Over the past weekend, the first wave of mid-season invitationals has been swum, shaking up the top times in the NCAA.
Invitationals From This Past Weekend (11/21-11/24)
- Tennesse Invitational
- Art Adamson Invitational
- Wolfpack Invitational
- Mizzou Invitational
- Ohio State Invitational
- Purdue Invitational
- Georgia Tech Invitational
- TYR Northwestern Invitational
- West Virginia Invitational
Across all events from both genders, all but one top time has been taken over after this past weekend. The outlier is the women’s 1000 free, which is held by Alabama’s Kensey McMahon at 9:42.96. Out of the Ohio State Invite, OSU’s Molly Kowal is McMahon’s closest pursuer with her mid-season time of 9:43.38. The 1000 free isn’t usually race as a standalone event at Division I mid-season invites, so that swim’s survival isn’t a huge surprise.
There’s a bit of a wrinkle in the #1s via the women’s 100 fly, where Maggie MacNeil put up the 4th-fastest performance in history at the Michigan Intrasquad meet on October 18th. By NCAA rules, because there were no other teams present at that meet, it doesn’t count as an official NCAA time, but it is an official time in USA Swimming’s eyes.
- Click here to view the top five times in the NCAA (as of 11/27)
Top Women’s NCAA Times (as of 11/27)
|50 FR||21.19||Erika Brown||Tennessee||11/21|
|100 FR||46.15||Erika Brown||Tennessee||11/23|
|200 FR||1:41.66||Erika Brown||Tennessee||11/22|
|500 FR||4:34.64||Paige Madden||Virginia||11/21|
|1000 FR||9:42.96||Kensey McMahon||Alabama||10/4|
|1650 FR||15:47.85||Leah Braswell||Florida||11/24|
|100 BK||50.05||Beata Nelson||Wisconsin||11/22|
|200 BK||1:49.51||Beata Nelson||Wisconsin||11/23|
|100 BR||58.27||Zoie Hartman||Georgia||11/22|
|200 BR||2:06.19||Kate Douglass||Virginia||11/23|
|100 FL||49.79||Erika Brown||Tennessee||1122|
|200 FL||1:53.14||Katie Drabot||Stanford||11/22|
|200 IM||1:52.27||Beata Nelson||Wisconsin||11/21|
|400 IM||4:03.06||Tess Cieplucha||Tennessee||11/22|
Headlining the women’s side, by no surprise, is Tennessee senior Erika Brown. At her home invitational meet, Brown threw down a near LTB in the 50 free (21.19), a monster LTB in the 200 free (1:41.66), and became the 4th-fastest performer in the 100 fly (49.79) and 2nd-fastest performer in the 100 free (46.15).
While Brown’s sprint freestyle is in a league of her own, there could be a battle brewing at the upcoming NCAAs with Arkansas’ Anna Hopkin. Hopkin tied Brown for the 50 free top spot at 21.19, as well as sits second in the nation in the 100 free at 46.56.
Toppling both backstrokes and the 200 IM is Wisconsin senior Beata Nelson, holding the same number of top times as Brown. Around this time last year, the 3-time NCAA champion was at 49.67/1:49.10 in the backstroke was well as 1:53.08 in the IM. So far, Nelson is ahead of her times in the 200 IM (1:52.27) and just off pace in the backstrokes (50.05/1:49.51).
The women’s 100 fly looks to be one of the most competitive events of the season. First we have MacNeil’s 49.57, and Michigan has still yet to compete at the Minnesota Invitational (Dec. 4-7). The only other swimmer to break 50 seconds so far in the season is Tennessee’s Brown, who came the 4th-fastest performer behind MacNeil with a 49.79. Also in the top five times this season are USC’s Louise Hansson (50.05), Virginia’s Kate Douglass (50.30), and Wisconsin’s Nelson (50.65).
Speaking of Douglass, the freshman star holds the top spot in the 200 breast with a 2:06.19, the 4th-fastest time in 17-18 age group history. Douglass is also ranked second in the 200 IM with her ACC record time of 1:52.84, right behind Nelson.
Sitting in second behind Douglass in the 200 breast is fellow newcomer Zoie Hartman of Georgia (2:07.43). Hartman is also having a stellar debut season as she holds the top 100 breast time (58.27) and the 3rd-fastest 200 IM (1:53.69) behind Douglass and Nelson.
Top Men’s NCAA Times (as of 11/27)
|50 FR||19.10||Blaise Vera||Pittsburgh||11/21|
|100 FR||42.26||Adam Koster||Texas A&M||11/23|
|200 FR||1:32.95||Alexei Sancov||USC||11/22|
|500 FR||4:12.19||Mark Theall||Texas A&M||11/21|
|1000 FR||8:47.33||Zach Yeadon||Notre Dame||11/23|
|1650 FR||14:32.48||Zach Yeadon||Notre Dame||11/23|
|100 BK||44.48||Shaine Casas||Texas A&M||11/22|
|200 BK||1:38.21||Shaine Casas||Texas A&M||11/23|
|100 BR||51.81||Trent Pellini||Purdue||11/22|
|200 BR||1:52.48||Andres Puente||Texas A&M||11/23|
|100 FL||45.26||Shaine Casas||Texas A&M||11/22|
|200 FL||1:41.45||Brendan Burns||Indiana||11/23|
|200 IM||1:40.16||Shaine Casas||Texas A&M||11/21|
|400 IM||3:42.14||Clayton Forde||Georgia||11/22|
One big swim that has slid under the radar is the 1:41.59 in the 200 fly by West Virginia junior David Dixon at the West Virginia Invite. That ranks him 2nd nationally this season, just .14 seconds behind Indiana freshman Brendan Burns.
Another big swim that we should acknowledge is Iowa Central Community College’s Billy Cruz, who frightened the NCJAA 50 free record with a 19.10. If Cruz were to go to a D1 school, he would tie Pittsburgh’s Blaise Vera, who also went 19.10.
On the men’s side, breakout swimmer Shaine Casas is on a roll for the Texas A&M Aggies, leading four individual events in the nation (100/200 BK, 100 FL, 20o IM). Casas and the rest of the Aggies now hold 7 top times in the NCAA with the help of Adam Koster (100 FR), Mark Theall (500 FR), and Andres Puente (200 BR).
Although not an official NCAA event, the top 3 times in the men’s 50 back (lead-off for 200 medley relay), are strikingly fast. World champion Zane Waddell of Alabama leads the way with a 20.91, followed by Casas’ lone #2 backstroke time (21.07), and NC State’s Coleman Stewart.
Going ‘back’ to Casas, he leads both backstrokes as the 7th-fastest performer all-time in both the 100 back (44.48) and 200 back (1:38.21). Sitting behind Casas in both events is NC State’s Stewart (44.82/1:39.98), who won the 100 back NCAA title in 2018.
Casas also surprised the nation’s best 100 flyers and 200 IMers as he put up a Texas A&M school record and nation-leading time in the 100 fly at 45.26 and became the fastest teenager (as he is still 19) in the 200-yard IM (1:40.18).
Sitting behind Casas in the fly is Georgia junior Camden Murphy at 45.36, just a tenth off Casas. In the 200 IM, Casas sits ahead of Mizzou teammates Danny Kovac (1:42.60) and Nick Alexander (1:43.47).
Also a frequent featured face in the men’s top times is Notre Dame’s Zach Yeadon, who is first in both the 1000 free (8:47.33) and 1650 free (14:32.48), and IU freshman Brendan Burns, whose 1:41.45 is top of the 200 fly.
Most Top Times – By Individual
|Shaine Casas (Texas A&M)||4|
|Erika Brown (Tennessee)||4|
|Beata Nelson (Wisconsin)||3|
|Zach Yeadon (Notre Dame)||2|
Most Top Times – By Program
Below are the top five NCAA teams, determined by scoring out with a championships meet format courtesy of the Finis Swimulator.
Top Five Women’s NCAA Teams
Top Five Men’s NCAA Teams
After just the first weekend of midseason invites, the Tennessee women and Texas A&M men look to lead the NCAA in a championship meet format (subject to change).