2021 NCAA MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Wednesday, March 24 – Saturday, March 27, 2021
- Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending champion: Cal (1x) – 2019 results
- Championship Central
- Live Results
Texas head coach Eddie Reese has one of those problems that pretty much every other coach in the NCAA would probably love to have. With the release of the NCAA pre-selection psych sheets, the Longhorns project to have an unprecedented 26 men qualify for the NCAA Championships later this month.
That’s a slight increase from last year, when Texas had 24 likely qualifiers, but didn’t even officially enter everyone, instead paring down the options even before the pre-selection psych sheets were released.
This year, the Texas coaching staff opted to go in a different direction, and ended up with 26 men under the cut line, plus another, Andrew Couchon, who currently ranks 11th on the alternative list.
Team rosters are capped at 18, with divers counting as 1/2. Texas generally brings at least 3, if not 4, scoring divers, so chances are that the Longhorns will only bring 16 swimmers. However, one interesting wrinkle this year is that alternates will be only called up to the meet within the first 24 hours. That seems to mean that if Texas only drops 8 men now, and waits to confirm its diving roster before dropping any other swimmers, a couple of possible alternates from other teams may miss out on their chance to swim.
Here’s a quick glance at how those 26 Longhorns rank by seed.
|Name||Event 1 Seed||Event 2 Seed||Event 3 Seed|
|Van Zandt, Zac||23||40||N/A|
On paper, the most logical cuts probably are the guys who are not seeded in the top 16 in any event, and there are nine guys in that category, which would put the Texas roster at 17. However, there’s at least a couple of wrinkles. Charlie Scheinfeld was Texas’ top breaststroker two years ago as a freshman, and his lifetime bests of 51.41/1:52.78 would easily score if he can match them this year. Additionally, Texas only has one other relay-ace breaststroker on the roster, Caspar Corbeau, and you have to wonder if Scheinfeld makes the roster partially as insurance against anything happening to Corbeau.
Another interesting case is Luke Bowman, who’s capable of going sub-42 on a free relay and earned an invite in the 100 free, in which he’s officially the 4th-fastest Longhorn this season. If Texas had a little more roster room, and if this was a normal year in which there were prelims relays, he might be earn a spot to help lighten the load on some of the Longhorns’ top swimmers, but his inclusion would definitely mean bumping out guys who are seeded to score, which seems tough to justify.
If Texas does end up with 16 swimmers, at least one Longhorn who is currently seeded in the top 16 will find himself in the very strange position of not making the NCAA roster. Ethan Harder and Cole Crane are seeded 15th and 16th in the 200 fly, respectively, but not projected to sore in any other event.
A few other notes about Texas event choices:
- Senior Sam Pomajevich is only entered in the 100 fly and the 200 fly this year. As a freshman, Pomajevich, who’s known primarily as a flyer, surprisingly made the A-final in the 500 free, but hasn’t matched that feat again and was 0.03s of the NCAA B cut in that event this year. He also made the B-final of the 200 free that year, but has opted for the 100 fly this year.
- Fellow senior Austin Katz is also out of the 500 free. He swam it at the 2019 NCAAs, hitting a lifetime best but failing to make finals, and then seemed hit or miss the rest of the meet. He was also entered in the 500 free last year before NCAAs were cancelled, but this year he will focus just on the 100 back and 200 back.