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 to predict the top American woman in the 200 fly by the end of this summer:
Question: Who will be the top American W200 flyer by the end of this summer?
Nearly half of voters have predicted Ella Eastin to take over as the top U.S. woman in the 200 meter fly by the end of this summer. While that’s not a complete surprise, it does come with Hali Flickinger leading the 2018 season ranks after putting up the top time last year by more than half a second. In fact, Flickinger holds the fastest time among still-active swimmers in each of the past three seasons. Since 2014, the only swimmers to top Flickinger in the end-of-year ranks have been the retired Cammile Adams (2014, 2015), the retired Maya DiRado (2014) and Katie McLaughlin (2014, 2015), who hasn’t been the same in this event since a 2016 neck injury.
Eastin, however, is riding a wave of short course improvement than many clearly feel will transfer over to the Olympic pool. Eastin dropped from 1:51.0 to 1:49.5 in the short course 200 fly this year, becoming just the second swimmer ever under 1:50 and the first to do it since the tech suit ban of 2009. Last season, Eastin went 2:08.21 at World University Games, while Flickinger was 2:07.60 at Summer Nationals.
The others specifically listed in our poll didn’t get much traction. 2017 World Champs team member Dakota Luther is the young gun in this race after finishing 3rd in the national ranks last summer. She earned about 7% of the vote. Texas A&M pro Sarah Gibson only earned a handful of votes.
The “Other” category, though, did quite well, with more than 10% of total votes. That group would include fast-rising Stanford Cardinal Katie Drabot, who went 2:08.3 a month ago and sits #2 nationally. Drabot was second behind Eastin at NCAAs this year. Other top names include star 100 flyer Kelsi Dahlia (though she’s probably more likely to expand her event range into freestyle), McLaughlin (who is looking more and more like her old self, though is perhaps now better as a 200 freestyler or 100 flyer) and youngsters Olivia Carter, Cassidy Bayer and Lindsay Looney.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which continues our trend of summer predictions with the men’s 200 breaststroke. Our arbitrary cutoff line (instituted to keep our poll from featuring 25 different options and taking up our entire home page) for named options is swimmers who have broken 2:09 since the Rio Olympics:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner