Men’s Week 1 Invite Mashup: Who Stood Out?

by Robert Gibbs 21

November 24th, 2021 College, News, Previews & Recaps

We’re at one of the most exciting times of the college swim season — the mid-season invites. For many teams, this is the first chance they’ve really had to swim suited up and (maybe) tapered and (maybe) shaved, although swim fans love to debate how rested and shaved their favorite teams actually were.

With at least five big invite meets this past weekend, plus plenty of smaller ones, there were plenty of big swims. But with likely top-10 teams swimming at different sites, and with different scoring formats at each invite, it can get a little tough to quantify just how well each school was swimming.

To help frame the discussion objectively, we used the SWIMS database to compile the top 16 times in each event from this weekend’s action, then scored out the hypothetical meet using the standard championship points structure.

Keep in mind that we compiled these rankings using only swims from this past weekend. This means there are a few big caveats here:

  • These are not NCAA predictions, just a compiled ranking of this past weekend’s meets.
  • That means these results don’t include teams like Cal, Texas, and Michigan.
  • This does not take into account diving.
  • In some cases, schools or swimmers had faster times from earlier in the season. These rankings don’t include those.
  • These are not NCAA predictions.
  • Some schools were missing key swimmers (e.g, Louisville was missing a big chunk of their roster).
  • Relay DQ’s could have a big impact on these scorings, and in some cases schools may have totally skipped a relay (e.g., Virginia and the 800 free relay).
  • These are not NCAA predictions.

All that being said, to the best of our ability, here’s how the men’s scores would look if you took all of the swims from this weekend and pretended they were all part of one meet.

Team Individual Relays Total
Arizona St 246.5 180 426.5
Florida 232.5 144 376.5
NC State 202.5 172 374.5
Indiana 194.5 146 340.5
Alabama 97.5 118 215.5
Stanford 118.5 82 200.5
Southern Cali 110 74 184
Missouri 117 65 182
Ohio St 62 100 162
Florida St 18.5 96 114.5
Auburn 51.5 54 105.5
Virginia Tech 67 32 99
Georgia 40 42 82
Tennessee 49.5 30 79.5
Louisville 24 50 74
Virginia 32 40 72
Texas A&M 61 10 71
Northwestern 39.5 26 65.5
Purdue 17 40 57
LSU 47 6 53
Georgia Tech 40 0 40
Penn St 11.5 23 34.5
Notre Dame 29.5 4 33.5
Pittsburgh 25 0 25
UNLV (M) 15 4 19
SMU 18.5 0 18.5
TCU 15.5 0 15.5
Brigham Young 15 0 15
Kentucky 1 12 13
South Carolina 9 0 9
Air Force (M) 6 0 6

While we only had Arizona State at #14 in our latest round of power rankings, the Sun Devil men dominated the weekend. Leon Marchand was the biggest name, as the French native had a stupendous performance in his first taper meet in yards. Not only did he swim to one of the fastest times ever in the 400 IM (3:35.62), he also put up the weekend-leading time in the 200 IM (1:40.80) and the 3rd-fastest time in the 200 fly (1:40.86).

Grant House was nearly as impressive, posting the weekend’s top time in the 200 free (1:31.73), the 2nd-fastest in the 200 IM,and the 3rd-fastest in the 100 free (42.06). Jack Dolan and David Schlicht had the weekend’s 2nd-fastest times in the 50 free (19.12) and the 400 IM (3:40.60), respectively.

The Sun Devil relays delivered this weekend as well, topping the weekend’s rankings in all three free relays (1:16.60. 2:47.43, 6:10.86). That 400 free relay time was over a second faster than any other team this weekend, while that 800 free relay time was three seconds faster than any other school’s time. Right now, it seems like there could be 13 or 14 teams who have the firepower to make the top 10 at NCAAs, and ASU appears to be moving its way up that pack.

Swimming at the Georgia Tech Invite, the Florida Gators got weekend-leading times from their two US Olympians, Kieran Smith and Bobby Finke. Smith had the weekend’s fastest time in the 500 free (4:10.72), and Finke did so in the 1650 (14:27.70), Each man is the U.S. Open record-holder in their respective event. The Gators also got a #2 performance from Alfonso Mestre, as well as a pair of top three times in two relays.

NC State’s depth was on display, as the Wolfpack finished just two points behind Florida in this hypothetical scoring. Kacper Stokowski had the weekend’s fastest time in the 100 back (44.79), while the 400 medley relay also picked up a weekend-leading time (3:04.02). The Wolfpack also had the weekend’s 2nd-fastest times the 400 free, 800 free, and 200 medley relays.

Indiana finished another 30 points behind NC State in our hypothetical computations. The Hoosiers had one weekend-leading performance, courtesy of Brendan Burns in the 200 back (1:40.27), as well as several strong relay performances, including #2 times in the 200 free and 400 medley relays.

Other top times from the weekend:

  • Alabama finished 6th in the hypothetical team standings, thanks in large part to some ace relays, including the #1 time this weekend in the 200 medley relay (1:23.38), thanks especially to fast splits by backstroker Matthew Menke (20.60) and breaststroker Derek Maas (22.97).
  • The larger swimming world may know Russian Olympian Andrei Minkaov best for his long course 100 fly, but the Stanford freshman actually had the best time this weekend in the 100 freestyle (41.69). Overall, the Cardinal finished 6th in our points tally.
  • USC had not one, but two, tops times this weekend, as the breaststroke due of Trent Pellini and Ben Dillard had the fastest showings in the 100 (51.28) and the 200 breast (1:52.44), respectively. Notre Dame’s Josh Bottelberghe tied Dillard’s time in the 200 breast.
  • The ACC got in some fast butterfly swims, thanks to Virginia Tech’s Youssef Ramadan‘s weekend-leading time in the 100 fly and the 2nd-fastest in the 100 free (41.98). Georgia Tech’s Christian Ferraro also put up the top time in the 200 fly (1:40.33).

