A year ago, Hannah Saiz entered the meet in a large cluster of 2:03’s and 2:04’s with her 2:04.66 seed time. In prelims, she quickly showed that she had more in her tank and went a blistering 2:01. In finals, she stayed about the same and got the bronze spot. This time around, she comes in with an event faster time, faster than her prelims PR, and will look to knock off multiple seconds from that. Considering she set the time in December, you won’t see me doubting it.
Coach Kuster must be doing something right with women 200 flyers. Of the top 5 placers last year, 3 were Ephs, including the top 2. Did I mention that 2 were sophomores and the other was just a freshmen? Scary huh? Both Todhunter and Ms. Bonnie Patchen (runner up) come in with similar times this year. Todhunter’s was posted in a January dual meet so all bets are off and where she’ll be in a couple weeks. She did set the record last year and was the only lady under 2:00… by a lot.
Next year, freshmen will be given a fighting chance again in this event. Only 1 was present in the top 16 on the rankings and 5 of the top 11 are seniors. Those places will be filled in by new recruits but don’t expect that to mean a drop off. Despite those 5 being in the top 11, only 1 is in the top 6. Also, Kenyon, Emory and Williams dominate this event. Since they will dominate the meet (along with Denison), you’d expect this in every event, but the case is made event more strongly here. Those 3 schools account for 9 of the top 16. Not too shabby.
Sleeper: Sarah Murphy. I’ve made no secret of taking several seniors as my sleeper picks. Sarah is a senior at Connecticut and while he seed time comes from NESCACs, I think she has a bit more to give. Last year she got a 2nd swim after holding time in prelims. Holding time again will ensure she gets a 2nd swim but could also land her in the top heat. Look for Sarah to finish in the top 8 then have a senior-finish and place in the top 5.
Winner: Logan Todhunter. This makes 3 for Logan and puts her in the drive seat against rival Kendra Stern (I assume they are rivals since their schools are) for Swimmer of the Meet. The only fair way to settle it will be dance off to their favorite Justin Bieber jam. Look for this showdown on Saturday.