The Last UAAs Before the Mayan Apocalypse

Who wants a spoiler?!? You will die alone!  Just kidding.  Welcome to Screeeeeeeeech’s annual UAA Preview, wherein I offer my clearly biased and semi-informed opinion on everything from Wash U’s GPA to Brandeis’ MIA status.  Let’s get dirty!

Brandeis’ Men: Axed (ouch).  Having swum with Loren “The Hebrew Hammer” Bach in high school, this kind of bums me out.  Every league needs a bottom feeder (see: Minnesota Timberwolves pre Ricky Rubio) to keep things interesting.  Hopefully the program that brought us the likes of Chris Pai can rise from the ashes (just like the currently over-500 Timberpuppies!).

CMU Bros’ team: These guys remind me of the Detroit Lions.  CMU has the firepower to get to the playoffs, but they won’t win a Super Bowl without some serious upgrades.  Daniel Glaser-Garbrick, CMU’s version of Megatron, is a triple threat!  A great flyer with a decent backstroke and a killer 4IM, DGG will have to be CMU’s go-to guy if they are planning on making noise at UAAs.  Anton Razanav is a backstroke frosh with speed, but frankly I just don’t trust freshmen (see: Thomas, John circa 2007).  The Tartans have a smattering of sprinters too, but nothing to write home about.

Case (The Hosts): Hit and miss.  Sam Geiger gives them some much-needed senior leadership.  If Case is going to get off the bottom, the Geiger-Counter will have to make the big heat in the 500.  Gus Bailey and Tony Zhang provide some speed in the dash for cash, but it’s a stretch to see any relays getting to the show.  Bottom line: Case needs a little more seasoning.

Emory: Reminiscent of the British Premier League’s Manchester City, Emory boasts an embarrassment of riches.  Slippery Pete O’Brien has already been a 55.9 in the 100 Breast, while Miller Douglas has stepped his game up big time, dropping a 151 in the 200 Fly (in a DUEL MEET).  Without belaboring the point, Emory is fast and deep.  UAAs is really the divisional playoff stop on their way to the Super Bowl (in Indy!)

NYU: I’ve given them some flack before, but to be honest I am genuinely disappointed at how far the Violets have fallen.  Maybe a name change is in order?  Really, the most telling thing about NYU is that their “A” 200 Free Relay is seeded 8th going into prelims.  Woof.

UCHI: The Chi-town posse is making a push to change their school’s unofficial slogan from “The place where fun dies,” to “The place where fun DIVES” (too easy, I know).  I know that the diving seeds are irrelevant, but top 5 in the 3M is impressive.  Even more absurd, though, is their stud frosh Andrew “King” Salomon.  The kid’s already been a 432.  Look for a sub-430 out of the King if he hits his taper.  The posse is young and speedy: they will turn some heads at UAAs.

URoch: Let’s be serious, Rochester doesn’t have a lot going for them other than hellacious winters and minor-league hockey.  Their lone real bright spot this year is a sprinter with a sweet name: Booky Porapakkham.  Booky has already dropped a 21.4, which is certainly respectable.  We’ll see how he keeps his head at his first big college meet.  Chris “Bull” Doser has been a 47.2 in the 100, but that’s a LONG way from a B cut.  A man can dream…

Wash U: The Bears are a ways away from the days of Eric Triebe and Mike “Dolph Lundgren” Slavik, but they should be able to put up a respectable showing nonetheless.  “Billy” Zane Turpin is a frosh with a lot of upside, especially in the long IM, where he’s already dropped a 406.  They’ve also got some upper class speed, with Brendan Morin already dipping under 50.0 in the 100 fly.  Mark Minowitz could contribute in the sprints, but he’ll need to step his game up.  If he’s anything like his sister, Amy “Bubblez” Minowitz (Emory ’11), that shouldn’t be an issue.

The rundown: Emory wins…again.  I’m sure for some of you, this narrative gets tiresome.  My only response? Don’t hate the player, hate the game.  The Tartans of Industry from CMU should edge out those precocious frosh from the Windy City for runners-up honors.  Wash U COULD sneak into the race for second with a big push (but do Bears really sneak around?) NYU is next up, with Case and Rochester bringing up the rear…or I could be totally wrong, but I doubt it.

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