Disclaimer: Dolfin 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 Dolfin 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 week, we wrote about the Cal men and their early-season big-time swims in our Coach of the Month category. This week, it’s their rival Texas men firing back with the Swim of the Week.
As we did with the Cal discussion, let’s start with some disclaimers. It’s early in the NCAA season, and there aren’t many meets going on, nor many contenders for monthly and weekly awards. Were the times at the Texas Intrasquad suited? Yes. Coach Eddie Reese has confirmed it. How much do these times say about how fast Texas will be at the end of the year? Hard to say. Fall in the NCAA exists in a state of “Schrödinger’s rest”: every team is simultaneously fully rested and lifting+swimming 10,000 yards the morning of every meet.
That said, the specific times from the Texas Intrasquad are probably less important than the fact that Texas swam very well. Their talent clearly showed through, and their newcomers (who will probably make the difference between 1st or 2nd at NCAAs) were, in general, as good as advertised.
Daniel Krueger‘s 41.9 in the 100 free was the most eye-catching swim. Drew Kibler‘s 1:33.9 in the 200 was arguably just as impressive. But if the newcomers (freshmen plus transfers) are indeed the key factor, then Alvin Jiang‘s career-best 100 fly is maybe the most significant swim.
Jiang went 46.05 late in the meet. His previous lifetime-best was 46.22 from ACCs last year, when he was still a member of the UNC Tar Heels. Last year at about this time, Jiang was 47.7, swimming that time in an October 5 dual with East Carolina.
Texas graduated John Shebat, who swam fly on both medley relays at NCAAs last year. If Jiang (or transfer Maxime Rooney) can fill in that leg, Texas’s medley relays should reload really nicely in what could be a brutal battle with Cal for the team title. It’s still very early, but the returns for Texas are looking good.
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