Cal’s Long Gutierrez has entered in the 50 free, 200 free, and 100 free for NCAAs, a schedule fairly different from his lineup last year.
Last year, Gutierrez pulled off an incredibly tough prelims double on Day 3 of the 2016 NCAA Championships, swimming the 200 free and the 100 fly back to back. While doubling up at NCAAs is no easy task, the commonly attempted double is the 100 fly – 100 back double, as there are two events in between. The 200 free – 100 fly double, meanwhile, is far rarer, but Gutierrez was able to qualify for the B final in both events. He was 1:33.93 in the 200 free just minutes after cracking a 45.99 in the 100 fly, finishing 13th in the fly and 14th in the free.
As impressive as his prelims session was, Gutierrez scratched the 100 fly finals swim and focused on the 200 free, where he shaved off a few tenths to grab 12th (1:33.55). In a huge swing for Cal, Justin Lynch, who had tied for 17th in the 100 fly prelims, won the swim-off, and then got bumped into the B final thanks to Gutierrez’s scratch. Lynch then moved up to 10th in the final, nearly winning it. Gutierrez also swam the 200 fly for his third event, but was unable to make finals.
The Golden Bear senior, then, will swim the 50 free (19.88, 87th seed), 200 free (1:33.44, 14th seed), and 100 free (43.15, 54th seed). His best times (19.58, 42.97, 1:32.74) are from the 2015-16 season, and are a big more competitive in terms of scoring potential.
One reason why he’s only swimming freestyle, besides avoiding the tough double on Day 3, would be due to Cal’s depth in butterfly. In the 100 fly, Cal has the 8th seed (Matthew Josa) and 9th seed (Justin Lynch), while they have the 2nd (Zheng Quah), 4th (Andrew Seliskar) and 12th (Mike Thomas) seeds in the 200 fly.