Conference Championships 2017

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Conference Championships 2017

Postby BringBackTheForum » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:10 pm

It's been long enough people. Let's bring this forum back for conference championships! What are people thinking for possible event winners? Will Biwer continue to swim the 200 IM day 1 or will he venture outside his comfort zone to race Melton in the 500 free? Does Sonnek have what it takes to make it to nationals? Are any relay teams this year national caliber? How will events like the 200 IM and butterflys shake out with no Lanz?

Interested to hear people's thoughts!
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby Schiller » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:27 pm

I think the best way to increase discussion is to actually post some opinions. What do you think BringBack?

Here's my guess for teams this year.
Men
1. Thomas
2. Olaf
3. Gustavus
4. John's
5. Carleton
6. Hamline
7. Macalester
8. Mary's

Women
1. Thomas
2. Gustavus
3. Carleton
4. Olaf
5. Kate's
6. Ben's
7. Macalester
8. Mary's
9. Hamline
10. Concordia

Current top times scored out meet for women:
https://swimulator.herokuapp.com/confer ... ivision=D3
and men:
https://swimulator.herokuapp.com/confer ... ivision=D3

Storylines I'm following:
-Men's mile. Schultze and Melton both look fit. Reischmann entered conference last year with at 18:11 seed time and went a 16:36. This year he's seeded with a 16:53. Gorman is seeded about where he was last year before his 16:18. There are a few freshmen wild cards.
-Whatever Wetzel swims. Despite several individual trips to nationals, she's never won a conference championship. This year she has the top time in the 200 back, 200 IM and 400 IM. The 2nd time in the 100 back and 3rd in the 500 free. It's possible Paulson swims the 100 free instead of the 200 back this year which would make Wetzel the prohibitive favorite in the 200 back
-The final meet of Nathan France, the Perry Ellis of MIAC swimming
-The most wide open field for men's swimmer of the year in years. Even when the coaches get this award wrong (as they often do such as 2014), the guy that wins it is usually one of the top 2 guys all season. This year, there's a bunch of guys who can win. I think Sonnek is the favorite, but there are plenty of other contenders. Melton and Biwer look like the main challengers, but there are several guys who could have a big meet, win three events, and take home the award like Seaburg did in 2012 (Loepfe, Alvarez, or one of a bunch of Thomas guys).
-Paulson. Last year she dropped a conference record in a time trial. She doesn't own the 100 free record yet. She went 49.0 with a relay start last year (One caveat: the results give her a negative reaction time on the relay exchange. However, it wasn't called, so maybe the pad messed up (as they often do)). The record's 49 mid. Giver her a shot! Lead her off!
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby BringBackTheForum » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:51 pm

Point taken.

As for what I am most looking forward to, it would have to be the 500 free. I believe it is the deepest event in the conference this year especially if Biwer swims it. Add that to the returns of Melton, Anderson, Gorman, Schultze, and Tri should lead to a quicker prelim qualification time for finals (and maybe a few more tired 500 free final swims).

As for predictions, I too predict Sonnek as the favorite for male swimmer of the year. Biwer has not been historically a major taper swimmer, but has been swimming in season as fast as he ever has. A 1:42.9 200 free in a dual meet, and a 49 100 fly relay spit at the challenge makes it look like Biwer is entering near top form. Melton also went a 4:41 at challenge, compare that to what he went last year which was 4:59. A winner of both backstroke events could maybe sneak into contention for swimmer of the year. The dual in the 100 back between Negaard and Loepfe all year has been interesting to watch, both having won a close race a couple of times each. The 200 back should be interesting to watch as I think both are better at the 100 distance. This could lead to a fairly tight finish between the two and Anderson, Alvarez, and Eyman-Casey, but I still see Negaard and Loepfe as the favorites. Other potential freshman to watch out for could be Omar Omar (Is this actually his real name??) in the 100 fly and sprints, as well as Joe Herrli from St. Thomas who is currently seeded first in the 200 IM.

