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.
Counting for double points, the relay events at NCAAs are essential for a team hoping to contend for a top-5 spot. The Florida Gators have struggled to find four good medley relay legs, but a big swim this week from Jan Switkowski might have them in NCAA title contention anyways.
Last year, the Gators were 5th, getting a historic 17.93 free split from Caeleb Dressel while their back (21.2), breast (23.8) and fly (20.0) legs were relatively pedestrian compared to the rest of the NCAA A final.
But last week, Switkoswki split 19.96 on butterfly mid-season – presumably coming off a training trip in which Florida pounded the yardage. That swim is already faster than Mark Szaranek was on the relay last year, and suggests that with a taper, Switkowski could be among the best fly legs in the NCAA. Last year’s top split was a 19.4 from Joseph Schooling, then things dropped off to a 19.6 from the graduated Andrew Sansoucie.
Beyond that, freshman backstroker Michael Taylor split 21.4 to lead off the relay last week, almost as fast as Florida went at NCAAs last year. If the Gators can get a 19-mid from Switkowski, a high-20-point from Taylor along with another 17 from Dressel, it would only take Chandler Bray about matching his breaststroke split from last year for Florida to have a shot at a top-3 finish or better in the 200 medley relay.
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