Ella Eastin Won’t Swim the 500 Free at NCAAs

The 2018 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship pre-selection psych sheets have been released, and Stanford’s Ella Eastin is entered in the 200IM, 400IM, and 200 fly, and not the 500 free.

Eastin, a Stanford junior, is fresh off  blasting a new 200 fly American record (1:49.51) and going under 400 IM record pace (3:57.32) just behind Katie Ledecky at last week’s Pac-12 Championships. She is seeded 1st in the 200 fly, 2nd behind Ledecky in the 400 IM, and 5th in the 200 IM with a 1:53.24.

However, she also threw down a 4:34.04 500 free last week, good for #2 in the nation, but won’t be swimming it at NCAAs. That event comes on the same day as the 200 IM.

With Eastin’s versatility, she doesn’t really have an “off” event out of the four options, so the move is not terribly surprising. After taking 2nd in 1:52.27 at NCAAs last year, she’s certainly still in title contention in the stacked 200IM field that will feature Sydney Pickrem (1:52.69), Kathleen Baker (1:52.70), Asia Seidt (1:53.04), and Meghan Small (1:53.05). Of the top 5, Eastin is the only swimmer whose entry time was swum outside of a conference championship meet, as she went the time at the Pac 12 vs. USA College Challenge back in October.

In addition to Ledecky’s #1 seed, Stanford freshman Lauren Pitzer is seeded 7th in the 500 with a 4:36.61, and fellow IMer Brooke Forde has opted to swim the 500 over the 200 IM, likely also grabbing some points for Stanford in Eastin’s absence.


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Ella to battle with Katie again in the 400 IM.
You wonder if Ella will change her tactics in the rematch. Perhaps Ella will take the fly out faster and not let Katie get a lead.

Katie seems more comfortable racing when she takes control of the race from the start.


If one looks at splits then it will be obvious that the main advantage over Ledecky Ella has in breaststroke. More than a second. So that is where she has to push. Forcing fast first half will decrease this advantage in higher degree than she gets from fast fly leg.

Tom from Chicago

Still impressed with her 1:49 200 Fly.


But she’ll still beat Schooling’s last 50 of the 200 fly.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majors in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swims distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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