NCAA Preview – M200IM

As a freshman, Paul Dyrkacz added half a second and finished no where near the top 16 at nationals. I don’t know what Dyrkacz did between then and now, but he’s a different swimmer. He can easily add half a second (or more) and still be top 8 this year after posting the only sub 1:50 time so far this year. Meanwhile, the returning champion Collin Gladys of Redlands comes in 2 seconds slower than last year. If both do the same as last year, they’ll practically tie. That would be all well and good, but there are several others waiting for this event.

5 of he top 8 from last year are gone. Only 2 freshmen have come in and are currently ranked in the top 8. The depth isn’t quite where it was and the top end will drop off quickly. That doesn’t mean this isn’t exciting however. Guys like the 2 aforementioned sub 1:50 studs, Chris Bateman of St. Olaf and a slew of other contenders will ensure no event goes without some fireworks.

Sleeper: Danila Novikov. He’s a freshman from Staten Island and these Staten Island Russians have done well at nationals in the past. We don’t know if he’s fully tapered, partially rested or swam this time in board shorts. Don’t count him out of the conversation for victory here.

Winner: Chris Bateman. The St. Olaf senior can swim anything you ask of him. That’s a valuable talent when you’re talking about the IM. He didn’t drop a lot of time at the big show last year but this is another year and a more experienced swimmer. This event could put him over the hump.

2 thoughts on “NCAA Preview – M200IM”

  1. I saw Dyrkacz swim that race, and let me tell you, it was awesome. He was next to Lichtenfels through the 100, then drops a 31-mid BR split and brings it home in clear water. I don’t know how well he’ll do on his double taper, but given his huge 400 IM also, and the fact that he was practically swimming all alone, I’d have to give him the advantage. Put a kid next to him/even close to him on that final 50 and he could throw down the gauntlet.

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  2. I think he’ll be fast, but it will be really hard to retaper from such an amazing taper. Kuster is as good of a coach as any, but it’s just tough for the body, especially with less than 5 weeks. I do look forward to his continued improvement in years to come though.

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