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 absent NCAA star should worry their team the most:
Question: Which absent swimmer is most worrisome for their NCAA team?
- Simone Manuel, Stanford – 40.4%
- Cierra Runge, Wisconsin – 21.4%
- Gunnar Bentz, Georgia – 21.3%
- Brandonn Almeida, South Carolina – 7.9%
- Courtney Caldwell, NC State – 4.3%
- Maddy Banic, Tennessee – 3.1%
- Megan Moroney, Virginia – 1.6%
About 40% of voters picked Stanford’s Olympic and world champ sprinter Simone Manuel as the most concerning NCAA swimmer MIA this fall.
Manuel is a huge key to Stanford’s repeat title run, and though the rest of the Cardinal roster is historically good, their relays take massive hits without Manuel, one of the most clutch swimmers in the world and the winner of the last two major international gold medals in the 100 meter free.
Stanford says she’s out with a “mild injury,” but there’s no word on when she’ll be able to return. She is not entered in this weekend’s Art Adamson Invite, meaning her return date is probably no earlier than mid-January, Stanford’s next official meet.
Unsurprisingly, the four Olympians on this list topped all vote-getters. That’s a testament to both their high level of swimming and their name recognition within the community.
Wisconsin’s Cierra Runge eked out the second spot by a single vote over Georgia’s Gunnar Bentz. While Bentz is maybe likely to score more individual points, Runge is perhaps more concerning because we haven’t been given a reason for her absence. Bentz is out with a broken collarbone.
South Carolina’s Brandonn Almeida hasn’t yet competed. He’s a potential All-American from Brazil, and probably counts as the difference between South Carolina finishing inside the top 15 or fighting for a top 25 spot.
Courtney Caldwell hasn’t competed for NC State, and we haven’t yet been told why. She got about 4% of the vote. She’s still on her team’s roster – not the case with Maddy Banic, who had a medical scare at NCAAs last year and is not listed on the Volunteer roster this year. Our request for comment has not yet received a response.
Megan Moroney of Virginia got the least amount of votes. Maybe that’s a product of her being ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for many voters. Moroney was out all of last season (with the exception of a single December race) and hasn’t yet competed this year either.
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner