Florida’s Michael Taylor Hits 1:40.2 200 Back to Qualify for NCAAs


  • Friday, February 23 – Sunday, February 25th
  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Invite Format
  • Short Course Yards
  • NCAA Qualifying
  • Results

The Florida Gators held their last chance meet last weekend for swimmers to try and improve their odds of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. One of the big swims of the meet came in the men’s 200 back, where freshman backstroke standout Michael Taylor likely secured a spot at NCAAs. Heading into the meet, Taylor’s season best was a 1:41.52 from the SEC Championships. He was over a second faster than that, taking 8 tenths off his lifetime best as he swam a 1:40.28. Taylor and teammate Brennan Balogh were neck-and-neck halfway, but Taylor used his back-half speed to break away from Balogh (1:41.49).

Taylor is now ranked 13th in the nation, and the Pac-12 is the only major conference meet remaining. He should be a lock for NCAAs. Balogh was slightly faster in a time trial, putting up a 1:41.19 which ranks him 26th. Though that’s over half a second faster than the 2017 invite time (1:41.74), it puts Balogh on the bubble. Another Florida man, freshman Clark Beach, sits on the bubble as well. He’s ranked 23rd with his personal best 1:41.13, which he also did in a time trial.

Additional Notable Swims:

  • Grant Sanders dropped a second and a half from his 400 IM. His 3:42.81 should have him safely qualified for NCAAs. He’s now ranked 17th.
  • Alex Lebed hit a season-best 1:43.95 in the 200 IM, taking almost a second off his time from SECs. He’s now ranked #27, but with Pac-12s still to swim, that may not make the cut this season.
  • Amelia Maughan, the 2015 SEC 200 free champ, swam a lifetime best 1:44.49 to secure an NCAA spot.
  • Taylor Delk dropped 10 seconds in the mile. His 14:55.01 is nearly 2 seconds faster than what it took to qualify last season, but he’s ranked #33 as of now, which is outside the usual cut line.
  • A couple of NCAA qualifiers swam events that aren’t typically on their schedule. Jan Switkowski tied his personal best with a 47.51 in the 100 back. Freestyler Khader Baqlah put up a lifetime best 3:44.70 in the 400 IM.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

You have to wonder about time drops at time trials… Why are multiple guys just missing taper? Or is it a clock thing maybe? Michael taylor dropping a whole second in a 200 back? or what about ben walker at TAMU dropping tons of time to qualify?

6 years ago

Locking up an NCAA d1 invite as a freshman is a major accomplishment that not many can do- congrats!!!

6 years ago

He had a rough SECs, aside from a good 50. I have to wonder if he was sick, or they really misjudged his taper. He’s better in the LC pool but easily talented enough to double-final as a freshman.

Reply to  Caleb
6 years ago

Something happened at SECs (sick or not rested enough), because it’s unusual to have that kind of 50 speed like he had in the relay, and then not do well in the other events where he’s supposed to be better. And that 50 also shows he’s not a terrible SCY swimmer compared to LCM. It’s like he had just enough in his legs for one blast 50 and then he was shot for the meet.

Reply to  Bigly
6 years ago

He’s a big guy. It looked to me like they were trying to get him through SECs on as little rest as possible. He’s a really big part of how the relays are going to do this year.

6 years ago

caleb should have swam the 200 free, just for kicks

Reply to  Lucas
6 years ago

This article is about Michael Taylor..

Reply to  Zanna
6 years ago

and other Florida swimmers

Steve Swims
6 years ago

these days 1:40 in the 200 backstroke isnt anything special. You really have to go in the 1:30’s to actually have a name in backstroke.

Reply to  Steve Swims
6 years ago

How about placing 5# at Olympic trials in the 100 back at age 17 with a 53.77 and 7th in the 200 back with a 1:56.78…have you made a name for yourself then?

Reply to  Michael
6 years ago

Excited for him this summer. These improvements should cross over

Reply to  Pvdh
6 years ago

He hadn’t improved more than .8 It’s a little early to say they’ll “transfer over” his best 100 is 45.5

Reply to  Michael
6 years ago

He’s a better meters swimmer

Reply to  Michael
6 years ago

Michael, those achievements are great… no one isn’t saying that. But you don’t deserve a name for yourself… plain and simple. Sorry.

Reply to  Michael
6 years ago

neither of those times came in finals but it is a good point, he is very well known in USA swimming

Reply to  Steve Swims
6 years ago

If it isn’t so special, then I’d like to see you go a 1:40 200 backstroke

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

Read More »