Championship season is upon us the men’s (unofficial) roster is known. The men look to be sending 17 swimmers and one diver to Indianapolis, as Quah Zheng Wen and Ken Takahashi were late adds to the swimming contingent; Quah was able to qualify with a blazing 200 fly time in the 200 fly at last Sunday’s last chance Pac 12 Invite, while Takahashi sitting at #31 in the 400 IM was able to move up to 29th when two others scratched the event. Based on Swimswam’s early psych sheet analysis, the men trail NC State and Texas (pre-diving), followed closely by Florida and Indiana. Stanford (ex-diving) is well down the list at #7, but they do have the 2017 Pac 12 banner to keep them warm.
I am counting on additional points beyond current seeds from the following:
1) Currently we are projected to score 14 points in the 50/100/200 free. I think our rested sprinters (Sendyk,Jensen,Lynch and Gutierrez) will surprise. Having two freshmen here makes handicapping a bit more difficult to predict how much they can add from rest, shaved and suited but both achieved “safe” qualifying times in early December and have trained straight thru Pac 12s. Lynch can go 1 second quicker in both 100 free (and fly). I hope Long can stay mentally in the game because he has the talent to make significant drops in the 100 and 200 free.
2) We have a large breaststroke group (Hoppe,Cobleigh,Sand and Whittle), which is projected to score 5 points. Whittle was likely rested for Pac 12s but I believe we will double our points here.
3) It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Quah became eligible and qualified this past Sunday. I am assuming that he was focused on getting his Q cut in the 200 fly, and just tried for safe B cuts in the 100 fly and back. He will likely not finish 2nd at NCAAs in the 200 fly (Schooling and Conger will be the favorites) but I expect his points from either or both the 100 fly or back (shades of Tom Shields!) will more than make up a lower 200 fly finish.
4) Would be a nice bonus to get something out of the 500/1650, where we project with a big fat goose egg. Kao just made it in, so I am not counting points for him, but Norman has the ability but he is still fighting illness so points here remain a question mark.
5) We have 4 potential scorers in the 200 IM (Seliskar,Murphy,Josa and Thomas). I think we score more than the projected 27 points.
6) Relays. I do not see the Bear’s 200 Free Relay finishing 5th; we should be top 3, and our points from the 400/800 Free Relays (projected 8th and 3rd respectively) are likely to depend upon which relay includes Ryan Murphy. A healthy ‘Aukai Lileikis would have likely helped our relays.
The problem for the Bears is that Texas is likely very rested as their big guns qualified early and they can count on scoring heaps of diving points as they have two of the best in college diving. I expect Cal to finish a solid 2nd ahead of NC State, Florida and Indiana.
Last edited by dgong; 03-07-2017 at 06:42 PM.
Pre-NCAA prediction 100fly
2017 WOMEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Thought I'll just get it started, per swimswam. Not the bells and whistles that UAC normally provides!
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
PLACE SWIMMER TEAM SEED BEST TIME
1 Janet Hu Stanford 50.38 (#1) 50.38
2 Noemie Thomas Cal 50.44 (#4) 50.44
3 Sarah Gibson Texas A&M 50.71 (#6) 50.61
4 Farida Osman Cal 50.40 (#3) 50.40
5 Louise Hansson USC 50.39(#2) 50.39
6 Gia Dalesandro Indiana 50.45 (#5) 50.45
7 Hellen Moffitt UNC 50.86 (#7) 50.67
8 Chelsea Britt Georgia 50.93 (#9) 50.93
So, it’s Hu on top at 50.38, and coming in right on her heels is USC freshman Louise Hansson. The Swede has been throwing down fast times all season, and really pushed the envelope with a huge Pac-12 performance in this race to win the title in a very packed final. In fact, the top four seeds raced in the Pac 12 final in one of the most electric races of the meet. The third seed comes in at 50.40 (Cal’s Farida Osman) and then fourth is Cal’s Noemie Thomas (50.44)
. All four of these women come in off of lifetime bests from February.
5th seed Gia Dalesandro, an Indiana senior, struggled to improve in her sophomore and junior seasons. Luckily for her, that struggle is no longer. She broke out in her freshman year, popping a 51.75 at Big Tens, which marked a two-plus second drop from high school. While she was able to get close to that time the next two years, it wasn’t until 2017 Big Tens, where she absolutely went on a tear with a 50.45, dropping 1.5 seconds from her 2014 lifetime best. That’s notable, and while one can never tell if a swimmer can replicate that kind of break out swim a month later, Dalesandro is very much so in the race for the national crown. Her Big Ten competitor Liz Li of Ohio State also blew away a personal best, posting a 50.90 for 2nd in that race at Big Tens.
Last year’s runner-up Sarah Gibson comes in 6th with a 50.71, which is almost three tenths faster than her 50.99 seed time last season. She ended up going 50.61 in the final, touching ahead of Osman, Hu, and UNC’s Hellen Moffitt. The Tar Heel senior is the 7th seed at 50.86, which is just off of her personal best of 50.61 from ACC’s in 2016. The ninth and final competitor under 51 seconds this year is Georgia’s Chelsea Britt, who comes in at 50.93, which is her best time ever (an improvement since she has left the Florida State program).
An additional nine women have been 51’s this season, including freshmen Maddie Murphy
of Cal and Veronica Burchill of UGA. Also lurking is another Bulldog, Kylie Stewart. She made the A final last year with a 51.58 in the morning and ended up 8th overall, but is seeded way back at 24th this year with a 52.05.
Last edited by OBear073akaSMFan; 03-11-2017 at 09:20 AM.
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 200 IM
Hey great job there, OBear - cheers for getting the ball rolling!
Going to post a few more NCAA event previews from SwimSwam...btw I will happily confess to replacing their images (usually predictably boring photos of the furdettes) with ones which are perhaps a mite more to our liking lol
2017 W. NCAA 200 IM PREVIEW: EASTIN HUNTING FOR HER OWN RECORDS
Stanford’s Ella Eastin is the 200 IM queen right now, and even Katie Ledecky can’t out-shine her in this event. As a freshman last season, she charged to new NCAA, American, and U.S. Open records with a gutsy swim to take the NCAA title. Her 1:51.65 in the final was over a full second ahead of 2nd place Kathleen Baker, and Eastin managed to out-split Baker, the 2016 Olympic 100 back silver medalist, on the back leg. The pair were also well ahead of the rest of the field: Baker went 1:52.95 in an A final where no other swimmer broke 1:54.
Eastin is the favorite here, and she’ll look to break her own NCAA, American, and U.S. Open records. However, the IM depth has grown since last year, and the field is closing in. While only Eastin and Baker broke 1:54 last year at NCAAs, six women have already done so this season. Last year, Eastin and Baker were the only women to have broken 1:54 prior to NCAAs.
Leading the chase pack is Madisyn Cox, the Texas senior who finished fourth last season at 1:54.80. She had come into the meet with a 1:54.29, but has been as fast as 1:52.82 this year, her lifetime best. Cox is a great racer, and her 1:52 this season is a testament to her potential to break up the Eastin-Baker up top. Also with intrigue is Tennessee freshman Meghan Small, who came in as the most heralded recruit of her class. She has international experience representing Team USA, and threw down a 2:11.26 in the LCM version of this race at the Pan Am Championships to win the silver medal. She hasn’t made much noise since then, but could be gearing up for a big NCAAs next week.
Texas A&M, which has been ridiculously deep in IM of late, has five qualifiers in this event, led by #5 Sydney Pickrem and #9 Bethany Galat. Both come in seeded faster than last year, with Pickrem seeded an entire two seconds faster than 2016. USC super frosh Louise Hansson, meanwhile, sits just behind Pickrem at 1:53.72 for the sixth and final seed under 1:54. With no SCY experience prior to this season, it’s hard to get a read on Hansson, but her unpredictability makes her a potentially very scary presence in this event.
The Virginia duo Kaitlyn Jones and Jennifer Marrkand makes another appearance (they’re both high seeds in the 200 fly) here, along with another ACC competitor, NC State’s Alexia Zevnik. Jones actually broke her hand during the Georgia Invite last season, and she looks stronger than ever coming up off of that injury.
Additional names to watch out for are Kentucky freshman Asia Seidt, who’s been having an incredible first season in college, USC’s Kirsten Vose, who isn’t flashy during season but usually has huge drops come taper, and Cal’s Celina Li, who isn’t seeded well (20th) but finished 8th in the A final last season.
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
PLACE | SWIMMER | TEAM | SEED | BEST TIME
1 | Ella Eastin | Stanford | 1:52.34 (#1) | 1:51.65
2 | Kathleen Baker | Cal | 1:52.74 (#2) | 1:52.74
3 | Madisyn Cox | Texas | 1:52.82 (#3) | 1:52.82
4 | Meghan Small | Tennessee | 1:53.31 (#4) | 1:53.31
5 | Sydney Pickrem | Texas A&M | 1:53.64 (#5) | 1:53.64
6 | Kaitlyn Jones | Virginia | 1:54.05 (#6) | 1:54.05
7 | Louise Hansson | USC | 1:53.72 (#6) | 1:53.72
8 | Asia Seidt | Kentucky | 1:55.02 (#10) | 1:55.02
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 03-12-2017 at 12:45 PM.
