Jack Conger and Joseph Schooling Both Enter 50 Free for 2017 NCAAs

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.

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Interesting decision. I would’ve put Jack and Joe in different races for the 3rd event to maximize Texas’s point intake. I would’ve even put Joe in 100 free (he swam 48 low at Rio) and Jack in 100 back But this is Eddie Reese we are talking about so I’ll give him benefit of doubt.

bobo gigi

Conger on backstroke? Oh no please…. I thought it was ancient history. 🙂


Conger would still be top 3 in the back. Lets face it, its Murphy and then the field. But the 50 is a crap shoot, and I would think Dressel, Held and Schooling would be the top 3 in that event. That said, its Texas….we should probably just trust their judgement.


Top 3? With 4 people below 45?


From the SwimSwam recruiting class rankings 2013: “Jack Conger is a star. Between him and Cal commit Ryan Murphy, the two will be battling for backstroke NCAA titles as freshmen (and might not get a lot of competition from returning swimmers in the 200).”

not saying he’s a lock, but he was a hell of a backstroker in high school and wouldnt doubt his ability to reach the podium if he chose to swim the 100, thats all.


… but… but… this is demonstrably incorrect … Just look at his backstroke results in over the past four years. The swim swam article from 2013 just turned out to be wrong… I don’t see how it is important, as the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.

And don’t get me wrong, he’s had a stellar NCAA career – just not in backstroke, as most expected.


Exactly, backstroke is his third best stroke. It would. Be stupid to put him in that. I think this schedule is the best possible set up for schooling and conger considering they’ll provide points and have the most rest. If anything Reese should have put conger In the 500 he went 4:13 out of hoghschool and could certainly manage something faster than that. This while better short term is less effective long term because a 500 double on day 1 would gas conger for the rest of the meet. Therefore this is the best option overall for Texas I believe.


I think the idea was to only have them swim one individual event per day

Stan Crump

Just cause they are entered, doesn’t mean they will swim them. Still could scratch. Maybe another relay instead. Maybe trying to conceal something. I know, I know, I am reading way too much about politics these days. Ha Ha.

Joel Lin

Gotta say I think this is a tactical mistake. Schooling will final the 50, no doubt. Conger might, but… The 2 fly is not going to be a “separation” event for Texas, even though Schooling & Conger may go 1-2. Cal has the points in this event and will A final at least 2, and their 2 big guns could score top 5 finishes. Conger should do the 100 free or 200 free double. Those are events where there is “separation risk” contra to Texas…Cal is very deep in both of those events. Cal’s roster add for NCAAs is a game changer. If Cal can scratch points with Texas in the butterfly events, that could tilt the meet to the… Read more »

Old Son

Points are points at the end of the meet it doesn’t matter who gets swings in each event. The team that scores more will win over the team that gets “separation” in one event.

Bay City Tex

Are you including diving points in your analysis? Anderson scored 35 by himself, last year, and Grayson Campbell might score 15 more.


Texas picked up another NCAA qualified diver today- Jacob Cornish. That’s 3 divers total now. Anderson doing all 3 events, Campbell doing 2 events and Cornish 1 event. That’s six opportunities for scoring points!! Hook ’em Horns!!!!


I’d say conger in the 2 free would make more sense. He did make the Olympic team in that event after all. The 100 would be viable too


I wouldn’t overthink the specific events; you’re dinging yourself a single point by putting them both in the same event, but that’s better than the risk of totally blowing an event with a near-impossible double like 100 fly / 200 free or 100 free / 200 fly. Along the same lines, Cal added a lot of talent but the specific events, e.g. 200 fly, don’t matter much. I do think Conger would be smarter to swim the 200 free on Day 2 – he has a better chance of actually winning, and less chance of missing the A-final if something wacky happens – but that doesn’t really affect the points race. IMO if Texas is on their game and Clark… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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