The 2018 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship pre-selection psych sheets are out, with Stanford’s Ally Howe choosing both backstrokes and the 200 IM, her same lineup as last year’s NCAAs.
Last year, after breaking the American, NCAA, and U.S. Open records in the 100 back at Pac-12s and becoming the second woman under 50 seconds in that event, Howe finished fourth in the 100 back at NCAAs, scored in the B final of the 200 IM, and missed scoring in the 200 back.
Howe, like several Stanford women, swam an “off” event at 2018 Pac-12s. (Off in the sense that the 200 IM is an off event for Caeleb Dressel– it’s not a bad event for them, just an event they don’t typically do or are known for. Do we need a new word for that?). She raced the 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 back at Pac-12s, with the 100 fly being her “off” event. She posted a time of 51.03, certainly not an “off” time by any means, which is the 7th-fastest time in the country this year and the fastest swim by a Stanford woman this year.
Howe’s fastest three events, relative to NCAA salience, would be the 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 back. She’s ranked in the nation’s top 10 in those three events, while she sits just outside the top 10 at 13th in the 200 IM. If a swimmer is going to do a double at NCAAs with individual events, the most common one is the 100 fly/100 back double on day 3. That’s a risk, though– doubles aren’t easy. Howe is avoiding that double, though, and will do the 200 IM on day 2, dropping the 100 fly altogether.
Her teammate Janet Hu is going to swim that double, along with the 200 back.