The following is a lightly edited transcript of a Slack chat that took place over the last three weeks. This is part 2 of 2. The first 4 rounds were published on Friday and can be found here. People’s opinions expressed below are their own. I’m certain some of you will disagree with some of them. Feel free to comment why our picks were so unwise or why my team is better than Jared’s.
If you want a quick refresher on the rules:
Points system: Individual events: Gold: 12, Silver: 8, Bronze: 4
Relay Events Finals Swimmer: Gold: 6, Silver: 4, Bronze: 2
Relay Events Prelims only swimmer: Gold 3, Silver: 2, Bronze: 1
6 points for each individual event a swimmer qualifies
Only US Swimmers competing for the US at the Olympics. Open water events not included.
Participating in the draft are myself (Andrew Mering), Braden Keith, Jared Anderson, Lauren Neidigh, Loretta Race, Reid Carlson, Robert Gibbs, and Morgan Priestley. There will be 8 rounds for a total of 64 swimmers drafted.
The draft was conducted in a snake format (the draft order was reversed every round).
Teams after the first 4 rounds (teams are listed in draft order):
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4|
|Retta||Katie Ledecky||Jack Conger||Michael Andrew||Cody Miller|
|Reid||Regan Smith||Kevin Cordes||Zane Grothe||Katie Meili|
|Jared||Caeleb Dressel||Kathleen Baker||Blake Pieroni||Zach Apple|
|Andrew||Simone Manuel||Ella Eastin||Melanie Margalis||Bethany Galat|
|Robert||Ryan Murphy||Kelsi Dahlia||Clark Smith||Abbey Weitzeil|
|Braden||Mallory Comerford||Chase Kalisz||Olivia Smoliga||Gretchen Walsh|
|Morgan||Lilly King||Leah Smith||Matt Grevers||Jacob Pebley|
|Lauren||Townley Haas||Nathan Adrian||Missy Franklin||Dean Farris|
**START OF ROUND 5**
Retta Next pick is Michael Chadwick
andrew To win the men’s breaststroke or sprint free lottery, you have to buy a lottery ticket.
Retta I think Chadwick is good to have a shot at least the 4×1
Reid Guess it’s time I picked up a pure sprinter… Lia Neal
Jared Alright, everyone else has taken a home run swing, I want to take one too. Give me Erika Brown
andrew You call that a home run swing? I’ll show you a home run swing: my next pick is Claire Tuggle.
Betting on a 13 year old is risky, but the upside is possibly huge. Consider the following: Tuggle’s free times: 1:59.11, 4:11.13, 8:37.27. Katie Ledecky’s age 14 PRs 2:00.01, 4:09.30, 8:30.14. I’m not saying she’s the next Ledecky. Only that there’s a long track record of 15 year olds killing it at the Olympics and if that’s going to happen this time around, Tuggle looks as good a bet as anyone. Alternatively, I could easily get 0 points out of this pick.
Jared I wonder how many of us were kicking around a Tuggle pick the last round or so… I know I was
Robert Gibbs Lochte just went 4:15 in the 400 IM. I have to think the world record holder in the 200 IM still has a good of a shot as anyone in picking up the 2nd spot (beyond Kalisz) in the 200 IM. Not to mention a decent chance to make the 4×200 free. So, I draft him.
Morgan P Noooooooooo
Braden Keith I wonder if the cross-continental travel has given Troy’s boys a little more rest than they’d usually have at this point in the season.
Retta Yyeessss!!! Way to have faith, Mr. Gibbs!!
andrew Mary T Meagher has the US Open record in the 200 fly. That’s not a deep event for the US. I wonder why no one has picked her yet….. sorry. Off topic. You guys were talking about Ryan Lochte. Continue.
Robert Gibbs #savage
I’m gonna double down and take Rowdy with my next pick. 🙂
Braden Keith I was going to take Santo. But, with that off the table….
I’ll take Andrew Wilson.
Lauren I’m conflicted about my last 2 picks
Wait Morgan is before me
Morgan P Doing some recon and picking shortly
Gimme Justin Ress
Lauren I’ll take Ian Finnerty
I need to think about my next one
andrew Wow. That’s the 4th men’s breaststroker to get picked. And they all swim the 100.
Jared 5 if you count Michael Andrew. And I can think of at least five more draftable options
Robert Gibbs Yup. Kind of surprised no one’s taken Prenot yet.
Morgan P Hush, Robert!
**END OF ROUND 5**
Round 5 summary:
**START OF ROUND 6**
Lauren I’ll take Madisyn Cox
Morgan P I’ll take Margo Geer. This is a vote of confidence in Coley.
Lauren Yay Margo!
Braden Keith I’ll take Josh Prenot
Robert Gibbs Haha, I was going to take him next.
Why do we think the reigning Olympic silver medalist fell to the 6th round?
andrew He missed the 2017 world championships team. That’s a pretty big red flag
Robert Gibbs I’ll take another sprinter lotto ticket with Ryan Held.
andrew Solid pick. I was strongly considering taking him if you passed on him. Instead, I’ll take Andrew Abruzzo. 3 event ceiling and he has the look of someone who has plenty of time left to drop. He went a best time already this year in one of his primary events at the Atlanta PSS.
Jared Alright, well, give me Austin Katz. I don’t think he’ll knock off Murphy or Pebley, but I was impressed with him at NCAAs and he’s very proven already long course
I like the Abruzzo pick, btw. A ton of versatility and potential if he can find an opening
Robert Gibbs Katz was another one I’d been thinking about. I do think he has an outside chance to pick up a spot in the 200 back. At the very least, he’s going to keep Murphy and Pebley honest.
andrew I could see any one of three of four guys picking up that second 200 back spot if they have a great day or Pebley falters. Katz is one of those guys, but I’m not sure he’s a clear favorite to top the second tier. Who ever gets that spot can medal though.
Retta ……Rylov, Kolesnikov, Xu may put up a wall
andrew True, it won’t be a cakewalk, but the US is deep enough here that it probably takes a sub 1:55 to make the team. Anyone who can break 1:55 at least has a chance at a medal. The US went 2-3 at last year’s worlds with all 3 of those guys in there. The internationals are young so they should improve, but the US has youth here as well, enough to at least give a puncher’s chance to anyone who qualifies.
Reid Suppose I’ll go with Hali Flickinger.
Braden Keith Who’s on the clock? Based on how long it’s taken to make the selection, I’ll assume Jared, because he’s from Minnesota #2002NFLDraft #2003NFLDraft
Retta No, it’s Retta…
Back-to-back…I know next pick, but odd round is challenging.
**END OF ROUND 6**
Round 6 summary:
**START OF ROUND 7**
Retta 7th round Ali Deloof
Reid How about Jay Litherland
Jared Good call. I’ll take Sarah Gibson
andrew Gunnar Bentz. I did some quick googling on Bentz before making this pick. This led me to discover that the gas station scandal from the last Olympics, which Bentz was involved in, has a wikipedia page titled “Lochtegate.” It is more than 3000 words. A few tidbits: While #Lochtegate caught on, the second most popular hash tag about the incident was the obviously superior #LochMess. Also, tours of famous sites from the Rio Olympics now stop at the gas station.
Retta Jay – terrific sleeper pick! Bentz….who knows?
Jared I count 3 #LochMess monsters drafted, 1 still on the board!
andrew Style points to anyone who drafts Feigen
Robert Gibbs 5 of our 6 top two boys recruits in the hs classes of 2013-2015 made it to Rio. I’m feeling pretty good about the chances of the top 2 boys in this year’s class.
So, do you go with the 6’8 breaststroker who’s about to go train under the coach who put a guy on the Rio team in each stroke?
Or do you go with freestyler who’s about to go train with the coach who’s has someone on the USA’s 4×200 squad every quad since like WWI?
Really hard call, but think I’ll go with Kibler here.
andrew With Whitley still on the board, the question is: will Braden pick his third straight men’s breaststroker?
Braden Keith I’ve alluded to this, but I think there’s a chance that Reece Whitley doesn’t come out of Cal as a breaststroker.
So has everybody decided that Tom Shields is done at the international level? Is that the consensus?
Robert Gibbs I was wondering that (about Shields) myself as I was streaming the PSS today.
Braden Keith I’m going to take Dwyer. At this point, everyone’s a risk. I think his risk is less than everyone else’s.
Robert Gibbs It’s going to be interesting to just how many guys in their 30s can make the team.
andrew 2016 was the first Olympics without a US age 18 or younger swimmer since 1900. The sport is getting older.
(I don’t think that will happen again this time)
Retta Conor is still in the game?
andrew He did a 1:49.4 in prelims at Mesa. That’s an ‘I’m not dead yet’ time.
Morgan P Seliskar.
Could maybe not make anything, but has flown under the radar with being hurt last summer, and feels like he could make an OT final in 6 or 7 different events (not at the same meet, just depending on where his focus is).
Lauren Will Licon
I need to think about my next one
**END OF ROUND 7**
Round 7 summary:
**START OF ROUND 8**
Lauren Give me Phelps [darn] it
Robert Gibbs Hahahahaha.
Morgan P Yessss
andrew Phelps? Does that mean you want Boomer, Michael, or Debbie?
