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Today’s feature comes from ImJumbo. The thread can be found here.

The NESCAC is sending a large contingent to Nationals, well representing the conference. And this year, it looks like there will be a ton of NESCAC teams among the top 10 come meets finale.

For the men, I think Amherst has the real potential to score huge points. I think Lichtenfels and Fraser are going to go absolutely berserk. National championships? Likely. Records? Possibly. They won’t be able to match the depth of a Emory or Denison, or the raw power of Kenyon, but I think the battle between them and MIT will be fierce. They are a strong team, and they have a lot of kids at the meet. By virtue of their top two guns, plus Tim White’s somewhat surprising A-cut in the 1650 at NESCACs, could put a lot of Amherst swimmers scoring in the mid-distance/distance free. The backstrokers also have a great chance to score, and Bulukal could be a threat if he hits his double taper for some consolation swims. Look for a top 5 finish, challenging MIT for 4th.

Williams, too, has a big group. Dyrkacz and Wampler will lead the Ephs, and they have a really very strong team backing them up. Roberson will also look to find some of his nationals magic from last year and again place top 8 in all of his events (including a surprise 3rd in the 200). While those three constitute the main firepower for the Ephs, they have good support behind them, and thus should score well on relays and place a few guys in the consolation finals (Corbett in the IM/Breasts, Armstrong in the distance free), and should be strong on the relays. I think they’ll find themselves somewhere around 7th or 8th after the dust settles.

Middlebury always seems to get the big swims when they need it. And freshman Ian MacKay joining senior John Dillon could be a great pairing for nationals. There was some debate as to how tapered Dillon was at NESCACs, but it doesn’t really matter. Putting that sort of speed in individual races will score points, and will be huge for relays. They have very strong 200s and 400s of the relays, and should put together a suitable 800 relay. These two scorers, plus relay points, should put Middlebury in the top 10 again.

Tufts sends in a large squad again, and will rely heavily on their relay swims and diving. Rood has the potential to bust out a huge swim, and I think he will not disappoint at the double-lane lined, padded walls of Tennessee. Johann Schmidt has a chance to be a scorer for diving, and when the battle to move up from 20th to 15th, every point matters. The relays will have to perform, and I think that they will rise to the challenge and could get two swims in the top 8 (both sprint relays).

Tim Walsh of Conn has a great chance to score huge points in the backstrokes, and has a real shot of winning the 200 outright. He swam a 1:48 completely alone. Put him next to someone, and he’ll finally have someone to race. Dignan had a slightly underwhelming NESCAC meet, but I think well bounce back well at nationals. If he swims to the potential he has, there is a good chance that he can make it back to score in both the 200 and 500. And Mecray of Bowdoin has a good chance to score in the 50, and if he swims to his potential, a possible spot in the top 16 for the 100 breast. He should get Bowdoin on the board no problem.

Come the end of the meet, I think we’ll see 3 teams in the top 10 and another 2 in the top 20. Chalk one up for the NESCAC, by far the most competitive top-to-bottom conference.

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