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 100 Free
NCAA WOMEN’S 100 FREE PREVIEW: MANUEL THE FAVORITE, SILVER UNCLEAR
Due to the Rio Olympics, two of the greatest sprinters in the land were absent from the 2016 NCAA Championships. Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil were gearing up for Rio, with Manuel redshirting a year and Weitzeil deferring. That’s not to say that the 100 free final wasn’t fast last season– Olivia Smoliga of Georgia showed that her sprint free isn’t limited to the 50, pushing past Olympian Lia Neal to take the national title at 46.70 over Neal’s 47.00.
As fast as that was last season, it’s 2017, and swimming continues to get faster and deeper. Four women have already busted the 47-second barrier, Weitzeil not included. Leading the charge, as expected, is the woman who tied for gold in one of the most thrilling races in Rio this summer: Simone Manuel. She won the Pac-12 title last month with a 46.36, less than three tenths off of her own NCAA, American, and U.S. Open record. Manuel is the clear favorite, and we could be treated to the first flat-start forty-five from a female freestyler in history.
The field behind Manuel is intriguing. There’s the defending NCAA champ, Smoliga, who will want to go out on top her senior year. There’s Neal, the dependable, consistent performer who often overshadowed by the new wave of American sprinting led by Manuel. There’s Weitzeil, who was somewhat inconsistent in Rio but is capable of busting out a huge swim nonetheless, although illness plagued her Pac-12s this year.
And then there’s Mallory Comerford. Coming into college having never broken 50 seconds in this race, the Louisville program has developed her into someone on the verge of breaking out on the international scene. She’s been 46.75 this season, destroying her previous best to win ACCs. Comerford demands our attention, and her 53.91 to win the Indianapolis Pro Swim Series title earlier this month affirms her talent. None of her competitors in this event have had quite the upward trajectory the last two years, and the sophomore with the least amount of international experience is someone you’d be a fool not to pay close attention to in Indianapolis.
Swedish freshman Louise Hansson, who has been to plenty of big-time international meets representing Sweden, has been 47.03 this season. Always producing quality sprinters, USC’s Hansson may well be another sub-47 performer at NCAAs. The Pac-12 will also cast Farida Osman into the field, a Cal senior, along with USC senior Anika Apostalon, while the Big Ten has weapons in Ohio State’s Liz Li and Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey, two international talents who rank 8th and 9th, respectively, in the NCAA this season.
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
PLACE | SWIMMER | SEED TIME | BEST TIME
1 | Simone Manuel | 46.36 | 46.09
2 | Abbey Weitzeil | 47.22 | 46.29
3 | Mallory Comerford | 46.75 | 46.75
4 | Olivia Smoliga | 46.95 | 46.70
5 | Lia Neal | 46.97 | 46.84
6 | Louise Hansson | 47.03 | 47.03
7 | Chantal van Landeghem | 47.74 | 47.48
8 | Anika Apostalon | 47.78 | 47.65
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 03-12-2017 at 12:53 PM.
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 200 Back
2017 W. NCAA PICKS: BAKER SEEKS NCAA GOLD IN 200 BACK
After making the podium at the 2016 Rio Olympis, Cal backstroker Kathleen Baker has been looking to move up in the yards pool. As a freshman last season, she placed 13th in the 200 back with a 1:52.37, but this season she’s already been as fast as 1:48.33, making her a big favorite for the title. Baker is now within half asecond of Elizabeth Pelton’s American Record of 1:47.84 from the 2013 NCAA Championships, and will look to join the shortlist of women who have broken the 1:48-barrier.
There are a handful of women who could challenge Baker for the title, but only 2 of those women have been under 1:50 so far. NC State’s Alexia Zevnik (1:49.61) accomplished that at the ACC Championships, while Stanford’s Janet Hu (1:49.36) did so alongside Baker at the Pac-12 championships.
Baker’s teammate Amy Bilquist has been just shy of breaking the 1:50-barrier this season with a 1:50.06, but she’s been as fast as 1:49.90 before. Hu’s teammate Ally Howe (1:51.16) has been a force in the backstrokes this season, and will look to challenge for a top spot in the 200 back after breaking the American Record in the 100 back at conference.
Last season’s bronze medalist Kennedy Goss (1:50.95) of Indiana will be in the mix, as will Texas A&M’s Lisa Bratton (1:51.68), who finished 4th last season but is hidden down at 14th in the psych sheets. Texas’ Tasija Karosas (1:51.11) seeks a top 8 spot after finishing 9th last season (with a big drop in finals), and teammate Claire Adams (1:51.16) comes in as the 8th seed. Adams is a wild-card here – she’s fully recovered from a hand injury that disrupted her Olympic Trials meet this summer. While the 100 back is the race where she won Junior Worlds silver in 2015, her 200 back has been the biggest improvement in her rookie year in Austin.
While she hasn’t broken the 1:51-barrier yet this season, we definitely shouldn’t rule out defending NCAA champ Danielle Galyer, who is a part of a loaded Kentucky backstroke group. Galyer made a full second drop from SECs to NCAAs last season, and as the NCAA champion in this race, she’s likely not showing all of her cards until the big showdown. The Wildcats have multiple swimmers who could contend for a top 8 spot in this race, including freshmen Asia Seidt (1:50.22) and Danielle’s sister Ali Galyer (1:51.82). Kentucky scored 40 points in total at last year’s NCAA Championship meet. There’s a chance they’ll match that output in this one event in 2017, which shows just how far Lars Jorgensen’s team has come in a year.
Also coming in with a pair of 1:51-lows are Michigan’s Clara Smiddy (1:51.39) and Missouri’s Hannah Stevens (1:51.41). Smiddy earned All-American status in this race last season with a 6th place finish. Stevens just missed the consolation final in 2016, but has been on fire this season, so a top 8 finish is not out of the question.
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
PLACE | SWIMMER | TEAM | SEED | BEST TIME
1 | Kathleen Baker | Cal | 1:48.33 (#1) | 1:48.33
2 | Janet Hu | Stanford | 1:49.36 (#2) | 1:49.36
3 | Danielle Galyer | Kentucky | 1:51.16 (#10) | 1:49.71
4 | Amy Bilquist | Cal | 1:50.06 (#4) | 1:49.90
5 | Alexia Zevnik | NC State | 1:49.61 (#3) | 1:49.61
6 | Lisa Bratton | Texas A&M | 1:51.68 (#14) | 1:50.64
7 | Tasija Karosas | Texas | 1:51.11 (#7) | 1:50.49
8 | Asia Seidt | Kentucky | 1:50.22 (#5) | 1:50.22
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 200 Fly
2017 W. NCAA PICKS: ELLA EASTIN TO TAKE ON ALL CHALLENGERS IN 200 FLY
Last year, Kelsi Worrell was the closest anyone has ever come to Elaine Breeden’s 1:49.92, which stands as the NCAA, American, and U.S. Open record eight years later. With Worrell graduated, #4 all-time Ella Eastin will lead the charge in 2017. Eastin, a Stanford sophomore who is known more for her IM prowess, posted a 1:51.04 to take 2nd behind Worrell, which was far ahead of any other competitor (no other swimmer broke 1:53 in the final last season). She’s the top seed this year and the favorite for the NCAA crown.
Sarah Gibson, at-once a butterflier, sprint- and distance freestyler, comes in as the 2nd seed. The Texas A&M senior has been on an impressive improvement rate through college, and while she’s better in the 100 when it comes to fly, we can never forget her ability to swim a great 500 free. She comes in seeded over a second faster than last year (1:52.64), putting her right in contention with USC sophomore Madison Wright (1:52.67) and Georgia’s Chelsea Britt (1:52.72). The latter is a transfer from Florida State, and has lopped about eight tenths off of her personal bests in both the 100 fly and 200 fly since joining Jack Bauerle’s program.
The Virginia duo of Kaitlyn Jones (1:52.93) and Jennifer Marrkand (1:53.75) sits within the top 10, with Jones at 5th and Marrkand at 8th. With Worrell gone, they’ll take the reigns as leaders for the ACC. Seeded at 6th and 7th, right in between them, are Cal’s Katie McLaughlin (1:53.29) and Indiana’s Gia Dalesandro (1:53.67); both are interesting cases.
McLaughlin, who was hindered for months by a neck injury she sustained on Cal’s winter training trip last season, has certainly recovered back to form. It was unclear through the spring and over the summer if she’d be able to continue to elevate her game, but she has had a fantastic season. After dropping a 1:55 in Cal’s January dual with USC and a 1:54 against Stanford two weeks later, McLaughlin went a best time of 1:53.80 in prelims at Pac 12s, only to improve to 1:53.29 in the final. Her ability to bounce back from the injury is exciting, but she’s going to have to be considerably faster to challenge Eastin– her long course speed (2:06.95 summer ’15), of course, suggests that she’s capable.
Dalesandro, meanwhile, erupted to win the 2017 100 fly Big Ten title (50.45), destroying her previous personal best of 51.75. Her 200 fly at Big Tens was also a new best, and considering how well she’s been swimming, the Hoosier senior is not one to count out in Indy (pretty close to home turf). McLaughlin’s Cal teammate, Noemie Thomas, along with Texas women Remedy Rule and Lauren Case round out the 11 ‘A’ cuts in this event.
