PAC at NCAAs

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    • #12376

      Women’s side:
      Congrats to Kaitlyn Orstein, Becky Giles, and Megan Mier on their invites to Houston! It’s been a few years (3?) since Westminster got anyone qualified on the women’s side; nice to the see them back at the meet. Too bad that Jane Wilson couldn’t make it because of injury. I have to say Megan Mier is the biggest surprise; not because her time got selected, but because she went as fast as that at PACs. I just wasn’t expecting anything quite like it. A bit late to say it, perhaps, but very nice job!

      The real question is, what are their chances for points? Okay, for Orstein that’s not much of a question. For Giles and Mier……17th and 14th seeds in their invited events. Could go either way, but I wouldn’t put it past either of them to make a consols appearance at the meet.

      Men’s side:
      Locks: Caleb Courage, Andrew Gilbert, Peter Larsen, Drew Snyder, Ryan Trunk, Tim Whitbeck, Mitch Young. All of these guys have A-cuts or are so high up the list that they’re guaranteed a trip to Houston.

      Virtual Locks: Chip Cressman, Pat Smith. I hesitate to even have this category, since there’s almost nothing “virtual” about it. Pat Smith will be getting an invite in at least one, if not both, of the backstrokes. Grove City’s 400FR looks pretty safe, too, and one relay-only swimmer will help if the cap is getting close by the time the line gets to them.

      Bubbling: Chris Lehberger and Conor Simpson. If some DQs or a couple of inordinately slow times come out of New England, Westminster 4MR has a chance to sneak in. Also, since I don’t have a clue about the ins and outs of the diving committee’s practices, I’ll put Joe Riddell in this category too.

      Even if the bubble guys don’t get in (and here’s hoping they all do), this will still be one of the best years of PAC representation at the meet in a long while, on both sides.

    • #35757

      Now that the women’s meet is over and the men’s about to start, I thought I’d make a few comments, and see if anyone has anything else to add.

      1. Great swims by Kaitlyn O. – 3 personal records, 2 D3 National titles, and 1 D3 National record (which she reclaimed). Only Sasser from Amherst had better individual swims. Unfortunately not a three peat in the 400 IM for Kaitlyn, but the gal from Nazereth College had amazing finish in that race to capture the title and a National Record.

      2. I noticed that neither Giles or Mier made it to the evening finals. We can only hope they will be motivated to drop some time by next year, and make the finals. Great season though for them, and still a honor to be invited to the national meet!!

      3. For the men – I noticed that others have scored out the psyche sheet, and have GCC scoring around 150, and coming in ninth. If they hit their tapers right they should be near that 150 mark. I seriously doubt we’ll score any points with the 800 free relay, and the 400 free relay may only make the consols (hopefully not), but Caleb stands a good chance of making the champ. finals in the 200, and the 200 FR may improve on its standing. They might even win if Tim gets off a good start, and if Caleb is anywhere close to the front when he enters the water. Chip could sneak into the finals for the 400 IM. Overall I’m predicting them to finish between 130 and 150. We’ll have to see if Caleb can pull off 2 national titles.

      4. For Westminster, Ryan Trunk should do well – probably a top 4 finish in the 100. And their 400 MR should easily make the finals.

      5. Best to all the guys swimming!!

    • #35758
      N Dynamite
      Member

      In response to weedwacker:
      1. Has already been discussed in some detail in the Championship forum – Orstein did very well and will hopefully reclaim the 400 IM next year

      2. Don’t have anything to add other than hopefully Giles and Mier aren’t an indication of what their men bring to the meet this week

      3a. The problem with Grove City is, they don’t have much room to move up. Courage and Whitbeck 1-2 in the 50 can’t go anywhere but down. Same with Courage in the 100. Can Whitbeck improve in the 100? The relays have some tough competition, so it’s doubtful they’ll move up much if at all.

