Logan Todhunter returns as the champion despite coming in with a seed time of 2:09. Problem? Not likely. Last year she entered with a 2:11, so this is an improvement. The only other girl under 2:04 who could keep up with Todhunter last year was Anna Kokensparger of MIT. She’s back too since she was only a freshman last year. Her 2:04.9 seed time saw a nice second and a half drop. She comes in with the same time this year, trailing only Emily Schroeder of Denison at the top. She’ll need another drop to give the national title a real run.
If you were impressed with the number of returning swimmers in the women’s 500, this event looks even better. All 8 All Americans return and 6 of the 8 consolation finalists do as well. Add to this 3, yes 3, freshmen coming in ranked in the top 6 with 2:05’s.
Sleeper: Brooke Woodward. The Emory freshman posted a 2:05 at midseason and hasn’t tapered since then. This Emory team is the clear favorite and their experience and early momentum should help Woodward. A victory may be out of reach, but with 4 additional months of training, a 2 second+ drop isn’t out of the question.
Winner: Logan Todhunter. We know she’ll have the lead at the 50 mark and it’s hard to see her giving that up. The Williams’ junior can make a statement here and will need to, if she wants this victory to lead to a swimmer of the meet nod.