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
PLACE | SWIMMER | TEAM | SEED | BEST TIME
1 | Ella Eastin | Stanford | 1:51.85 (#1) | 1:51.04
2 | Sarah Gibson | Texas A&M | 1:52.64 (#2) | 1:52.64
3 | Katie McLaughlin | Cal | 1:53.29 (#6) | 1:53.29
4 | Chelsea Britt | Georgia | 1:52.72 (#4) | 1:52.72
5 | Kaitlyn Jones | Virginia | 1:52.93 (#5) | 1:52.93
6 | Madison Wright | USC | 1:52.67 (#3) | 1:52.67
7 | Gia Dalesandro | Indiana | 1:53.67 (#7) | 1:53.67
8 | Noemie Thomas | Cal | 1:53.77 (#9) | 1:53.77
Morning Splash: Will The Women’s NCAA Scoring Projections Come True?
Kathleen v. Ella
By David Rieder.
At the 2016 women’s NCAA championships, Georgia was projected to finish fourth. Simply scoring out the psych sheet had the Bulldogs finishing the swimming competition with 279 points, well behind Cal (398), Stanford (374) and Virginia (313).
But head coach Jack Bauerle’s squad ended up finishing a lot higher than that. Georgia out-performed its projected score by 121 points (and scored 14 more in diving) and edged out Stanford by 19 points to win it all.
One year later, we’ve got another batch of scoring predictions, courtesy of statistician extraordinaire Price Fishback. Obviously, it’s impossible to know exactly what will happen at this week in Indianapolis—what teams will catch fire and which teams will struggle—but the numbers suggest a much less competitive team race at the top of the standings this season.
So consider this exercise very much a hypothetical. But if every swimmer were to swim exactly their seed times, and nothing changes, this is how the meet would look, and the Stanford Cardinal would be walking away victorious by a wide margin—152 points to be exact.
Is that insurmountable? In theory, no, but it would take a massive effort from Cal and a lot of Stanford mistakes for an upset. With Stanford more than 300 points ahead of the third-place team (USC) in these projections, it’s hard to imagine any other squad making up that gap.
But in that above chart there’s a lot more to unpack than just who will win the meet. Here are a few points that stand out.
Cal Bears Sitting Pretty at No. 2
Just as it would take a lot falling neatly into place for Cal to catch Stanford, any other squad catching the Golden Bears is equally unlikely. Cal has been ranked as the No. 2 team nationally for much of the year, and there’s a strong, versatile cast surrounding Olympic gold medalists Kathleen Baker and Abbey Weitzeil.
Stanford has by far the top points projection each day, but it’s not out of the question for Cal to finish with a day one lead. Baker could upset Ella Eastin in the 200 IM, and Weitzeil has a chance at taking down Simone Manuel in the 50 free, and three other Cal swimmers (Farida Osman, Maddie Murphy and Amy Bilquist) are potential scorers in the splash-and-dash. On top of that, Stanford is not invulnerable in the 200 free or 400 medley relays
However, Cal does have some question marks with health going into the meet that are worth watching. Weitzeil had trouble standing up after her 200 free at the Pac-12 championships and did not compete for the remainder of that meet, and Amy Bilquist was spotted wearing a walking boot at that meet.
Who’s on Third?
Here, it gets tight. USC is projected to finish with 246, followed closely by a tight pack of NC State, Texas, Georgia and Texas A&M all within 15 points. The remainder of the top five will likely come from this group.
Georgia has been a consistent overachiever at the end-of-season championships and figures to be a popular third-place pick. Before from last year’s 121-point increase from the projections, the Bulldogs challenged heavily-favored Cal at the 2015 meet, over-performing their seeds by 69 points.
Texas A&M over-performed by 40 points last season, while the other three teams in this range all under-performed: USC by 19.5, NC State by 37 and Texas by 63. Of course, these patterns are not consistent from year-to-year—in 2015, for instance, Texas was a 41-point overachiever.
Based on the chart, NC State should get off to a strong start on Thursday, with two relays in which they are seeded highly plus their signature 50 free, while Texas A&M is relying on big points in the 400 IM, 100 fly and 200 breast. As for USC, the Trojans are projected to score 29 more points than any team aside from Stanford and Cal on the final day.
Going big picture, don’t take these projections for more than what they are: projections. Almost every team will over-perform or under-perform to an extent, and some of those changes will undoubtedly be drastic.
But barring anything miraculous happening, it looks clear which teams will be scraping for position at the bottom of the top ten, which teams will be involved in the dogfight for third through fifth places and which teams will be hoisting the runner-up and champions’ trophies come Saturday night.