      3b. The 800 will be almost as interesting a race for 16th as 2nd. Just a guess, but those last few teams are all probably missing at least one vital component from their seed relay. I doubt 14-19 will go as fast as their seed, so 14-16 is wide open.

      3c. A win in the 200 FR is a pretty tall order for GC. They’re .88 behind Denison now and Denison did that time in December. I guess part of the argument though is that GC’s time is a time trial. Based on their entry times, last year’s splits, and the order they went at their conference meet I see:
      Whitbeck – 20.4
      Young – 21.0
      Snyder – 21.0
      Courage – 19.6 = 1:22.00
      They’ll need to drop time if they’re going to pull it off.

      4a. Top 8 might be too ambitious for Westminster in the 400 MR. They’re 10th now with everyone ahead of them bringing all the swimmers they need. That’ll be a pretty tough assignment. Not impossible, but far from easy.

      4b. Trunk should be top 4. He may even finish right behind Courage. That’s kind of interesting. I know it happens in the NCAC all the time with Kenyon and Denison, but how often (outside of the NESCAC maybe) do you see the top two finishers come from the same conference?

      5. I think Courage was on all the relays that GC entered. Which does he sit? If he sits the 400 MR they don’t have much shot at scoring, but they’ll have trouble anyway. If he swims the 800 they could finish 14th or better, but is it worth it? He’ll have to be on the other three since they have a shot at placing high in those. Maybe he scratches the 200 – he didn’t make it back at all in that last year. Same thing with Trunk – they only have 4 guys at the meet, but they’re entered in all 5 relays and he’s in the 50, 100, and 200. What do they scratch? I’m guessing the 800 – they brought stroke guys, not freestylers, so that’s the biggest reach to score.

    • #35759
      The Treat
      Member

      @N Dynamite wrote:

      4b. Trunk should be top 4. He may even finish right behind Courage. That’s kind of interesting. I know it happens in the NCAC all the time with Kenyon and Denison, but how often (outside of the NESCAC maybe) do you see the top two finishers come from the same conference?

      last year it was two from the same team ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #35760
      N Dynamite
      Member

      Wow, how did I forget about Wash U? Sorry

    • #35761

      @N Dynamite wrote:

      2. Don’t have anything to add other than hopefully Giles and Mier aren’t an indication of what their men bring to the meet this week

      I would hope that having a relay there, and therefore a bigger slice of the team than just the two girls going it alone, might help with that.

      @N Dynamite wrote:

      4a. Top 8 might be too ambitious for Westminster in the 400 MR. They’re 10th now with everyone ahead of them bringing all the swimmers they need. That’ll be a pretty tough assignment. Not impossible, but far from easy.

      I could see it going either way with them getting back to their seed time. As for making it into the top 8, I too have my doubts that they’ll be able to pull that off. Then again, I was also worried about them making the meet in the first place. Mm.

      @N Dynamite wrote:

      1:22.00

      I think they should be good for at least a 1:21.70. Maybe faster if some of them turn in splits that are way more ridiculous than average. Even if they don’t win, though, maybe they can fool the photographer again and get their picture taken and labeled “Kenyon’s national champion 200 free relay.”

      @N Dynamite wrote:

      4b. Trunk should be top 4. He may even finish right behind Courage.

      I think he’s got the speed for top 4. The thing is, he’s never dropped time from PACs to nationals. Hopefully this year will be different. Also, 5599 hasn’t talked up Brad Test in a while, but methinks Trunk will probably need a few well-placed rockets to get himself to the wall 2nd. A 1-2 finish would be great, though.

      @N Dynamite wrote:

      5. I think Courage was on all the relays that GC entered. Which does he sit?

      Didn’t we just have this discussion last month? Use what we know from that: clearly he sits the 200FR! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • #35762
      swim5599
      Member

      Trunk will probably be third behind Test I would think. I think Test goes about 44.8 or so. I know I said earlier in the year that he would have a chance to win, and I hate to go back on what I said, but I think Courage probably wins in about 44.3 or 44.4

    • #35763

      We have it from Coach Fritz that Courage will sit out the 800 FR. Hopefully this should allow him to better concentrate on the 200 free earlier in the evening.

