NCAA Preview – W200FR

A year ago Emory not only won the event by nearly a second, but they broke the NCAA record in the process. Unfortunately for this year’s returning chances, they lost 2 ladies to graduation. If you were too worried for them, you shouldn’t be. They come in seeded 3rd with a mark set back in December. This time, in fact, is a tenth faster than they entered in with last year. Does this mean a repeat is all but a formality of swimming it? Not a chance.

The top seed, Denison, comes in with a time faster than they posted last year at NCAAs. That time they posted last year was good enough for a runner up position too. The surprise here is Gustavus. They have a strong tradition in the sprints but it’s been a few years since we’ve seen them this high up in the standings. Their group is not only talented, but it’s young. Youth can be a dangerous thing.

Just over 1 second separates 4th and 16th. This relay is always fast and close, but that’s taking it to a whole new level. UW is a big reason for this. The WIAC conference, not typically talked about with the top conferences of the country, brings 3 teams to the top 11, including 4th seed UWSP.

Sleeper: Williams. The oldest member of this relay last year was just a sophomore… How many other relays can say that? Well look at it this way: every team in front of them lost at least 1 member due to graduation. Not only does Williams lose no one, but they had at most, 1 year of experience under their belt last year. This added age will really help them this year. They sit there in 8th right now, without a full taper from Todhunter and will be eyeing higher spots. Top 3 is entirely possible for this squad.

Winner: Denison. Unless they fail to retaper well, Denison’s 2FR sits in the driver’s seat for the throw down and race relay. They return 75% of the relay and they will look to avenge a relay where this school held the record for a long time. They’ll be looking to get that back, though I think they’ll fall short. Where they won’t fall short, is ascending back to their place atop the platform during awards.

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