Breaking Down the Team Race at Women’s NCAA Championships
In just two days, the women’s NCAA championships will get underway in Indianapolis, so on today’s episode of Off Deck, host David Rieder was joined by Dan D’Addona, Swimming World’s lead NCAA Division I writer, to preview what’s sure to be an exciting battle for the team championship and spots in the top ten.
Rieder and D’Addona explained why Stanford is the favorite for the meet, discussed what Cal and Georgia can do to challenge the Cardinal and picked who they think will make up the top five finishers. They also discussed how teams from the ACC and B1G conference might stack up and identified keys for each team.
Learn everything you’d want to know about the NCAA women’s team race by watching the video episode below.
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 03-13-2017 at 08:30 AM.
Reason: health concerns underlined
Women's Division I Individual Profiles (Swimmers only)
Kathleen Baker | SO | Winston Salem, NC | 200 IM, 100 Back, 200 Back
Amy Bilquist | SO | Carmel, IN | 50 Free, 100 Back, 200 Back
Keaton Blovad | FR | Lake Oswego, OR | 200 IM, 100 Back, 200 Back
Chenoa Devine | FR | Davis, CA | 500 Free, 400 IM, 1650 Free
Marina Garcia Urzainqui | SR | Barcelona, Spain | 200 IM, 100 Breast, 200 Breast
Valerie Hull | JR | San Diego, CA | 50 Free, 200 Free, 100 Free
Celina Li | SR | Pleasanton, CA | 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 Fly
Kathryn McLaughlin | SO | Dana Point, CA | 100 Fly, 200 Free, 200 Fly
Madelyn Murphy | FR | Orinda, CA | 50 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Free
Farida Osman | SR | Cairo, Egypt | 50 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Free
Noemie Thomas | JR | Richmond, Canada | 50 Free, 100 Fly, 200 Fly
Kristen Vredeveld | SR | Chattanooga, TN | 50 Free, 200 Free, 100 Free
Abbigail Weitzeil | FR | Santa Clarita, CA | 50 Free, 200 Free, 100 Free
HANDICAPPING D1 NCAA WOMEN’S NATIONALS
The women’s D1 national championship meet starts on Wednesday. We’ve scored the psych sheet and examined how performance changes from the psych sheet at the big meet. It’s now time to combine to two into a forecast of the meet.
I ran a Monte Carlo simulation of the NCAA women’s meet minus diving (most top teams have 1 or 0 divers except Minnesota, and UCLA who have 3).
The top teams unsurprisingly remain unquestioned under this procedure.
Stanford won over 99.9% of the time. California was 2nd over 99.9% of the time.
There were shakeups in the the top 10. The model gives NC State, 4th on the psych sheet, almost no chance of a top 4 finish based on swimming points. Instead, 84% of the time the model has them finishing somewhere between 7th and 12th. Georgia, 6th on the psych sheet, ends up in the top 4 in 68% of simulations, and the top 5 in 91%. Texas, 5th on the psych sheet, finishes 5th or higher based on swimming points in only 16% of the model runs. Virginia, 8th on the psych sheet, is 7th or better in 72% of simulations.
This methodology isn’t perfect. There’s no diving. It doesn’t include a chance of relay DQ’s. It also makes an assumption that past performance at nationals is predictive of future performance.
That’s the fun part: seeing which teams break expectations and do things we didn’t (or shouldn’t) predict. This post is about setting a baseline of expectations. The story of the meet will be which expectations are defied or fulfilled.
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 03-13-2017 at 02:02 PM.
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 500 Free
2017 W. NCAA PICKS: LEDECKY VS. THE CLOCK IN 500 FREE
Ledecky, Katie, Leah Smith, Missy
After battling a neck injury last season, Cal’s Katie McLaughlin has been back on form this season with her 4:36.04 from Pac-12s. She enters the meet as the 7th seed.
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
PLACE | SWIMMER | TEAM | SEED | BEST TIME
1 | Katie Ledecky | Stanford | 4:25.15 (#1) | 4:25.15
2 | Leah Smith | Virginia | 4:30.81 (#2) | 4:30.37
3 | Cierra Runge | Wisconsin | 4:35.55 (#5) | 4:31.90
4 | G Ryan | Michigan | 4:34.28 (#3) | 4:34.28
5 | Rose Bi | Michigan | 4:34.63 (#4) | 4:34.63
6 | Katie Drabot | Stanford | 4:35.69 (#6) | 4:35.69
7 | Katie McLaughlin | Cal | 4:36.04 (#7) | 4:36.04
8 | Mallory Comerford | Louisville | 4:37.47 (#10) | 4:37.47
Last edited by UrsusArctosCalifornicus; 03-14-2017 at 06:03 PM.