Bold prediction: a 1-5 finish in the 100 fly for the Tommie men. A little overkill to enter 5 swimmers in a day 2 event, but makes sense point wise for Thomas.
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby MIACCHAMPSLOL » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:50 pm

Where is the love for the women?? :D
Gustavus girls over Carleton girls?? I think it will be a good fight for second place. Carleton relays are pretty strong this year. They might even scare some Thomas relays.
In the 500 free, I think Strauss and Howard will have a great race for that first place spot. Will both be able to qualify for nationals in the 500?
Similar to last year, Tommies are going to dominant the breaststroke events, especially with some new freshman.
Gustavus distance swimmers don't seem to be quite where they were last year. Rizzo's best time this year is a 18:55.12 and is seeded 9th going into conference. Last year she was a 17:43.27 at Conference, winning the event.
Will Wetzel swim the 200 IM or the 500 free on Day 1 on Conference?
Possible no Gustavus relay qualifiers for nationals?
What does Paulson have in store for us this year?
How about Kate Reilly?
Who are some possible event winners for each event?

What are your thoughts??
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby Nashland » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:14 pm

GAC men get second. They have five divers, potentially six if one qualified last night. The other five are all in the mix for top 8 on both boards.

[ Post made via iPad ]
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." The Dude
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby StatisticsK1ng » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:29 pm

I'd agree with Schiller that the race for swimmer of the year is wide open, but I'd be surprised if it was anyone other than Sonnek. Dude won MIAC swimmer of the week like three (four?) weeks in a row this season. Not sure Lanz ever did that, even over the last three years when he won the SOTY honor at conference each year. AND he's ripped. However, Sonnek won't have as strong of relays (Gustavus) as a swimmer such as Schultze (Olaf) or Biwer (Thomas). This gives some more depth to the race for SOTY.

Men's 2 fly is wide open, also with an interesting mix of schools in the likely top 8 field for men. For women, I think the best race to watch will be Wetzel v Paulson in the 200 backstroke. Both have B cuts, a rarity in-season for MIAC swimmers these days, and both are 7-8 seconds ahead of the probable next fastest contenders. The best part of this matchup is we'll likely get to see it again at NCAA's.

There's some real toughness in predicting results because many MIAC schools didn't do much for mid-season taper meets. From the looks of it at Jean Freeman, a lot of the teams weren't suited up or shaved. Excited for what times Biwer and Sonnek can drop in their events, because they both will likely be in the running for swimmer of the meet. It's disappointing that they won't be racing in all of their events.

With Osmolak and Schwarzkopf gone, will the men's backstroke events be a bit more exciting this year? Loepfe and Abe Casey look good for the Oles, and there's also a few strong Tommies in the mix. As always, Alvarez will be fun to watch in this event (for the final time :cry: )

Now as my namesake suggests, I've been crunching the numbers. As for Nashland's claim:
Nashland wrote:GAC men get second. They have five divers, potentially six if one qualified last night. The other five are all in the mix for top 8 on both boards.

[ Post made via iPad ]

I agree, I think that if GAC ends up taking six divers they'd take second place. Six divers on both boards placing top 8 would score them ~90 points on each board. This means that GAC diving alone would account for about 180 points, ridiculous considering they scored 498 overall (swimming AND diving) last year.
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby swimblogger » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:04 pm

