I just think the 100 free was a tainted victory. It wasn’t fair to the other swimmers in her events with similar team situations who may have been fighting to keep their relays in the top 8 or 16, and were not rested for their individuals for this reason.
we cannot start qualifying victories like that. nothing will ever be completely fair. what about lone wolves who have no relay commitments? what if you’re teammates wanted you to skip a relay (not saying that happened)? what if you’re a D1 transfer? what if you’re way older than all the other swimmers and were a foreign recruit? what about teams with less of a season? what about teams w/ more money or parent contributions?
there are so many things you can say about a swimmer to diminish what they did, but they still won. no two people let alone an entire field of competitors will ever be on completely equal footing, and even then it would come down to who has more natural athletic ability, and there is nothing less “fair” than that.
maybe to end this we can have a Most Valuable Swimmers Team like All-NCAA or something, that way Wilson, Todhunter, and Whitley could all have props, b/c it looks like no one would ever just congratulate someone on winning they have to gripe about someone else losing.