I love 2016 Olympic champion Jack Conger. I know it’s not right, that I should be neutral and not a fan, but Jack’s a good guy, a workhorse, and, in college, he developed into a butterflyer, the greatest event invented in history.
Jack’s butterfly evolution has been bumpy, especially in the 200. After dropping a 1:54 in 2015 at U.S. Summer Nationals in San Antonio, he didn’t follow up in 2016. He dropped a personal best in 100m fly at the 2016 Olympic Trials, but it’s clear he felt he should’ve been faster in Omaha.
What will Jack drop at U.S. World Trials in Indy? This is what I’d like to see:
100 butterfly – 50.8 (his PB from 2016 OTs is 51.26)
200 butterfly – 1:54.1 (his PB from 2015 US Summers Nationals is 1:54.54). Coming off of his 1:37.35 200 yard fly at NCAAs, 1:54 low feels well within striking distance.
There’s a lot to unpack about Jack. He’s got so much talent and range. Many of us forget his 200m back–that he swam a 1:55 in 2013 at World University Games. While 200 back may not be worth his focus with Cal stars Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley creating a backstroke-block, 200 fly is wide-open. Still, I’d love to see Jack break through and threaten in backstroke. His 200 free is there. Jack will keep his 4×200 relay position and threaten Texas teammates Townley Haas and Clark Smith in the top two U.S. spots. Will he turn-on his 100 free? I think so. I could see Jack becoming a stalwart team leader on all free relays over this quad. What do you think about Jack?
What about the new Texas Pro Team? Will Licon got it right. It does feels like a return to the heyday of Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol and Brendan Hansen. If success spreads like a virus, Texas Pro Team 2.o (TPT) could be the best buy commercially–team sponsorships, swimsuit partners, etc. What are you thoughts about TPT over 2018-2020?
And butterfly as the best stroke in history, I don’t need an opinion. That was decided by the Global Swim Committee on Greatness back in the 1950s. Those wise swim leaders knew they developed perfection when they birthed butterfly.
This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.