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 Ledecky, Missy Franklin, Lilly King, Ryan Murphy, Ella 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 Douglass, Alex 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 Poll, which asks: Which feat is Summer McIntosh more likely to accomplish in 2022?
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.