2023 NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- March 22-25, 2023
- Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center | Minneapolis, MN
- SCY (25 yards)
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheets
- Invited Swimmers By Team
- Alternates List
- Live Results
- Eligible Relays
- Live Stream
- Heat Sheets
Good evening swim fans! Tonight we are back at it again with our favorite overreacting game, where we jump to massive conclusions based on a single session of racing. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Leon Marchand Is the Best Athlete On The Planet
Fastest 50 breast split ever. Fastest 200 free split ever. At this point, we already know that Leon Marchand is good at every event he swims—he’s proved it to us all season and has continued to do so today. Because of the sheer dominance and versatility he put on display today, I’m going to spend my next paragraph just talking about all the things Marchand is capable of doing just because he really is that guy.
If the NCAA didn’t place a limit on individual events per athlete (WHY did they do that and deprive us of seeing a Marchand-dominated swimming decathlon?), he’d probably win all 18 events (and yes, that means pulling a Kate Douglass and cloning himself for the relays). He’s probably going to translate this into long course, which means not only destroying Phelps’s 400 IM world record, but also bringing the French relays back to their 2008-2012 glory days and smashing the American team. At the Paris Olympics, he’ll somehow find a way to get the Eiffel Tower named after him. He’ll retire from swimming and win an NCAA title in platform diving, and then go on to somehow break LeBron James’s total points record in the NBA.
I could go on and on, but then my paragraph is going to get really cringe so I’ll spare you from that. But the moral of the story is that Leon Marchand is out of this world.
Hoosier And Pack Hype
Two HUGE risers from tonight were NC State and Indiana, with NC State pulling off a huge surprise victory to smash the NCAA and US Open record in the 200 medley relay, and Indiana improving a whopping 24 points from their seed tonight.
Improvements came all across the board for NC State’s medley relay, as Mason Hunter‘s 22.95 breast split bettered’s Rafael Kusto‘s 23.22 from last year, Nyls Korstanje improved from a 19.55 to a 19.15, and David Curtiss going from a 18.74 to a 18.21 (splitting faster than his flat start time is pretty monumental for him). Similarly, the versatile Van Mathias split a 22.53, which is nearly a second and a half faster than Josh Matheny‘s 23.91 from last year. That split from Mathias was a big reason as to why Indiana jumped from 15th place last year to fifth place this year.
Both NC State and Indiana saw big improvements in the 800 free relay as well, with NC State dropping over a second from their seeded and Indiana rising from 9th last year to 4th this year.
So what does this mean? Both the Pack and the Hoosiers were considered top five teams prior to this meet, but have we been underestimating them? After all, Indiana diving are a force to be reckoned with, and the NC State sprint crew for the other relays are starting to look a little scary now. Saying either that team could beat Cal might be a hot take for now, but this team race is spicing up a lot more now (and imagine if they TIED!).
Who Do We Have To Worry About Now?
Unfortunately, there has to be some bad overreactions to balance out the good overreactions. So let’s rip the band-aid off and talk about them.
First off, Grant House. He led off in a 1:31.92, which was over a second slower than his personal best time of 1:30.23. Had he replicated his PB on the relay, Arizona State would have clocked a 6:03.39, which beats Texas and the NCAA record. But we can’t put the blame on House—everyone on ASU’s 800 free relay (Patrick Sammon and Julian Hill included) added time except for Marchand. This brings us to what we had worried about prior to the start of the meet: did ASU go all-out at Pac-12s, or even worse, that ASU-Cal suited dual meet? Can they improve more from their perfect meets prior to NCAAs?
That being said, it is only the first day of the meet, and there’s plenty of room to bounce back. Don’t count out swimmers like House just yet, because they might surprise us later on.
Alabama Is Playing With Fire
Alabama’s 11th-place 200 medley relay was risking it all on their takeovers tonight, spending a whopping 0.01 seconds combined on their relay exchanges. So that leads me to think: why did they feel the need to get off the blocks so fast?
