The second day of the 2014 American Short Course Champs saw another Texas Longhorn improve his NCAA Championship qualification potential, but not quite lock it up.
Editor’s note: This meet is more of a high-level club meet than a true national championship meet of any kind; it’s also an NCAA Last Chance qualifier.
Texas sophomore breaststroker Imri Ganiel took the men’s 100 breaststroke in 53.23, which at the time would have been good enough to probably qualify him for NCAA’s. However, some breakout swims at Pac-12’s now leaves him sitting 29th in the country going into selection Wednesday.
Last year, 29 swimmers were taken in every event; the mood around the country this year from coaches who we’ve talked to is that it won’t expand, like the women’s did. The rationale behind that, without having crunched any numbers yet, is that with how fast the men’s times have gotten, it’s less likely that a swimmer will have their 2nd or 3rd event ranked in the top 29 in the country, and fewer doubles means the cut line falls at a lower number. That will all play out early next week, though. If Ganiel were able to drop another tenth even in a time trial, it would put him in much better position.
Missouri’s Mark Conroy took 2nd in that race in 53.44, and Texas’ Liam Lockwood took 3rd in 53.85.
A couple of other Texas guys came close, but not close enough, to earning qualifying marks. Texas Austin Vacek was a 3:46.42 to win the men’s 400 IM over Texas A&M’s Hayden Dupelchain (3:49.36). Both of those guys sit in a similar range for season bests, but right now it looks like a 3:45-low at most will be invited to NCAA’s.
Vacek will have one more really good chance to qualify on Saturday in the 200 back, where he has to drop about two-and-a-half seconds to be safe.
Missouri’s Logan Mosley won the 100 back in 46.94, with Texas A&M’s Jacob Wallace (47.89) and Alexandros Theocharidis (48.11) taking 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
In more club-oriented results, 17-year old Abbey Weitzeil from the Canyons Aquatic Club in California was a 1:45.78 to win the 200 free by over three seconds. She then came back just a few races later to win the 100 backstroke in 54.63. That beat out ATAC’s Mei Lynn Colby (56.09) and Jenna Bauer from Neptune Swimming (56.30).
Two swimmers went under a minute in the women’s 100 breaststroke. Abby Duncan, who is on a redshirt year after transferring from Auburn to Missouri, won in 59.66. That’s only about four-tenths off of her career best, which is a good sign given that she’s got no big spring meet to taper for.
National Teamer Laura Sogar took 2nd in 59.80; that’s about a second slower than she was at the UT Invite in December, but it’s a good sign that she’s know putting up sub-minute breaststrokes on a regular, in-season basis, especially with the 200 as her better distance.
Texas A&M’s Luke Shaw won the 200 free in 1:36.67, which is half-a-second shy of what he swam at SEC’s. Texas’ Bobby Button took 2nd in 1:36.73, also slower than what he went at his conference meet, and Texas’ PJ Dunne was 3rd in 1:37.30.
And finally, Junior National Teamer Justin Lynch, who flew in with the Terrapins Swim Team of California, won the men’s 100 fly in 46.42. He’s committed to Cal next year, and that’s his lifetime best by six-tenths of a second. With the pending graduation of Tony Cox, his presence will immediately be a big boost for Cal’s medley relays, which will be very young, but still national-title worthy, next season.