4 Men came into the meet last year under 1:40. 2 of them made finals, 1 was in consols and 1 didn’t get a 2nd swim. This year that number is 9 so no matter how well they swim, they aren’t all getting into the top 8. What’s scarier, however, is the time drops that the men experienced at nats. Only 1 finalists wasn’t under 1:40 after the wake settled from prelims. With things being so much faster this year, can we possibly see that again?
The top seed after prelims last year, Kenyon sophomore Ian Stewart-Bates, is back. The winner, Amherst senior Alex Fraser, is back. The top seed coming into the meet, Kalamazoo senior Craig Fleming, was a finalist in this event for the past 2 years. Experience is something the 200 free has in spades.
Spencer Fronk, of Denison, is a detour from experience and a journey down the road of youth. The freshman was among the best division III recruits of all time and thus far, he hasn’t lived up to the hype. Nonetheless, he is here and this is his best event.
Sleeper: Anthony Lordi. 1:40.38 is pretty good for a freshman. It’s a lot better when you find out he did it in mid-November though. Hopkins has been on a slight dip the past couple years but with swimmers like Lordi to work with, that dip may not last. As I said, the top 8 is deep, but I’ll take Lordi to not only be in the top 8, but fight for a spot in the top 3.
Winner: Alex Fraser. When Alex gets out of the pool, he’ll likely stroll on over to the D3Swimming representatives and tell them he’s not bi-polar, he’s bi-winning. The 200 will be tight and it will be fast. Alex has the experience of winning the event combined with being even faster this year. He may not be first at the 100, but he will get his hand to the wall first on the last 50 and that’s what counts.