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.
There’s not a team in the nation (or in recent history) with as bright a future as the Stanford Cardinal. And while star sprinter Simone Manuel hasn’t yet competed this year, somehow things just keep getting brighter for the Card.
The latest swimmer to sizzle is sophomore Katie Drabot, who put up an off-event time so good it makes the 200 fly suddenly an on-event.
An NCAA qualifier last year in the 200 free, 500 free and 1650 free (and scorer in the 200), Drabot was already penciled in as a sophomore contributor. But at the Art Adamson Invite this weekend, Drabot blasted the nation’s fastest 200 fly time – and not only that, a time that would have earned second place at last year’s NCAA Championships.
Drabot went 1:51.74, going out in 54.0 and coming back in a blistering 57.7 over the final 100 yards. She beat her own teammate and defending NCAA champ Ella Eastin (1:52.03) head-to-head, and suddenly looks poised to demolish the 3 NCAA points she put up in her rookie season. An NCAA runner-up spot in that event would be worth 17, plus whatever she earns in her other two entries.
Stanford now has the potential to go 1-2 or better in four different NCAA races: 200 fly (Drabot, Eastin), 200 free (Ledecky, Manuel), 1650 free (Ledecky, Byrnes, Stevens) and 400 IM (Ledecky, Eastin), depending on who swims what.
Drabot was also 4:39.64 in the 500 free, 1:56.67 in the 200 IM, 1:44.76 in the 200 free at the Art Adamson Invite, and had previously been 4:37.51 in the 500 and 1:44.26 in the 200 free at the College Challenge. She ranks 4th nationally in the 500 free, 5th in the 200 free and 1st in the 200 fly, setting up what could be a 35+ point performance individually at the NCAA Championships.
Even when Stanford hits adversity in Manuel’s absence, things somehow keep looking brighter and brighter.
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