NCAA Preview – M200BK

The returning champion and record holder John Thomas is gone. John didn’t have an easy time last year. There was depth (12 swimmers under 1:50) and top end speed (2 swimmers went 1:47). In addition to John’s departure, we also lose a 1:47, 2 1:48s and a 1:49. Despite the losses, no one over 1:51 is ranked in the top 16. 8 swimmers came in under 1:50 last year and 6 do this time. That’s not a big drop, though with 7 seniors in the top 20, that may happen next year.

Quinn Bartlett surprised a lot of us who don’t follow Denison all that closely. Heck, he may very well have surprised Denison swimmers/alums/coaches as well. Quinn didn’t make the meet last year yet posted a 1:47 at the NCAC meet last month. Granted. Peter Mullee did come in faster last year, then added time, Denison has shown they can repeat their times.

Underclassmen rule one again. Only 1 senior ranks in the top 9 where 2 freshmen reside. This senior is Chris Bateman. Last year he added in prelims then added a bit more in finals. He’ll be looking to change this progression in the last race of his final year.  Another senior not to miss is John Dillon. John finished 2nd in the event last year despite a seed time of 1:55. Debate has heated over whether he has been training as hard, or harder, this season, but this will be his final individual race so he’ll be leaving it all the pool, as the cliche goes.

Sleeper: Michael Mptosis. He’s seemed off all year, despite training over the summer. You have to wonder if there has been a change to his rest as part of the Kenyon strategy to improve his end of the year swims. He could win this if he’s on.

Winner: Chris Bateman. Just like the 200IM, I believe Bateman leaves on top. His coach won this event a few years back (ok, more than a few) and he has more experience than most here. It won’t be a run away and Thomas’s record will last another year, but it will be Bateman’s hand touching first.

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