NCAA Preview – W200BR

Seniors! Get your seniors! The top 3? Seniors. 5 of the top 7? Seniors. The youngins’ of the top 7 are juniors. As you’ve seen this isn’t common but it will make for a fun prelim session. Experience will shine through and prove difficult for younger swimmers to rise up into the top 8.

The depth isn’t just like a fine wine (aged), it’s fast. 8 swimmers enter under 2:20. Last year? 3. And 1 of those 3 isn’t even back. Kudos to the coaches on this one. The improvements they are getting out of swimmers is impressive and it’s not just the recruits as some have asserted. A combination of fast recruits and great coaching will continue to show in future meets.

Lindsay Payne’s record is unbreakable. She’s arguably, I wouldn’t argue, the best female swimmer, neh, swimmer, in D3 history. This may make these times look less impressive, but it shouldn’t. 2:16, which is the seed time of 2 ladies, is blazing fast. It used to be the record not that long ago. It was the record for quite a while too.

Sleeper: Caitlin Lehberger. Would you believe she’s not the fastest 200 breastroker from Westminster this year? We’re not talking about Emory, but Westminster. Despite being 2nd on the team, she is familiar with drops. She dropped 3 seconds in prelims last year and comes in 2 seconds faster this time. We’re not just talking about finaling here but winning. Watch out nation.

Winner: Katie Mroz. Picking between Emory swimmers can be difficult but looking at her time progression from last year and factoring in being the fastest returning swimmer made Katie my pick. She knows how to get her hands, at the same time, to the wall first and that will come in handy with a tight final heat.

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