The 2012 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships are in the books, with both Cal’s mens and womens teams finishing first. So, what are their prospects for 2013? One way to approach this is to consider how many points return for the leading squads. By this measure, Cal ‘s men will be the favorite next year.
Returning Points including relay contributions
1. Cal, 388.5
2. Stanford, 277.5
3. Texas, 236.5
4. Zona, 231.5
5. Michigan, 213.5
6. Auburn, 179
7. SC, 178
8. Florida, 139.5
Here is a way to early projection for each day of the three day 2013 event for the men:
(the numbers in parenthesis are the projected number of Cal swimmers qualifying in the top eight and bottom eight, e.g. (1/2) means I expect one Cal swimmer in the final eight and two swimmers in the consolation eight)
Day 1 2013
1) 200 Free Relay: Cal wins 200 free relay, followed by Texas, Stanford and USC. The development of the free sprinters was one of the big stories in 2012 NCAAs. The 200 free relay team barely qualified on Thursday morning, but by the 50 prelims, the team sprinters surprised by placing 3 in the top 16, inc Stubblefield at #8. The entire sprint corps returns led by Stubblefield , Messerschmidt and Fleming in the 50, all three figure to be included in the top 8 returnees in that event. #2 Auburn and #3 Arizona lose two swimmers, and #4 and #5 Texas and Stanford must replace one.
2) 500 free: Georgia,USC, Auburn, Texas and esp.Michigan score in the 500 free, but Will Hamilton, and possibly Metz and Bagshaw score for Cal. Metz finished 12th for Cal in 2011, but just missed making the final 16 this past championship.(1/1)
3) 200 IM: Top 3 return in the 200 IM. Tarczynski is #1, and B. Hinshaw is #8 returnee. Nolan scores for Stanford, and Tx also has two possible top 8’s . Will a Cal freshman, possibly Pebley or Prenot figure here? Stanford and Georgia also signed top frosh IMers.(2/0)
4) 50 Free: 50 free is big event for Cal with Seth Stubblefield, Tyler Messerschmidt and Shayne Fleming amongst top 8 returnees. Fabio Gimondi and newcomer Nick Dillinger could squeeze into bottom 8 . Stanford has Wayne and SC has Morozov, and they will likely be top seeds. Texas does not look to be a factor here, although Dalton will score bottom points and they did sign a fast prep, John Murray. (Cal 2/1)
5) 1 meter diving: Stanford has top returnee, and Texas graduates two. Cards pick-up important points.
6) 400 Medley Relay: Cal won the 400 medley relay in 2012, but must replace the backstroke leg(Gydesen) and breaststroke(Koon). My guess is that Tarczynski swims back and Hoyt replaces Koon. Since Tarcyznski and Hoyt are top eight returnees in the 100 back and breast respectively, and with Tom Shields virtually unbeatable in the 100 back relay split, Cal will be favored to win this event. Stanford and Arizona should finish in the top four, but Texas is harder to predict, having to replace 3 legs, and with no easy answer in the breast leg. For Cal, incoming freshman Jacob Pebley or possible transfer Tony Cox could also swim the back leg.
End of Day 1: Cal 164, Stanford 130, Texas 108, Arizona 75.
Day 2 2013
8)200 Medley Relay: Arizona won this in 2012 and returns 3 very strong legs, but must replace free anchor Small. Cal finished second, but must replace back and breast legs. Tarczynski (or Cox?) are likely candidates for back, and Hoyt or Christian Higgins for the breast leg. #4 Texas replaces 3 legs and #5 Stanford returns three but must find a breast leg from an incoming frosh or somebody deep on their current roster.
9)100 Fly: Tom Shield returns as defending champ. Arizona will have two top 8 swimmers, and Texas and Stanford a bottom 8 finalist each. Seth Stubblefield and Austin Brown may make it to the bottom 8. (Cal 1/1)
10)200 Free: The top 6 finishers in 2012 are expected to return in 2013, including champion Dax Hill from Texas. Cal’s top returnees are Will Hamilton, Sam Metz and Tyler Messerschmidt . Cal should have 1 in the top 8, and two in the bottom eight. Stanford recruited well here but Arizona may be blanked. (Cal 1/2).