Reason: photo swap
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 50 Free
2017 W. NCAA PICKS: WEITZEIL, MANUEL, & SMOLIGA FACE OFF IN 50 FREE
Farida & Abbey
• NCAA record: Olivia Smoliga (2016)- 21.21
• American record: Abbey Weitzeil (2016)- 21.12
• U.S. Open record: Abbey Weitzeil (2016)- 21.12
• 2016 NCAA Champion: Olivia Smoliga (Georgia)- 21.21
The women’s splash-and-dash at the 2017 NCAA Championships brings a highly anticipated battle between Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil, and Olivia Smoliga. After taking a redshirt last season to focus on long course, Stanford’s Manuel, the Olympic silver medalist in the 50 meter free, leads the nation heading into the meet. Not far behind, though, is American Record holder and Cal freshman Weitzeil, who has been as fast as 21.12 in her career. Georgia’s Smoliga has been within a tenth of that. She’ll be looking to defend her title after setting the NCAA Record at 21.21 at last season’s NCAA meet.
Aside from those 3, we can’t rule out Cal’s Farida Osman and Ohio State’s Zhesi Li, who have each been 21-low this season. Osman boasts a personal best 21.32 from the 2016 Pac-12 meet, which makes her a potential title threat. Li is also a big contender for a top 3 spot after tying her lifetime-best 21.48 at the 2017 Big Ten Championships. At last season’s NCAAs, Osman and Li finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
TOP 8 PICKS:
PLACE | SWIMMER | TEAM | SEED | BEST TIME
1 | Simone Manuel | Stanford | 21.29 (#1) | 21.29
2 | Abbey Weitzeil | Cal | 21.40 (#2) | 21.12
3 | Olivia Smoliga | Georgia | 21.56 (#6) | 21.21
4 | Farida Osman | Cal | 21.49 (#4) | 21.32
5 | Zhesi Li | Ohio State | 21.48 (#3) | 21.48
6 | Lia Neal | Stanford | 21.70 (#8) | 21.70
7 | Maddy Banic | Tennessee | 21.54 (#5) | 21.54
8 | Linnea Mack | UCLA | 21.67 (#7) | 21.67
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 400 Medley Relay
2017 W. NCAA 400 MEDLEY RELAY PREVIEW: PAC-12 BATTLE BREWING
Stanford won by almost 1.5 seconds last year, and while they lost star breaststroker Sarah Haase to graduation, they’ve still managed to break 3:27 this season for the top seed going into NCAAs. Part of that is due to getting Simone Manuel back on the anchor leg. The team of her, Ally Howe on back, Janet Hu on fly, and Kim Williams on breast has been 3:26.74 this year. Of course, Howe recently broke Natalie Coughlin’s legendary American record in this event with an amazing 49.69 at Pac-12s, and Hu has been on fire in the butterfly (the fastest 100 flyer this season, to be exact). The sophomore Williams was able to put down a 59.79 on the breaststroke leg (she was a 1:01.3 in high school but focused on IM), and with Manuel on the end, this relay might not be stopped at NCAAs.
Two of the biggest competitors for the Cardinal will be Pac-12 rivals Cal and USC. Cal has essentially the same front three legs as Stanford, with Kathleen Baker and Noemie Thomas about even with Howe and Hu on back and fly, respectively, and Marina Garcia about even with Williams. At Pac-12s, Farida Osman anchored in 47.39, but a healthy Abbey Weitzeil on the end of that (assuming she’s taken off the 800 free relay) would probably make this a dead heat, or even slightly in Cal’s favor. USC, meanwhile, doesn’t have nearly the same backstroke strength but has a breaststroke advantage with Riley Scott, while Louise Hansson erupted for a 49.76 fly split at Pac-12s and Anika Apostalon is a reliable, sub-47 anchor.
TOP 8 PREDICTIONS:
PLACE | TEAM (SEED) | SEASON BEST
1 | Stanford (#1) | 3:26.74
2 | Cal (#2) | 3:27.38
3 | USC (#3) | 3:27.88
4 | NC State (#4) | 3:28.26
5 | Indiana (#5) | 3:28.89
6 | Georgia (#9) | 3:30.11
7 | Texas A&M (#8) | 3:29.81
8 | Texas (#7) | 3:29.77
Off Deck, March 14, 2017: Women’s NCAA Preview, Part Two
In the final day before the beginning of the women’s NCAA championships, Swimming World’s David Rieder and Dan D’Addona return on this episode of Off Deck to analyze the top race-by-race storylines of the meet.