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Bruh
13 days ago

ASU is gonna make me rethink my top 5

Taa
Reply to  Bruh
12 days ago

They have underperformed at the big meet in past years. This should be the year they break the curse. I’d put them in 5th-6th place but I do think they still have a little upside. Schlict I don’t think was in peak form and they have a huge stable of freestylers that I’m sure some of them will be faster later in season.

Aquajosh
13 days ago

I really like how Florida looks right now. They are considerably faster than they were at midseason last year, especially in relays and mid-distance/distance. Their relays were 1:17.0/2:51/6:21 last year midseason and 1:16.6/2:49.8/6:14.9 this year. Kieran wasn’t even on that 2:49 400 free relay. With Mestre coming in next semester and Quinn back now and swimming well, it’s going to give them a lot of pieces to work with. Eric Friese is already swimming faster splits than he did at NCs last year.

swimswamswum
Reply to  Aquajosh
13 days ago

I always get underwhelmed by Florida at mid-season forgetting that they historically don’t do much this time of year. Looking compared to last year I agree they look to be in a really good place. Trey Freeman and Alfonso Mestre are right on their end of season times already after having big drops from mid season to end of season, so the Gators could be looking at 4 A finalist in the 500

LedeckyLanes
13 days ago

hard to tell

Last edited 13 days ago by LedeckyLanes
James Beam
13 days ago

Diving included in these scores?

Admin
Reply to  James Beam
13 days ago

Nah but we did include a US News ranking multiplier.

James Beam
Reply to  Braden Keith
13 days ago

that’s funny!

Bobbyplee
13 days ago

Go Ponies

James Beam
13 days ago

Few random thoughts:

  • Ramadan from VT will go 43 at NC’s in the 1 fly…who will challenge him?
  • Minakov is legit in yards (yes, that is a captain obvious statement), but he is awesome to watch
  • ASU is clearly a top 10 school now, maybe 6-7? Marchand and House are scary fast.
  • Indiana has a ton of depth. Burns is swimming quite well and Miroslav was really fast for the 1&2 plus relays It bodes well for Big10’s- will be interesting to see what Michigan does next week.
  • NC State swam decent- solid results. Noah Henderson emerged. Surprised Curtis wasn’t faster, especially in the 100 free and fly.
  • Feel bad for Georgie and Louisville for battling
… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  James Beam
13 days ago

I think maybe question 2 answers question 1, in part at least.

I’m curious to see if Trenton Julian drops the 200 free for the 100 fly this season, after his Trials swim. I think he could be 43.

Albiero is the other obvious candidate.

Taa
Reply to  Braden Keith
12 days ago

Luca will drop a vicious 100fly/back double this year. 44s incoming

James Beam
Reply to  Taa
12 days ago

I think it will take 44.99 out of prelims to make the top 16 for both 1 fly and 1 back at NC’s, or pretty darn close to that…

Stank
Reply to  James Beam
12 days ago

I can see that easily for top 8, huge order to need a sub 45 for top 16 this year though

Last edited 12 days ago by Stank
JP input is too short
Reply to  James Beam
12 days ago

Gonna be close.

In the fly 9 guys in NCAA right now have a best time in the 44s. 6 other guys within a half second last year. 4 freshmen that maybe have a shot (Hayes, Samuels, maybe Connery and Groumi depending what they swim, they’re both also great 200 fr’ers). Of course somebody always comes out of nowhere too.

Backstroke is a little more questionable I think. For the newbies, Aikins and Grimm might have that ability. 8 guys return with 44s from last year, 3 more have been 44 in prior season. 4 within half a second.

James Beam
Reply to  Braden Keith
12 days ago

I think you are on with Julian dropping the 2 free for the 1 fly.
Do you see Alberio or Burns doing the 2 fly 2 back double?

Say's Phoebe
Reply to  James Beam
12 days ago

Interesting idea for Albiero. Hypothetically he could improve his 50 fly split (20.07 last year) on the 200 Medley by dropping an event on Saturday.

Louisville was 3rd in the 400 FR last year and Albiero had the slowest split with a 42.09. Albiero could swim the 200 double and Louisville could put someone else on the relay (Sartori? Dubinin? Lektov?).

Could Albiero do better than 5th in the 200 back? Maybe, but he might might push Whyte back by a point (or more if he pushes Whyte into the B final). Can Albiero win the 200 fly again? Maybe, but it sure doesn’t make it easier.

Interesting, but I don’t think Louisville will go that direction. Hoffer… Read more »

Say's Phoebe
12 days ago

Rechecking the SWIMS right now, Mert Kilavuz (freshman) from Georgia Tech is in the NCAA database for meets earlier in the year, but his times from last weekend are not in the database.

Kilavuz was 4:17.59 in the 500 and 14:42.62 in the 1650. I don’t know if he swam a third event.

I didn’t follow the Georgia Tech Invite closely and I’ve been wondering if there are other problems with the meet file from the GT invite.”Problem” might not be the right word, there might be an easy explanation.

jablo
12 days ago

ayo towson swam at the bucknell invite 🗿