NCAA Preview – M500FS

The returning champion Alex Fraser is back. He’s also seeded over a second faster than he was last year. Ian Stewart-Bates is back too. He finished at 4:25 last year, just a second off of Fraser. Like freshmen? How about 7 of them coming in at 4:33 or better? Yes, 7. The future of this event is bright, but let’s not be too forward thinking. Let’s talk about this year.

So let’s review what we have: Returning champion? Check. Kenyon distance guy who appears not to have tapered yet? Check. Freshman stud who hasn’t tapered yet? Check (Weik). A lot of excitement to look forward to? Check, check, check!

Sleeper: Whitaker Davis. Yeah yeah, I know he’s a 4:28 seed and will be checking in as the 2nd seed, making my “sleeper” pick a bit of a cop out. That being said, outside of the MIAC, he isn’t getting a lot of talk. He’s fully tapered already and did add time last year, but he’s a senior and I’ll take him as a top 8 finalist.

Winner: Alex Fraser. It won’t be an easy victory, to be sure, and the field is deep and talented, but Fraser’s steady rise and improvements will continue this season, his last. Some said it was all in the suit, but he proved that not to be the case last year and will write his names in the books this time around.

2 thoughts on “NCAA Preview – M500FS”

  1. As you’ve said, Fraser, the two-time defending champion, has to be seen as the favorite.

    His teammate, Ryan Lichtenfels, reigning 1650 champion and the individual with the second fastest 200 free time at last year’s championships (behind only Fraser), may be his strongest challenger. Although he swam the 200 IM at NESCACs to maximize the team’s points, he will join Fraser in the top heat of the 500 after posting a 435 in the MIT dual meet this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if both teammates make a push for Fraser’s national record


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