      I agree that GCC doesn’t have much room to move up, except perhaps with Courage in the 200, and Cressman in the 400IM consols as I indicated in my earlier entry. Since Andrew Gilbert is a senior and the best breaststroker in GCC history, this meet will be the best shot they have for scoring in the medleys for the near future.

      Trunk did actually improve slightly at nationals upon his times in the 100 free (prelims) from conference times last year. When I said that Westminster’s 400 MR should make the finals I was thinking the consols. Sorry!

    • #35764
      not_a_grover
      Member

      I think they should be good for at least a 1:21.70. Maybe faster if some of them turn in splits that are way more ridiculous than average. Even if they don’t win, though, maybe they can fool the photographer again and get their picture taken and labeled “Kenyon’s national champion 200 free relay.”

      I’ll be impressed if they break the record. It’s going to take someone stepping up. It should be an exciting day tomorrow!

    • #35765

      @not_a_grover wrote:

      I’ll be impressed if they break the record. It’s going to take someone stepping up. It should be an exciting day tomorrow!

      Looks like you were right on both accounts. Your name will stay on the board for at least another year. And if Myron Cope cared about swimming, I think he’d have given today a triple-yoy.

      I still can’t believe that 1-2 in the 50! That was GREAT!! A curiosity question springing from that: how many other brother-sister pairs have won individual national championships over the years? I’m sure there have been some at some level sometime. Did M. Courtney-Brooks (not to be confused with her brother MCB) ever win an individual event at nationals? Or did all her wins come on relay? For what it’s worth, if the Dohrings switch places in the 3-meter, I guess we’ll have a brother-brother combination. In the same year. That would be insane.

      But lest we forget about the other notable points of the day:

      The other race in the 50: the swim-off won by Trunk. Who then proceeds to move up another place in consols.

      The Grove City 200 free relay coming in 4th. Another All-American swim, and it beat their prelims time.

      Westminster making BIG finals in the 400 medley. Not only did they get back to their seed time, they went well under it this morning. Well done! Their first All-American relay since coming into D3.

      I won’t mention the GCC 400 medley DQ except to say that, since Kenyon also got tossed, they were in very good company. I look for them to make up for it big time tomorrow in the 200. It could be their highest placing relay of the meet.

      Also, we get to see Cressman, Gilbert, Lehberger, and Smith make their individual debuts on the big stage tomorrow. Should be interesting to see (the results; somebody well-connected needs to campaign to bring NCAAs to the University of Maryland sometime so I can actually make it to a session in person :wink:).

    • #35766

      Great swims this morning!

      The big surprise: Where in the world did Chris Lehberger find a 2:05?!?!?! I am stupefied with astonishment.

      The 100: two guys in finals again. Good!

      Courage was 44.40 this morning in the open and a half-second faster than that in the relay…and he’s dropped time from morning to evening in his other two event…I will not be stupefied with astonishment if he somehow finds his way into a 43.xx tonight. More likely: somewhere in the 44.2 range (+- a tenth).

      Trunk was within spitting distance of 3rd this morning…..and 2nd. I’ll once again state my heavily biased hope for a 1-2 tonight. That would be fantastic. Even if he doesn’t get 2nd, if he gets under 45 that’ll be a big deal by itself.

      46.96 for Tim Whitbeck isn’t setting the world on fire, I suppose, but him breaking under 47 for both his 100s today (he was faster leading off the relay) suggests that his in-season and PAC times were not flukes. It also bodes well for next year.

      The other stroke-event surprise: what happened with Pat Smith in the 2back (and, to a lesser extent, Tom Kukla from Olaf)? Did he get sick? Cramp or some other injury?