Did Derek Maas get fired up seeing Max McHugh’s 22.39 split a heat before and feel the need to replicate that split himself? Was the team salty about finishing 7th at SECs (they did drop over a second from their seed)? Were they being chased by some sort of sea monster into the water (that ended up being reincarnated in the form of Leon Marchand during the 800 free relay)? We may never know, but the fact that the Crimson Tide managed to get so close to a DQ without actually being DQed is an impressive feat.
If Only Drew Kibler Took A Fifth Year…
If Drew Kibler took a fifth year and replaced Texas’s slowest 800 free relay split tonight, their combined time would be a 6:00.56. That’s it. That’s the tweet.
It’s very possible that Marchand is the best male swimmer on the planet, best athlete, no. It looks like a tie between him and Douglas as the best swimmer.
McIntosh > Both of them
She’s a medal contender in 5 events and a favorite for Gold in 2.
Marchand is a medal contender in 3/4 events and a favorite for Gold in 2.
Douglass is a medal contender in 1/2 events
Marchand is truly a world class swimmer. But in terms of ranking he is still behind Popovici and Milak. But one thing is sure: the future of male swimming haze moved to Europe…
1a – Popovici, 1b – Marchand. Both box office
3 – Milak needs to take control of the 100fly first
I am not a fan of the slowest stroke, but it is amazing how overlooked Adam Peaty’s top-20 times on the all-time-list in the 100 breaststroke got.
But Peaty isn’t the same swimmer now as in years past.
Popovici admits he HATES breaststroke so that disqualifies him. Marchand will show he’s a great freestyler, probably not at Popovici’s level but much improved. The only major difference is Leon doesn’t have a World Record, yet, but stay tuned.
Marchand can swim SC and LCM, Popovici can only swim LCM – at this point. Popovici can only swim 2 events at a high level internationally, Marchard can swim 3 that we know of, probably 4 (200 Br). I think we all know it’s just a matter of time before Marchand starts breaking LCM WRs.
that’s true. they’re both must watch tv in LCM and Leon SCY too
Well, Milak swims already 3 events at high level internationally and probably you can add a 4th one. Marchand insofar performed only once at a high level international meet compare to Milak’s 4 years dominance ( or Popovici’s year around dominance in 2022). Marchand has great potential, that is true, but results yet to be proved. Hence he is – for the time being – clearly behind Milak and Popovici.
Congratulations to Alabama’s coach for excellent practice with relay starts.
What a coach.
Realistically at this point he’s a 3 event guy in Paris: 400IM, 200IM, and he’ll have to choose between 200fly/breast (and likely go the latter).
I’m sure Bob will be tinkering to figure out a 4rth event for him. It seems like his options will be 400free, 200free, 100breast, and 200back as a wildcard.
the 2 breast/2 fly decision is interesting. Two events likely to be won by the current WR holder, is the 2 breast more open than the 2 fly? Or visa versa?
200 BR LCM is a much different event than in SCY.
If France could get other guys beside Grousset and Marchand, maybe they will beat US.
Douglass is awesome but it’s important to acknowledge that she and Marchand are NOT on the same level.
If we’re talking short course (which we should be) Douglass is even better than him for the time being. We will see if he can match her here
You sure about that in SCY? After last night’s breaststroke and 2free
Tbh even before the rest of the swims this weekend Marchand is ahead. He’s got the range all the way up to a 407 500 untapered. To me that tips the scales.
From a 22.2 50 breast, to a 128.5 free, to a probable 328/136 IMs and 146 200 breast to go along with a 40.50 100 free split, his range is just even better than Douglass, which is hard to comprehend.
Heck, he would probably even be a 137 200 back based off that 23 back split in the 200 IM and probably has a crazy 200 fly in him. Granted these last two are hypotheticals that Douglass could also perform a good 200 fly.
Marchand at one point… Read more »
I enjoy that Douglass now has a lane in every men’s race around here
Yes it’s possible that she is above him.
At this point I’m not too worried that Marchand might swim fast enough to reverse the spin of the earth and time travel back to 2008 to hold off Lezak, but we’d be fools to completely dismiss the possibility.
Whoah! He’s passed Dean Farris?
Never! Now go say 50 Hail Deanies as penance for your blasphemy.