Two of Texas’ stable of stars, Jack Conger and Joseph Schooling, have each entered the 50 free as their 3rd event for the 2017 men’s NCAA Championships. This means that both swimmers will have identical individual lineups in Indy – the 50 free on day 1, the 100 fly on day 2, and the 200 fly on day 3.
Schooling is the defending champion and fastest-ever in both butterfly events, but neither wound up swimming a 3rd individual event at NCAAs last season. Conger scratched the 100 back, and Schooling only ever entered 2 individual events. Schooling wound up swimming on all 5 Texas relays, while Conger swam on all but the 200 medley relay.
Both Schooling and Conger swam the 50 free at the 2017 Big 12 Championships, which included Schooling breaking the Texas school, and Big 12 conference, records in the event with an 18.76. That makes him the 3rd seed behind 2016 U.S. Olympians Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Held. Conger swam 19.20 and is seeded 12th going into the meet.
Ultimately, Schooling swimming a 3rd individual event should give the Longhorns more points than putting him on all 5 relays like they did last year. The Longhorns are still the favorites for an NCAA 3-peat, but with Cal getting Schooling’s fellow Singaporean Olympian Zheng Wen Quah eligible at the last minute, the battle does tighten up to where Texas can’t as comfortably afford to sacrifice those points for a relay-chase.