Swim coaches are notorious statheads when it comes to championship meets. Last week, we scored the NCAA women’s Championship meet, and to the average swimmer it might look like “so what, scoring psych sheets never holds up.” This is true – rarely do final results of swim meets resemble too closely what a scored-out psych sheet prediction does without human intervention.
But here’s where psych sheet scoring can be really useful. It gives a coach a baseline for whether or not their team, as a whole, is improving their placings, and can act as sort of a check-point for where their team should fall in the standings throughout the meet.
So here, we’ll take a look at what the day-by-day scoring is predicted to be. As you watch the meet, you can then look at predicted point differentials at the end of each of the first two days, and then compare those to actual point differentials, and see whether a team is moving themselves up or down the standings. You can also then take into account divers, and how their results are playing into the meet.
We’ll also take a look race-by-race at the Cal vs. Georgia battle for the title, (with all due respect to Arizona and Stanford, the top two feel way ahead) and see which races where those standings will see huge shifts.
This will be the last piece of heavy analysis before we make our final predictions for team standings.
Day 1 Top 15
The team expected to really have a big performance on day 1 of the meet is Wisconsin, thanks to their very highly ranked 200 free relay to begin the meet. Missouri, seeded 3rd in the 200 free relay, is likely to score nearly half of their swimming points on the first day of competition.
|1. Georgia 120|
|2. Cal 115|
|3. Arizona 92|
|4. USC 88|
|5. Stanford 87|
|6. Auburn 83|
|7. Tennessee 67|
|8. Wisconsin 49|
|9. Texas 45|
|10. Florida 45|
|11. Missouri 41|
|12. A&M 41|
|13. SMU 36|
|14. LSU 29|
|15. Indiana 27|
Day 2 Top 15
With Cal having a potential of two NCAA Champions on day two of the meet (Cindy Tran and Caitlin Leverenz), as well as a strong showing in the 200 free from Liv Jensen and Sara Isakovic to counteract Georgia’s great crew there, they should take a slight lead over the Bulldogs headed into the last day of competition. I do think, however, that Georgia has its biggest opportunity to pick up points versus seed on this second day of competition, especially in the 400 IM.
Other schools with big second days are the sprint-stroke heavy Tennessee Volunteers. Half of their swimming points will come on the second day of competition. The Florida women will also have a very good day, which is a touch surprising given that they’re comparatively so much better in the 200 stroke events. The A&M women, after coming out of the freestyle-heavy first day of competition, should fare much better on day 2.
|1. Cal 282|
|2. Georgia 261|
|3. Stanford 195|
|4. Arizona 195|
|5. Tennessee 193|
|6. USC 163|
|7. Florida 154|
|8. Auburn 152|
|9. A&M 105|
|10. Texas 88|
|11. Wisconsin 85|
|12. Indiana 77|
|13. Missouri 71|
|14. SMU 68|
|15. Arizona St. 55|
Day 3 Top 15
The final day is Georgia Time – the Dawgs, beginning with the 1650, should do most of their dirty work here. The Auburn women should hold-serve on this last day thanks almost entirely to Anna Vanderpool-Wallace, both in the individual 100 free and as a strong relay anchor.
|1. Georgia 377|
|2. Cal 338|
|3. Arizona 275|
|4. Stanford 266|
|5. Tennessee 251|
|6. USC 243|
|7. Auburn 211|
|8. Florida 200|
|9. A&M 166|
|10. Texas 158|
|11. Wisconsin 121|
|12. Indiana 104|
|13. SMU 103|
|14. Minn 103|
|15. Missouri 99|
Battle for the Title
So we saw day-by-day what we’re expecting to happen between Cal and Georgia, but what about race by race? And where can each team make up ground? Note that diving will be in play (Cal qualified one Casey Rowell), but shouldn’t be huge.
500 free (Georgia +19) – Not surprisingly, the Bulldogs are seeded at a plus 19 in the 500 free. They have the number 1 (Amber McDermott) and number 3 (Wendy Trott) seeds in the race, and though Cal’s got two projected A finalists, Georgia has numbers. I think these seedings about hold this year – 17th-seed Kelsey Gaid should move up in the points, while McDermott could move down a few spots.
400/200 medley relays (Cal +38 combined) – Cal has a pair of outstanding medley relays to finish the first day of swimming and kick off the second day. Both are potential champions. Though I think Georgia will be better than seed in the 200 (12th), I also think that Cal with the addition of Caitlin Leverenz to that relay will move up, and possibly win, the relay.
100 fly (Cal +28) – New year, same story. The Bulldogs’ butterfly is certainly better this year with freshman Lauren Harrington looking to have a bright future, but she’s not seeded to score while Cal is sitting with two in the top 7 (Tran and Isakovic). If Cal scratches Tran from this race like they did last year, it will even things up big-time.
1650 free (Georgia +29) – This will be a huge confidence boost to Georgia kicking off the final day of the meet. McDermott and Trott again will be big scorers for the Bulldogs, while Cal will be lucky to pick up a couple from their freshman Catherine Breed. Georgia will again surge in the next event, the 200 back, where they’re +15. Those two events, Georgia is expected to really put a gap between themselves and Cal. If the meet is even after the 200 backstroke, then look-out, it should be a barn-burner of a finish.
400 free relay (Georgia +28) – Georgia has a very good 400 free relay. Cal’s 400 free relay is their weakest. I don’t think this gap will hold at 28 though – Cal has to be able to put together better than the 16th-best relay on the strength of their underwaters alone. They also have one of the best-three sprinters in the country on their anchor. If they can get into finals, they’ll leave themselves with a chance in the last race.
|Event||Incremental score||Running score|
|200 Free Relay||Georgia +6||Georgia +6|
|500 free||Georgia +19||Georgia +25|
|200 IM||Georgia +8||Georgia +33|
|50 Free||Cal +10||Georgia +23|
|400 Medley Relay||Cal +18||Georgia +5|
|200 Medley Relay||Cal +20||Cal +15|
|400 IM||Georgia +9||Cal +6|
|100 Fly||Cal +28||Cal +34|
|200 Free||Georgia +1||Cal +33|
|100 Breast||Cal +0||Cal +33|
|100 back||Georgia +6||Cal +27|
|800 free relay||Georgia +6||Cal +21|
|1650 Free||Georgia +29||Georgia +8|
|200 Backstroke||Georgia +15||Georgia +23|
|100 Free||Georgia +1||Georgia +24|
|200 Breast||Cal +1||Georgia +23|
|200 Fly||Cal +12||Georgia +11|
|400 Free Relay||Georgia +28||Georgia +39|