrect. Team is a collective noun, not a singular noun. So “team” can use a plural verb or singular verb depending on the context and other subject agreements within the sentence.

Maybe the sentence was written by a person from the UK? They prefer to use “are” instead of “is” in that situation.

Reply to  Swimmer!
3 years ago

This website has an interesting take on it:

And from

“Generally, however, in American English, collective nouns take singular verbs. In British English, collective nouns are more often treated as plurals that take plural verbs.”

The sentence “There isn’t a second that goes by when the team at blueseventy aren’t thinking about you” sounds awkward, for sure (not to mention a little creepy).

In my opinion, the whole paragraph could be reworked. For instance, the next two sentences are fragments (“How you eat, breathe, train, play, win, lose, suffer and celebrate. How swimming is every part of what makes you tick.”)

But if I stop being a grumpy grammarian… Read more »

A non-e mouse
3 years ago

Didn’t VT have a freshman qualify in the 500 in a similar circumstance?

Reply to  A non-e mouse
3 years ago

Lane Stone swam at ACCs and then dropped further a week later at the last chance meet. Fail was apparently sick for PAC 12s but flew out Sunday and had one shot to qualify.

JP input is too short
Reply to  A non-e mouse
3 years ago

Lane Stone basically locked his place up with his 500 free last chance swim, but it turns out after all the guys that dropped the 200 that he would have made the meet anyway.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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