    • #35767

      A fabulous finish in the 100 for Courage and Trunk, it was great to have the PAC so well represented in that event and taking it away from the “big guns”. And Chris Lehberger, bettering his time in finals to prove that the morning swim was not a fluke. As for both Smith and Kukla, both were injured the night before, both were taped up pretty good at prelims in the morning.

    • #35768
      MentalEdge
      Member

      Yeah not bad, and very nice for Trunk to get under 45 for his last NCAA swim, but I think having Courage winning out of lane 4 as the obvious favorite can’t compare with the 1-2 from lanes 1 and 2 in the 50.

    • #35769

      The 1-2 finish for GCC was very exciting, the only fans more excited then the GCC fans were the ones from Westminster. Lots of conference support and enthusiasum all the way around, from GCC swimmers hanging around the first night to cheer on Westminster’s 400 MR, (especially in light of their DQ in prelims) to Westminster “re-paying” at the 400 FR the last night. Absolutely fantastic to see such fierce competitors showing their support for each other.

      Not to bring up a potentially sore subject, but what was with the all the DQs? I heard two different stories, one, that the pads DID have an”margin of error” built in, and , two, there was NO margin of error allowed. Does anybody have the real story?

    • #35770

      Outside Smoker earlier in this forum mentioned Chris Lehberger’s swim in the 200 BR prelims. As I was watching from the stands, I noticed him in lane 8 moving very well, especially through the last 100 yds. When his time ended up better than 2 seconds over his seed, I thought that he definitely had a chance to swim in the evening. When the next prelim heat was finished, with one to go, I turned to his mother, who was nearby in the stands, and said, “You know, your son will be swimming in this event tonight.”
      “No, that can’t be!” she replied, “I have my plane tickets to go home this afternoon!!”
      Turns out that she was not able to get her flight changed, and missed Chris’ excellent effort in the evening. Of all the disappointments! Apparently Outside Smoker wasn’t the only one stupefied with astonishment. Next year will be different – she’ll stick around. But methinks she should have had more confidence in her son’s abililty.

      As for GCC’s disqualifications in the medley relays. In the 400, Peter was quite slow to the wall, not being able to get another stroke in. Tim anticipated a faster finish, and clearly dove in before the touch. I grimaced with the thought that the relay would be DQ’ed. For the 200, it was a really tough loss, coming in the championship finals – all the guys were swimming well. I thought that Andrew may have left the block too soon, others said that Tim jumped. Maybe coach will comment, but the DQ did prevent Andrew from getting an All American award, which was definitely a disappointment. However he does finish his college swim career at GCC with several conference championships, and many great memories and friendships. Andrew is a classy guy and he will be missed.

      I agree with the other posts that the most exciting event for Grove City was the 50. From the stands it was next to impossible to see lane 1, unless you were in the front row. Where I was sitting it looked like the Kenyon guy was winning after the turn (BTW Mitchell had a great meet, and probably would have been named swimmer of the meet if it were not for our PAC swimmers – Trunk, Whitbeck, and Courage). But when Tim and Caleb were near the finish I thought they just might do it. When the times came up on the board, the GCC fans nearly went wild, as well as a bunch of Denison fans. Unbelievable!! Great effort! Congrats to both Tim and Caleb for their National titles!

      We’ll be looking forward to next year, wherever Nationals will be.

    • #35771

      Just to defend Chris’s Mom, she was returning early in hopes of attending her daughter swimming at the state Y meet….she had already missed the PIAA meet at Bucknell in order to go to Houston. It’s a tough life when the whole family swims.

    • #35772

      Yes, that makes sense. I didn’t have that information when I spoke with her. Drew Snyder’s parents had that same problem with their daughter also swimming at the PIAA meet at Bucknell. They left early Friday morning to go back to Pennsylvania, and then the snowstorm occured, which forced Fridays events to be a timed finals.

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