SwimSwam Pulse: 46% Predict 3-4 U.S. Open Records Will Fall At NCAA Meets

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 how many U.S. Open records will fall in the coming weeks at men’s and women’s NCAA Championships:

Question: How many total individual US Open records will be broken during the men’s and women’s NCAAs (26 events)


  • 3-4 – 46.1%
  • 5+ – 41.2%
  • 1-2 – 10.9%
  • None – 1.8%

It might come as a surprise, but in 2021, we only saw two U.S. Open Records fall at the men’s and women’s NCAA Championships (combined), with Maggie MacNeil doing so in the women’s 100 fly and the NC State women setting a new mark in the 400 medley relay.

Granted, we did see Kieran Smith tie his U.S. Open and American Record in the men’s 500 free one month earlier at SECs, and there were some close calls at NCAAs, including the Wolfpack women coming within a quarter-second of the 200 medley relay record and Bobby Finke finishing .44 off his 1650 free mark.

The lack of records simply speaks to the level that swimmers in the previous era were able to achieve. Four of the men’s individual records belong to Caeleb Dressel, and at least three of them are well out of reach for the time being.

Dressel isn’t the only superstar name entrenched in the SCY record books, with Katie LedeckyMissy FranklinLilly KingRyan MurphyElla Eastin and Simone Manuel holding some records that will be very difficult for anyone to match in the near future.

With that in mind, readers are cautiously optimistic we’ll see a decent number of records fall at NCAAs, with more than 87 percent projecting at least three will be broken. 46.1 percent predict we’ll see 3-4 all-time records broken, while 41.2 percent think we’ll see five or more.

We’ve already seen three U.S. Open Records broken during the 2021-22 season, all going to the Virginia Cavalier women at the ACC Championships in the 200 free, 200 medley and 400 medley relays. The UVA men also broke the American Record in the 200 free relay at ACCs, though they were just under four-tenths shy of the all-time record set by Auburn in 2009.

Note that this doesn’t acknowledge the 50 back swim done by Gretchen Walsh, who put up the fastest time ever, but the event is not officially recognized in the record books.

With the return of Harvard’s Dean Farris (men’s 200 free) and the arrival of Stanford’s Regan Smith (women’s 100/200 back), the owner of the U.S. Open Record will be present in six different individual races across the two NCAA meets, with those two joined by Smith, Finke and MacNeil.

With those names in action, not to mention UVA stars Kate DouglassAlex Walsh and Gretchen Walsh coming in riding a huge wave of momentum after ACCs, the prospect of seeing more U.S. Open Records than last season seems high.

Just under 11 percent of voters think we’ll only see 1-2 records go down, while less than two percent think there will be none.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Which feat is Summer McIntosh more likely to accomplish in 2022?

Which feat is Summer McIntosh more likely to accomplish in 2022?

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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8 months ago

You know Kieran wants that 200 free record BAD. It’s the last stone needed for Florida to complete the freestyle infinity gauntlet.

8 months ago

I said on the initial posting of this poll that 6.5 as an over/under seems fair. Probably -110 for the over

8 months ago

I dont like this new poll, Summer is 15 with years ahead of her. She doesn’t need pressure put on her to “dethrone” the greats.

Reply to  Noah
8 months ago

She’s not swimming at this meet… and wasn’t mentioned in the article.

Reply to  Soooon
8 months ago

Noah is talking about the poll at the bottom of the article

8 months ago

On watch for me are:
W50 Free
W200 Breast
W100 Fly
W100 Back
W200 Back
W200 IM
W200 Medley Relay
W400 Medley Relay
W200 Free Relay
M200 Free
M500 Free
M1650 Free
M100 Breast
M200 Breast
M200 IM
M400 IM
And several of the Mens’ relays which I haven’t looked as closely at yet.

Definitely going to be more than 5.

Reply to  CraigH
8 months ago

This is what I thought too! Not necessarily all of those events, but I was astounded that a lot of people thought there wouldn’t be more than 3-4 between the two meets

I do agree that most of these events are on watch, but just curious who you think could break Dressel’s 200 IM record? Marchand?

Reply to  Coleman Hodges
8 months ago

Yes, although probably not this year, but I think it will drop in the next couple of years.

Reply to  Coleman Hodges
8 months ago

i was surprised as well, so many opportunities for 5+

Reply to  Anonymous
8 months ago

I think we’re fins see the men’s 200 medley relay record go down, 400 medley relay record is gonna be right there, 200 free relay record could be but I think it’s more of a race between 4-5 teams for the win, 400 free relay is a possibility but for Texas whoever is on that relay could take a shot at the record, 800 free relay I think is the most likely to fall and possibly buy a lot Texas.

James Beam
Reply to  CraigH
8 months ago

M200 Back…lasco….

Reply to  CraigH
8 months ago

I think the men’s IM records are safe this year. There’s a chance the 400 goes down, if not this year next season for sure, but I think the 200im has a few more years left at least. Marchand and Gonzalez are the only NCAA guys under 1:40 atm, but are both 1.5+ seconds off the record.
I hope the 200 free goes, but I don’t think the 500 will. Kieran Smith has shown that he’s a big racer, which unfortunately means he’ll probably be looking at the rest of the field instead of swimming fast. With closers like Sates, Magahey and Hobson in there I’m afraid they’ll all just sit around and end up scrambling on the last… Read more »

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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