SwimSwam Pulse: 32.7% Predict Marchand To Lead Men’s NCAAs In Scoring

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which swimmer will put the most points on the board this week at the Men’s NCAA Championships:

Question: Who will score the most points at men’s NCAAs?


Nearly a third of SwimSwam readers predict Arizona State freshman Leon Marchand to put up the most points at this week’s Men’s NCAA Championships in Atlanta, with the French native coming in as a big favorite to win two events and challenge for a title in a third.

Marchand is the top seed in both the 200 and 400 IM, and is also ranked fourth in the 200 breast, less than a second back of top seed and defending champion Max McHugh.

While Marchand trails three breaststroke specialists in the 200 breast, his time of 1:50.39 from Pac-12s puts him right in the hunt for a top finish, while his entry time in the 200 fly would’ve only seeded him 13th (though he didn’t swim it at Pac-12s and perhaps could’ve been faster than his 1:40.86 from mid-season).

Just over 20 percent of voters selected Kieran Smith to lead the meet in scoring, as the Florida senior will be aiming to defend his title in the 200 free and get some redemption in the 500 free. Last season, Smith was edged out by Georgia’s Jake Magahey in the 500 final at NCAAs after breaking the U.S. Open Record at the 2020 SECs (before NCAAs was canceled) and then tying that mark at the 2021 conference championships.

Smith is coming in ranked second in the 200 free and third in the 500 free, with ASU’s Grant House leading the 200 and a pair of freshmen, Matt Sates and Luke Hobson, headlining the 500 free.

Smith is also seeded eighth in the 200 back, an event that appears fairly wide open behind pre-race favorite Destin Lasco.

The other two swimmers earning over 10 percent of votes were Texas’ Carson Foster and Florida’s Bobby Finke.

Foster faces a pair of tough fields highlighted by Marchand in the IMs, and he’ll join Smith in that 200 back lineup.

Finke, who is the highest returning scorer from last season after putting up 53 points, is a slam-dunk winner in the 1650 free (assuming he’s fully recovered after being forced to pull out of SECs due to COVID protocols), and he’s also the defending champ in the 400 IM.

Finke’s third entry is the 500 free, where he’ll need to drop a big prelim time (likely swimming on his own) to make the ‘A’ final as he comes in seeded 33rd. Last season he finished sixth.

Lasco and Sates both received just over five percent of votes, while another freshman, Andrei Minakov, picked up just over three. Lasco scored 49 points last season in his first year, and is the odds-on favorite to win the 200 back this season after finishing second in 2021.

Louisville fifth-year Nicolas Albiero, the second-highest returning scorer after putting up 51 points last season, trailed with just 1.7 percent of votes.

If you were among the 1.8 percent that selected ‘other’, let us know who you think will lead the meet in the comments below.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Which team most exceeded expectations at women’s NCAAs:

Which team exceeded expectations the most at women's NCAAs?

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Scotty P
8 months ago

Marchand makes a move on the Breaststroke and wins the 4IM. I highly doubt Foster can make that 3rd leg work like Marchand did and Gonzalez was a bit slow on the first half. (With his history though you could argue he is being a bit too conservative.)

Wins both IMs

3rd in 200 breast. I know McHugh takes it and I am banking on Whitely for 2nd even though his conference meet was “Meh”

8 months ago

Y’all are overestimating Finke’s 500

8 months ago

Agree that Marchand might be the most likely to get the highest points. However, after that I feel its a toss up between Lasco, Smith, Finke, Sates, Minakov and Albiero. Bjorn could also potentially rack up around 50 points imo. And ofcourse Foster.

Last edited 8 months ago by maverick1993
8 months ago

Hugo González should be at least an option there. Last year he was the best time in the 400im (thougth he bombed in prelims), 2nd in the 200im and 3rd in the 200 breast.

Steve Nolan
8 months ago

Feels low for Sates and Lasco (and maybe Urlando), high for Finke.

And of course now that I say that, I read he was the returning high-point scorer from last year, so I’ll end up looking v dumb by Saturday.

8 months ago

Think Albiero is being slept on

Reply to  King
8 months ago

I agree, I think everyone else has 2 standout events and 1 event where they’ll score less whereas if he’s on he’ll be top 3 minimum in all his events

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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