Last year, just 1 female in D3 was able to break 1:03. She’s gone. Have no fear though, because prior to even taking a stroke in Knoxville, we’ve seen 3 ladies break the barrier. How low can they go? I’d guess lower than they come in with.
4 of the top 9 are seniors this year, which you’d think would excite the underclasswomen, however after 9th, you have to drop to the 25th spot to reach another senior. The depth is here too. You go 26 spots, just of those who made it, 37 across the country, to get to the 1:06’s. 1:06 used to be a solid swim considering 1:06.5 is the current b cut. Today it’s rather pedestrian.
Our top seed is a freshman from Grinnell College in Iowa. Imelda Wistey has been steadily improving for several years. As a sophomore in high school, she went a 1:06. As a junior, she dropped to a 1:03 before going a 1:02 as a senior. This makes her among the best recruits in D3 history. So far, she’s been living up to the hype and everyone in Grinnell is hoping this continues.
Sleeper: Kayleigh Shangle. As a freshman she came in with a very quick 1:03-high. She does the same this year, but with a year of added experience under her belt.
Winner: Imelda Wistey. Her time doesn’t come from midseason and she isn’t a senior. In fact, as I stated earlier, she’s just a freshman. She goes against everything I’ve been picking. And I do not care. She’s fast and I believe her ceiling is higher. Maybe we’re seeing the start of the next coming of Lindsay Payne here.