Rieder and D’Addona went in-depth in discussing Katie Ledecky’s event lineup and what she might accomplish in her three freestyle races, the challenges Lilly King faces in the two breaststroke events, whether anyone can join Ally Howe under the 50-second barrier in the 100 back and what other records might be broken in Indianapolis.
Watch the full episode below.
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 400 Free Relay
2017 W. NCAA PICKS: STANFORD STACKED IN 400 FREE RELAY
After an incredible NCAA and American Record performance in late February at the Pac-12 Championships, the Stanford women are the clear frontrunners in the 400 free relay at NCAAs. The lineup they boast is incredibly stacked, featuring three members of the American 400 free relay at this past summers Olympics (including prelims), not to mention both the 100 free and 200 free Olympic gold medalists in Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky.
In that swim at Pac-12s, Manuel led off in 46.47, just about four tenths off her own American Record of 46.09. Based on how she has looked this year, the chance she cracks the 46-second barrier is definitely viable, though the 400 free relay being the last event of a tough meet can always have an impact.
Lia Neal, who sits 4th in the 100 free rankings so far this year, gives Stanford half of the women who have cracked 47 seconds this season and a formidable lead-off/anchor duo. Janet Hu is a very reliable 47-mid in the third slot, and Ledecky is certainly capable of going better than the 48.1 she split at Pac-12s.
Stanford wasn’t the only fast team in this race at Pac-12s, as the top three seeds all come from the conference. USC finished just over a second back of Stanford in 3:09.57, and Cal was just another half second back of them in 3:10.15.
USC has four strong legs, led by Louise Hansson who led off that relay in a 47.03, and Anika Apostolan who anchored in 46.91. It doesn’t look like they have the firepower to compete with Stanford, but with a 47.0 lead-off, two sub-48 middle legs and a sub-47 anchor they’re definitely in the medal picture. They are the defending champions from last year.
Cal’s season best of 3:10.15 interestingly came without the #2 performer all-time in the 100 free Abbey Weitzeil, whom they opted to use on the 200 free, 800 free and 200 medley relays instead.Per the NCAA rules, Weitzeil will be allowed to swim four relays plus her three individual events, meaning she’ll almost definitely be added to their 400 free relay roster.
Holding the three other legs constant at their Pac-12 splits, the addition of Weitzeil improves Cal anywhere from 1 to 2 seconds, pulling them to within reach of Stanford. The 2016 Olympian did not swim the individual 100 either at Pac-12s, but her season best of 47.22 from the Georgia Invite is 1.16 faster than Kristen Vredeveld‘s 48.38 lead-off at the Conference Championship.
PLACE | TEAM | SEED | 2016 FINISH
1 | Stanford | 3:08.51 | 4th
2 | California | 3:10.15 | 6th
3 | USC | 3:09.57 | 1st
4 | Georgia | 3:11.19 | 2nd
5 | NC State | 3:10.31 | 5th
6 | Texas | 3:12.29 | 13th
7 | Louisville | 3:12.12 | 7th
8 | Texas A&M | 3:13.37 | 3rd
2017 W. NCAA Preview: 200 Medley Relay
2017 W. NCAA 200 MEDLEY RELAY PREVIEW: BAY AREA SHOWDOWN
Cal's 200 Medley Relay: 2016 Pac-12 champs (slot in Abbey for Marina, Thleen or Amy for Bootsie in the 2017 NCAAs edition)
Stanford won the Pac-12 title in 1:34.32, just nipping Cal by a single tenth at the wall. Cal has swapped in Abbey Weitzeil on the breaststroke leg due to the Bears’ drought in breaststroke strength the last several years, but wouldn’t it be nice if she could anchor head-to-head with Manuel? Cal and Stanford have pretty evenly-matched legs all the way through, but an interesting wrinkle here has to do with Kathleen Baker. Amy Bilquist led-off in 23.81 on Cal‘s A relay at Pac-12s, a very strong split, but Baker popped a 23.57 on the B relay, meaning Cal would’ve won the conference title and gone the nation’s fastest time had Baker been on the A, and they would’ve been .03 shy of the NCAA, American, and U.S. Open record. Baker could also serve as the team’s breaststroker and free up Weitzeil to anchor.
PLACE | TEAM (SEED) | SEASON BEST
1 | Stanford (#1) | 1:34.32
2 | Cal (#2) | 1:34.42
3 | USC (#5) | 1:35.18
4 | NC State (#4) | 1:34.89
5 | Arizona (#3) | 1:34.63
6 | Georgia (#6) | 1:35.28
7 | Texas A&M (#7) | 1:35.33
8 | Texas (#8) | 1:35.39