This is Pancake Hot Take, where we rate racing on a scale of 1-5 pancakes, and give you our highlights. This weekend we saw the top Pros in the country gather in Des Moines as well as the Pac-12 Championships. Since this is a weekend recap, however many pancakes we give, there will be that many Top Swims and Surprises.
Holy wow. This weekend really blew my socks off for a beginning of March, in-season weekend. We saw so many top times in the world, so many historic, top-10 all-time swims. I’ve got to give it to this weekend.
Let’s get into it.
Top 5 Swimmers:
- Regan Smith, takes the 100 back (58.18, would’ve won World Champs by .42) and 200 back (2:06.19, would have gotten silver at worlds… behind herself) PLUS 17-18 NAGs in both the 100 fly and 200 fly
- Katie Ledecky, goes off on Wednesday with 15:29 mile, #5 all-time (for herself and for anyone ever), follows it up with 3:59 400 free, 1:54 200 free
- Reece Whitley, drops 50.8/1:49 100/200 breast (yards) to win double Pac-12 title and crack the top-10 performers list in both events
- Michael Andrew, had a trio of lifetime bests including 59.1 100 Breast, 51.3 100 fly, and a stunning 1:56.8 200 IM to become #6 American all-time
- Kathleen Baker, who got 2nd behind Regan in both backstrokes, but still went insanely fast, dropping 58.5/2:06.3 in the 100/200, which again would have been good for gold/silver this summer at world champs. Plus that nutso 100 breast… but we’ll get to that
Top 5 Surprises:
- Melanie Margalis, shocks with a 4:32 400 IM, becomes #4 American all-time, Good. Gracious.
- Kathleen Baker, 1:07.9 100 breast to win the B-heat, making her a “real” breaststroker
- Allison Schmitt drops a lifetime best in the 100 free, 53.80, which was overshadowed buy the fact that only netted her a 3rd place finish
- Cal men 400 IM, in prelims freshman Jason Louser goes a massive personal best 3:40.4 to make NCAA’s, then in finals we see the reemergence Hugo Gonzalez in this event as he goes on to win the Pac-12 title in 3:36.6
- Zach Poti breaks Ryan Murphy’s meet record in the 100 back, dropping a 44.1
Syrup on Top:
Men’s 100 free is looking DEEP for team USA. I’ve never been to a meet where the B heat is more anticipated (and gets more cheers) than the A final, but when Caeleb Dressel AND Nathan Adrian are in heat 1… that’s just how it goes. Between the 2 heats, there were 6 men under 49 seconds, with a 7th at 49.00 on the dot. Speculations are already being made o f not just Olympic gold in Tokyo, but a new world record, breaking the American standard highlighted by Jason Lezak‘s legendary anchor leg.
HOW MANY PANCAKES DO YOU THINK TODAY DESERVED? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW
Stay tuned for Pancake Hot Takes every day after finals. And until then… stay hungry.
I feel like Ryan Murphy deserves some credit for his swims
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Thanks, Coleman…great synopsis! NCAA season is definitely upon us….best time of the year…Olympic year notwithstanding….though close.
Your Fuego family
I would like to see some of these guys, who aren’t necessarily gunning for a top 2 spot, focus on their more important races and possibly try to sneak their way on the relay at the actual games. I know it is tough to compare anyone to the GOAT, but he didn’t earn his 4×100 or 4×200 at trials, and instead impressed the coaching staff leading into the games. Conger (1fly/2fly/2free), Seliskar (2free/2IM/1fly?2fly?4IM?), and Kieran Smith (2free/4free/2IM/4IM) could greatly benefit from skipping prelims/semis/finals of the 100 free and still prove themselves worthy at the games.
Nah, not this time around. A guy like Ryan Murphy can focus on his main events and go 51.3 and 1:52.0 and it wouldn’t necessarily mean he could throw a 47 low or 46 high down on the relay. With the free depth we have now, I think we should honestly stick to the 6 we pick at Trials. The specialists will do their thing in their events, freestyle sprinters included.
Potential male 400 free relay swimmers at the Olympics:
1. Caeleb Dressel
2. Nathan Adrian
3. Zach Apple
4. Ryan Held
5. Maxime Rooney
6. Dean Farris
7. Michael Chadwick
8. Blake Pieroni
9. Tate Jackson
10. Robert Howard
11. Jack Conger
12. Daniel Krueger
13. Townley Haas
14. Andrew Seliskar
15. Drew Kibler
16. Brooks Curry
17. Coleman Stewart
18. Kieran Smith
19. Bowe Becker
20. Shaine Casas
21. Adam Chaney
I’m almost certainly missing people.
Trials 100m semi-finals are going to be insane. Even Caeleb Dressel won’t be able to cruise to the final…
It could conceivably take a sub 48 to even final.
Held , Farris & Apple , Pieroni Or Adrian will give him some challenges , thats certain . Top final of the OT
Dressel, Adrian, Apple, Held, Rooney, Pieroni, and Jackson all have best times under 48. That’s 7 already right there.
I’d take Dressel and Held individually, Adrian and Apply for the relay. And then 5-6 a total toss up but fingers crossed that our savior dean gets in there
Dean must get a relay spot ( he went 47.00 on a rolling leg last summer )
From Purdue? I checked the database and he’s listed with a 51.0 best time.. am I missing something?