Lauren Michael fam
Morgan P Feel like they’re all included
Braden Keith NO VETO
NO. I VETO.
Stop drinking and drafting.
Lauren LOL. I’m at work there are no drinks here
andrew Honest question: If Phelps said tomorrow “I’m coming back” and he went all out between now and 2020, how many medals (if any) do we think he would win?
Braden Keith He could still medal in the 200 IM
Robert Gibbs ^
Does he end up on the free relays too?
I think yes.
Retta Agreed on 2IM….2free possibly
Braden Keith I’d get behind the 200 free – which still looks a little soft
Morgan P Katie McLaughlin for me, por favor
Braden Keith There’s some really good female backstrokers, and really good female middle-distance freestylers left that I really want to take. It just terrifies me, because the U.S. is SO good in those races. Kaersten Meitz, Hannah Stevens…
So, I’m going to go with a less crowded discipline: the men’s distance freestyles. Now that there’s two of them, that’s a way bigger scoring opportunity. So, I’ll take True Sweetser. He had a big add at Worlds last year, but by the time 2020 rolls around he’ll be in his first post-grad summer. He’s been a better long course than short course swimmer to this point of his career, so he’d be a good candidate to take that pre-Olympic year redshirt, but even if not, I think Trials will be his focus for the full collegiate season.
Jared Men’s distance seems like the least-drafted discipline so far. But so many decent options: Sweetser, Finke, Shoults, Brinegar, Wilimovsky…
andrew Women’s breaststroke and distance haven’t had a ton of picks either. The difference is those events have a no doubt number one swimmer taking up half the qualifying spots. Men’s distance doesn’t.
Robert Gibbs Since he’s slid through…Reece Whitley…
andrew That makes 7 men’s breaststrokers picked and there are more contenders out there. Still on the board, 2017 world championships 200 breast 5th place finisher Nic Fink and junior world 200 breast champion Daniel Roy. Of the 7 picked so far, I bet at least one of them misses a breaststroke final at trials.
I’ll take Abrahm DeVine. Great NCAA’s this year and he’s been 1:56 in the 200 IM. That makes him a medal contender if he can sneak onto the team past Lochte.
I tried really hard to talk myself into Ryan Hoffer here, but I couldn’t get past the long course/short course mismatch. Some people are better in the small pool.
Other people I considered for this pick: Pace Clark, Carson Foster, Julia Cook
Jared I’m still not taking any male breaststrokers, even though Fink and Whitley were way higher than anyone left on my board.
I’ll go multi-event upside on a fast-rising college swimmer. Katie Drabot for my last pick
Reid I’m thinking really hard between two right now…
After much deliberation, I’m gonna go with Bowen Becker
Lauren Knew it
Retta Gimme another #GoBlue…..Sierra Schmidt
andrew That wraps up the draft. Any closing thoughts?
Morgan P If any of us manage to beat Jared or Retta, consider it a miracle
Or tragedy involving Ledecky/Dressel
Especially Jared. Those first three picks should be like 11-13 Olympic medals
Lauren I’m obviously gonna win
**END OF ROUND 8 AND DRAFT**
Full teams (first 4 rounds). I would love to see some team rankings in the comments. What was the best value pick? The worst (other than Phelps)?
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Round 8|
|Retta||Katie Ledecky||Jack Conger||Michael Andrew||Cody Miller||Michael Chadwick||Molly Hannis||Ali Deloof||Sierra Schmidt|
|Reid||Regan Smith||Kevin Cordes||Zane Grothe||Katie Meili||Lia Neal||Hali Flickinger||Jay Litherland||Bowen Becker|
|Jared||Caeleb Dressel||Kathleen Baker||Blake Pieroni||Zach Apple||Erika Brown||Austin Katz||Sarah Gibson||Katie Drabot|
|Andrew||Simone Manuel||Ella Eastin||Melanie Margalis||Bethany Galat||Claire Tuggle||Andrew Abruzzo||Gunnar Bentz||Abrahm DeVine|
|Robert||Ryan Murphy||Kelsi Dahlia||Clark Smith||Abbey Weitzeil||Ryan Lochte||Ryan Held||Drew Kibler||Reece Whitley|
|Braden||Mallory Comerford||Chase Kalisz||Olivia Smoliga||Gretchen Walsh||Andrew Wilson||Josh Prenot||Conor Dwyer||True Sweetser|
|Morgan||Lilly King||Leah Smith||Matt Grevers||Jacob Pebley||Justin Ress||Margo Geer||Andrew Seliskar||Katie McLaughlin|
|Lauren||Townley Haas||Nathan Adrian||Missy Franklin||Dean Farris||Ian Finnerty||Madisyn Cox||Will Licon||Michael Phelps|