Hansson’s got the raw speed, but Eastin has the upper hand on the back half.
With King’s 55-second performance, as well as her slew of 56-second swims, it’s easy to lose track of how significant it is for other women to swim 57-anything in the 100 breaststroke.
If there’s one relay that feels hard to project, it’s this one.
Ella Eastin’s 2018 400 IM performance at this meet last year was perhaps one of the most stunning in college swimming history – from breaking every record in the books by multiple seconds to handing Katie Ledecky what’s likely the biggest loss margin of her career.
Miami’s David Dinsmore won the 2017 NCAA platform dive title, but lost last year to Colin Zeng and two freshman phenoms. All four return this year in what could be the most explosive diving event in recent NCAA memory.
Cal was within .07 of winning this relay last year and returns all four legs, including two potential 20-point splits.
Over the last two years, Texas has brought in the #2 and #1-ranked recruiting classes, both centered around one event: the 200 free.
The University of Texas, who had 18 swimmers invited to the 2019 Men’s NCAA Championships, has scratched two athletes to lower its combined swimming and diving NCAA roster size to 18.
USC’s Louise Hansson and Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil could have an exciting battle in the 100 fly as both swimmers have been under 50 seconds multiple times in their careers.
It’s bold predictions time… we’re launching our annual Women’s NCAA Championships Pick ‘Em Contest with a tweaked scoring format and a lineup of great prizes!
Stanford freshman Taylor Ruck has been 1:48.67 in the 200 yard backstroke this season, which would have been fast enough to win silver at last year’s NCAA Championships. But Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson has been faster still.
With four of 2018’s top-10 finishers out of the NCAA, there’s room for some new blood in the mile.
Newcomers and redshirt returners threaten to shake up last year’s diving order, including on 1-meter, where UCLA’s Maria Polyakova returns from a redshirt year to recreate what was a seven-point thriller of a finish with Sarah Bacon and Alison Gibson in 2017.
For the title of sprint queen in the 50 free, Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil and Tennessee’s Erika Brown look to have a battle like none other for the American record.
Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson looks to potentially gain her recently-lost 100 BK American record. But freshmen Taylor Ruck and Maggie MacNeil, both in their first year of SCY swimming, could be dark horse threats.