I always like to follow-up on everything going around the MIAC, and it has been a pretty interesting year to say so myself. Carleton and St. Ben's Women have come out of no where and have started to show some real potential in the near future. I also think the conference has changed their views on St. Olaf men. Based on results of the regular season shown on CollegeSwimming, their relays have been kicking some absolute butt especially in the 400 Medley (AHEAD of St. Thomas). Now the we are on the topic of St. Thomas... they are unstoppable. Every year they somehow receive more and more faster swimmers. Depth is how they win, and how they'll keep winning (they have 12 of the top 16 spots in the Men’s 100 free… are you kidding me?). Honestly, I am not a huge fan of St. Thomas, but they have one great team. No doubt they'll win both sides of the MIAC, the interesting part will see who comes in second and third.
Looking at specific events, Emma Paulson of St. Thomas has had another good year of taking all the first place spots... The real question with her is, can she be better than last year? Three national titles is hard to live up to... I guess we'll have to wait and see. Carleton lost their fastest sprinters (who went 1 and 2 in the 50 free last year), so Matthew Allison of Gustavus will be the next non-Tommie swimmer in-line for first place. I highly doubt Biwer of St. Thomas will be swimming the 50 free, so Tommie senior, Mike Solfelt, will be seeded first with Allison knocking on the door. Biwer is having an exceptional year with many first place spots and looking for an individual event(s) to go to NCAA III in. I think it will be interesting and fun to watch Biwer and Melton of St. Thomas to go head-to-head in the 500 Free (just my opinion). Robert Schultz of St. Olaf is going to be a huge threat to the dominating Tommie’s distance. Who wants it more... Melton or Schutz? Gustavus sophomore, Tanner Sonnet, is currently seeded first in the breaststrokes going into the championships. Can the new freshie from St. Thomas (Glass) race past him in the 200 Breast? My last swimmer is going to be Maria Wetzel from Carleton. She's a huge point maker in the I.M. events and currently seeded first in them. I hope she can hold her titles and battle past Herrli of St. Thomas and Jenson of Olaf.
Lots of potential going into the championships and it's going to be another exciting and thrilling one to watch.
Got any comments or questions? Reply to me or email me at NCAAIIIswim@gmail.com
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby Schiller » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:09 pm

StatisticsK1ng wrote:
Nashland wrote:GAC men get second. They have five divers, potentially six if one qualified last night. The other five are all in the mix for top 8 on both boards.

[ Post made via iPad ]

I agree, I think that if GAC ends up taking six divers they'd take second place. Six divers on both boards placing top 8 would score them ~90 points on each board. This means that GAC diving alone would account for about 180 points, ridiculous considering they scored 498 overall (swimming AND diving) last year.

Given that, I agree. GAC men second Olaf third. I'll admit that I didn't look at the diving very closely when making my picks. Clearly a mistake.

Psych sheets should be out there by now. Anyone got one?
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby swimblogger » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:30 pm

Predicted event winners fro MIAC championships 2017:

MEN:
50 Free: Mikey Solfelt (Thomas)
100 Free: Kenneth Bergman (Johns)
200 Free: Bailey Biwer (Thomas)
500 Free: Warren Melton (Thomas)
1650 Free: Warren Melton (Thomas)
100 Back: John Leopfe (Olaf)
200 Back: John Leopfe (Olaf)
100 Breast: Tanner Sonnek (Gustavus)
200 Breast: Tanner Sonnek (Gustavus)
100 Fly: Omar Omar (Thomas)
200 Fly: James Bussey (Thomas)
200 I.M.: Max Larson (Thomas)
400 I.M.: Jason Tri (Thomas)
200 Free Relay: St. Thomas
400 Free Relay: St Thomas
800 Free Relay: St. Thomas
200 Medley Relay: St. Thomas
400 Medley Relay: St. Thomas

WOMEN:
50 Free: Emma Paulson (Thomas)
100 Free: Claire Walters (Olaf)
200 Free: Alex Howard (Thomas)
500 Free: Alex Howard (Thomas)
1650 Free: Molly Vancil (Thomas)
100 Back: Emma Paulson (Thomas)
200 Back: Emma Paulson (Thomas)
100 Breast: Ashley Christensen (Thomas)
200 Breast: Nicole Herrli (Thomas)
100 Fly: Katelyn Strauss (Thomas)
200 Fly: Katelyn Strauss (Thomas)
200 I.M.: Maria Wetzel (Carleton)
400 I.M.: Maria Wetzel (Carleton)
200 Free Relay: St. Thomas
400 Free Relay: St Thomas
800 Free Relay: St. Thomas
200 Medley Relay: St. Thomas
400 Medley Relay: St. Thomas
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby MIAC_blogger » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:04 pm

swimblogger wrote:Predicted event winners fro MIAC championships 2017:

MEN:
50 Free: Mikey Solfelt (Thomas)
100 Free: Kenneth Bergman (Johns)
200 Free: Bailey Biwer (Thomas)
500 Free: Warren Melton (Thomas)
1650 Free: Warren Melton (Thomas)
100 Back: John Leopfe (Olaf)
200 Back: John Leopfe (Olaf)
100 Breast: Tanner Sonnek (Gustavus)
200 Breast: Tanner Sonnek (Gustavus)
100 Fly: Omar Omar (Thomas)
200 Fly: James Bussey (Thomas)
200 I.M.: Max Larson (Thomas)
400 I.M.: Jason Tri (Thomas)
200 Free Relay: St. Thomas
400 Free Relay: St Thomas
800 Free Relay: St. Thomas
200 Medley Relay: St. Thomas
400 Medley Relay: St. Thomas

WOMEN:
50 Free: Emma Paulson (Thomas)
100 Free: Claire Walters (Olaf)
200 Free: Alex Howard (Thomas)
500 Free: Alex Howard (Thomas)
1650 Free: Molly Vancil (Thomas)
100 Back: Emma Paulson (Thomas)
200 Back: Emma Paulson (Thomas)
100 Breast: Ashley Christensen (Thomas)
200 Breast: Nicole Herrli (Thomas)
100 Fly: Katelyn Strauss (Thomas)
200 Fly: Katelyn Strauss (Thomas)
200 I.M.: Maria Wetzel (Carleton)
400 I.M.: Maria Wetzel (Carleton)
200 Free Relay: St. Thomas
400 Free Relay: St Thomas
800 Free Relay: St. Thomas
200 Medley Relay: St. Thomas
400 Medley Relay: St. Thomas


Solid picks. Some of my thoughts:
-Bailey Biwer (Thomas) will win more than one event, and those events probably won't include the 200 free. Although he could very well win that event, he's done the 100 fly the past two years and he's been consistently in that event this season. Whatever event he decides to swim on Thursday could be a potential win (50 free, 200 IM, 500 free)....the guy can literally do anything. However, from the sound of this thread, it sounds like he will be in the 500.
-As for the distance freestyle events, a lot of attention has been given to Melton (Thomas) and Schultze (Olaf). It sounds like most people expect them to be battling it out for the 1650 title, but I think this event may be more open than perceived. Jason Tri (Thomas) just dropped a 16:47 last weekend. Last year, we did not see the full capabilities of Reischmann (MAC) as he missed a large chunk of the season, and Gorman (Hamline) was right behind Melton and Schultze in 3rd place. I'm interested to see how this event turns out.
-The 200 fly is going to be a tight race. Bussey (Thomas) is coming in as the top seed, 4 seconds ahead most of the crowd, but I'm wondering if the 1:56 is a tapered time from Minnesota Challenge (that's his best time from last year and the two other times he swam it this year he was 2:08 and 2:03). If it is, I think there are a few others that will challenge him for that title. Everyone in the conference seems to be camping out around that 2:00 mark.
-I know that I've already talked-up Biwer a bunch but I don't know how he is not the favorite for the 100 free. He was 46.8 at Jean Freeman and was faster than that last month with a 46.6 at the St. thomas invite.
-Olaf's 400 Medley Relay is fast. As a St. Thomas guy, I'm not going to argue with them as the pick, but Olaf does have the top seed.
-Will Paulson (Thomas) do the 200 back this year? It's the same day as the 100 free and I'm wondering if she will get out of Wetzel's (Carlton) way and take the 100 free title. I hope she doesn't because I want to see that race.
-That being said, will Wetzel be in the 100 back or 400 IM? Last year she did well in the backstroke, but she is the top seed in the 400 IM. That's going to be another really fun race to watch between her, Herrli (Thomas) and Jensen (Olaf) for the IM title.
-With a 1:06.1, Christensen (Thomas) is a good pick for the 100 breast. She did that at Minnesota Challenge last week though and was suited up. I think she will have some competition from Meyer (Carlton) who was a 1:06.8 at Jean Freeman and from Rose (Thomas) who has consistently been in the 1:07-1:08 range at the last few meets. It's exciting to see some young breastroke talent in the MIAC from all three of them.

These are just my thoughts, and of course, I always speak with as a St. Thomas bias. I hope some other people give their opinions. Looking forward to seeing the psych sheet as well as some fast swimming!
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby Schiller » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:21 pm

MIAC_blogger wrote:-I know that I've already talked-up Biwer a bunch but I don't know how he is not the favorite for the 100 free. He was 46.8 at Jean Freeman and was faster than that last month with a 46.6 at the St. thomas invite.

Bergman is the two time defending champ. Last year he was abroad in the fall, carried a 48.8 seed time into conference, and beat Biwer by half a second. I think Bergman's a reasonable pick. Would I be surprised if Biwer wins? No. Is Biwer the clear favorite? No.
If you're going to hype up a Thomas guy, I'd go for Cox. That dude has a history of huge tapers. Last year he had to earn a spot on the conference roster by full tapering for Challenge and ended up scoring 43 points. This year he has multiple top 8 seeds without an apparent Challenge taper. Could score big points.
MIAC_blogger wrote:-With a 1:06.1, Christensen (Thomas) is a good pick for the 100 breast. She did that at Minnesota Challenge last week though and was suited up. I think she will have some competition from Meyer (Carlton) who was a 1:06.8 at Jean Freeman and from Rose (Thomas) who has consistently been in the 1:07-1:08 range at the last few meets. It's exciting to see some young breastroke talent in the MIAC from all three of them.

Women's 100 breast is notable for the team diversity. Looking at the top times list, it's possible for swimmers from Carleton, Thomas, Gustavus, Mary's, Ben's, Kate's, or Concordia to make the final. It's extremely unlikely all 7 teams actually get someone in, but the parity is refreshing.
(side note: Can someone tell the Thomas coaches to submit their roster to USA swimming properly? Christensen isn't on it. Nationals qualifications are officially decided by times in the USA swimming database and she doesn't show up in it. They had the same problem a couple years ago with, I think, Cox and Schneeman)

A couple pick I disagree with swimblogger on:
-Women's 100 fly. I think Reilly's the favorite.
-Women's 1650. I'd take Washenberger, or maybe Pesik.
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby swimblogger » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:05 pm

I think Stillwater alumni and St. Thomas sophomore, Alex Howard is going to be the one to watch this weekend. She has been consistently dropping in every event she has done the last two years. In her 500 free, she started the season out with a 5:22. One week later she's at a 5:17, and a week after that she's at a 5:11. Less than a month later, she's at a 5:06 (which is tied for her best time). Pretty incredible to go a best time at a non-tapered meet and without a fast suit on. Finally, at Minnesota Challenge a couple weeks ago she blew the competition way and went a 5:07. Howard has also been dropping tons of time in her 200 free. Going into the championships, She is seeded first with a 1:54 and Caroline Mather is seeded second with a 1:57. That is a three second cushion for Howard, but it's anyones game. Good luck to Alex Howard this week, it'll be fun to watch.
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby Team Analysis » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:10 pm

Psych sheet
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psych sheet 2017.pdf
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby Schiller » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:21 pm

Team Analysis wrote:Psych sheet

Thanks.

Reading through the psych sheet, my impression was that this is kind of an off year for the MIAC. For example, this year there are 3 women seeded below 2:00 in the 200 free. Last year there were 10. There's only 1 guy under 2:00 in the 200 fly, last year: 9. A couple examples proves nothing, so I did a bit of digging. I grabbed the last 5 years of psych sheets and ranked all the times from each event for each of those 5 years. Then I checked the average ranking of the nth ranked swimmer for each year. (There's probably a more robust way to rank this but, this was quick to put together.)

The men are definitely the weakest they've been in a while (at least in the psych sheet times). The women are the weakest they've been since at least 2013. Even 2013 was arguably stronger. While this year's a bit better than 2013 at the top end, after 10th place, 2013 was significantly stronger. Maybe this means we'll see a super taper, but more likely it means that the times to get specific places will probably be a bit slower than normal this year.

Women:
Image
Men:
Image
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Re: Conference Championships 2017

Postby BringBackTheForum » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:53 pm

Hard to pick out everybody that is changing events with people being entered in up to 5 events, but a few interesting event changes from last year:
-Bobby Schultze is doing the 200 free instead of 100 back
-Biwer and Anderson switched events day 1. Biwer is doing the 500 free and Anderson is doing the 200 IM.
-Howard is doing 100 free and not 200 back

Also forgot to mention it in a previous comment, but I'm excited to see how the St. Cate's women do this year. New coach Justin Zook seems to really have taken over with that program. It will be exciting to see how they taper this first year under Zook. Voss seems to be a threat to finish on the podium in all three of her events.
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