Holding true to her word from ACCs, Louisville senior Mallory Comerford will not swim the 500 free at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Instead, she’s chosen the 50 free as her day 2 individual event at the meet. She’ll couple that with the 200 free on day 3 and the 100 free on day 4 – swimming no butterfly races.
Last year, Comerford did swim the 500 free on day 2, and it didn’t go well. She added 5-and-a-half seconds from her seed time and finished 27th. That’s in spite of an overall successful meet – she beat her seed time solidly in both the 200 free and 100 free, and finished 2nd and 1st, respectively.
So, with that experience as a primary driver, the move makes sense for other reasons too. It saves her 900 yards of racing, which is never a bad thing. She’s also weeks away from starting her professional career, where the 400 free is probably not going to be a part of her lineup, so to focus her mindset down to the 50 rather than up to the 500 will be a better springboard as she embarks upon that journey (though she does say that she’ll still do 500 training once per week).
Comerford had already hinted that she wouldn’t be doing the 200 free/100 fly double, even though the 100 fly is a top event for her in long course. At NCAAs last year, she didn’t swim the 200 medley relay (which is on the same day as the 200 free and 100 fly), so she could avoid the triple, but has opted to focus on just 1 individual event per day.