11)100 Breast: Arizona returns the highest rated group of 100 breaststrokers in an event with only 7 of the top 16 returning in 2013. Cal’s Trevor Hoyt and Christian Higgins are projected to be in the top 8 as well. I do not expect any freshman help in this event for Cal in 2013. Perhaps incoming frosh Josh Prenot and Scott Haeberle add depth in the future. Stanford and Texas need help from newcomers in this event. (Cal 1/1)
12)100 Back: This will be one of the most highly anticipated events next year as Tom Shields defends his title against Stanford’s David Nolan. In fact, all 8 top finishers from last year including Marcin Tarczynski from Cal, and two swimmers from Texas return in 2013. Anthony Cox finished 6th in this event in 2011, so his presence could be a big factor in the point race. Jacob Pebley also has a chance to make the bottom 8. (Cal 2/0)
13)3 meter diving: Stanford returns the 2012 champ. Texas and Arizona graduate big points. Cal not projected to be a factor.
14)800 Free Relay: Cal lost an extremely close 800 free relay to Texas in 2012, as longhorn senior Neil Caskey overtook Cal anchor Ben Hinshaw for the title. Texas has an outstanding group, but must replace Caskey. Cal returns all 4 legs, Shields, Metz, Hamilton and Hinshaw, and other freestylers including Tyler Messerschmidt, and incoming freshman Nick Dillinger, Michael Haney and Trent Williams give Cal additional flexibility. Stanford, the #3 finisher and Arizona, the # 6 lose important members to graduation, but as noted before, Stanford’s incoming class has several top 200 free guys.
Day 3 2013
15)1650 Free: A young group competed in this event in 2012, and 6 of the top 8 (and 13 of the top 16) return in 2013. Cal frosh Adam Hinshaw finished 10th in 2012 so is projected to be a top 8 finalist in 2013. Jeremy Bagshaw has an outside chance making the bottom 8 final. (Cal 0/2)
16)200 Back: This event should be one of Stanford’s highlights as they return the 2,3 and 4 finishers in 2012.Marcin Tarczynski is Cal’s top returnee ,finishing 9th in 2012. Jacob Pebley has swum a 1:40.79 in this event in high school, which would have placed 3rd in the 2012 NCAA finals. (Cal 2/0)
17)100 Free: Tyler Messerschmidt is a top 8 returnee, but a group of Cal guys have a shot of making the bottom 8 finals including Fabio Gimondi, Shayne Fleming and newcomers Nick Dillinger and Michael Haney. Stanford returns #4 Aaron Wayne, and Texas has Dax Hill #9.(Cal 1/1)
18)200 Breast: This was the key event in the Bear’s 2012 championship as they scored 44 points versus Texas with 15. Unfortunately, Cal graduates 27 points but Trevor Hoyt is the top returnee in the event. Christian Higgins is projected to score bottom 8 points for the the Bears.(Cal 1/1)
19)200 Fly: Will Hamilton’s win in this event, beating out Tom Shields, was a major upset, but sets the Bears up well for 2013. Ben Hinshaw and Seth Stubblefield could also score points for Cal. (Cal 2/1)
20)Platform Diving: Stanford scores, Texas and Arizona must reload. Cal absent.
21)400 Free Relay: Texas relied upon a strong anchor leg by senior Jimmy Feigen to nip Cal in this event in 2012. Texas must replace Feigen (with Murray?) while Cal returns all four swimmers. Cal should be strong again in 2013.
So, a very premature look at a possible outcome at the 2013 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving championship shows Cal winning handily at 500 points versus Texas with 330 and Stanford at 306. This takes no account of the contributions to be made by freshmen which is the major wild card. I will take a look at the points scored by freshmen in the 2012 NCAAs and at the incoming recruiting class in a later post.