Does anyone beat Bobby Finke in the bullseye?
2022 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
florida Bobby Fink is the fastest man in 1650 freestyle history, holding the NCAA, US Open and US record for the event at 14:12.08. He is also the defending NCAA champion in this event and is now a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 800 and 1500 meter long freestyle. Alsohe holds the fastest time in the country this year at 14:27.70 by nearly five seconds despite not swimming at conferences due to COVID-19 protocol.
In other words, although Finke is known for getting past the peloton in the last 50 meters of long distance races, he might not even need it this time around because there’s no way that someone is getting close to him in the mile at the NCAA. .
Instead, the conversation will be about whether Finke can beat his old record or not. He hit the 14:12.08 mark at the 2020 SEC Championships, then was just a tenth slower than then when he went 14:12.18 at the SEC in 2021. Then, at the NCAA this that year it went 14:12.52. Considering he’s been at 2:12 three times, there’s no doubt he can go under his 2020 record this time around.
In fact, Finke told SwimSwam before the conferences that one of his goals was to be the first man under the 14-minute barrier in this event. While losing 12 seconds in a race is a stretch, his dominance over the mile would come close to that of his new training partner, Katie Ledecky, if he were to hypothetically achieve the feat.
Currently, Ledecky’s free record time of 15:03.31 1650 is 20.5 seconds faster than the second fastest female performer, Erica Sullivan (15:23.81). Finke is currently 6.17 seconds faster than second fastest man Zane Grothe (14:18.25). If he were to swim 13:59.99 at the NCAA, that margin would increase to 18.26 seconds.
Although Finke is the clear favorite in this event, the general field is also very solid.
One of the swimmers who seriously challenged Finke is Ohio State Charlie Clark. Finke and Clark never faced each other in short course yards, but they were neck and neck in the 400, 800 and 1500 long free runs when they met at the US Open in December, and Clark was even leading Finke in the three races. before Finke overtook him on the final lap. Clark is currently seeded sixth with a personal best 14:36.02, which he swam last month to win the tens mile. Although Finke’s short course time in the mile is more than 20 seconds faster than Clark’s, it’s still possible that we could get a repeat of the US Open showdown if Clark had a fall of massive time.
from texas David Johnstone arrives as the second seed with a time of 14:32.40 which he swam just days before the entry deadline, at the US Short Course Championships. In comparison, at the Big 12, he went 14:45.84 to win the conference title. Johnston’s swim was a huge personal best for him, dropping 7.73 seconds from his best time of 14:40.13 since being seventh at the NCAA last year. His teammate, rookie Luke Hobson, who broke Michael Phelps’ 17-18 age group national record last December, is ranked seventh with a Big 12 time of 14:40.15. likely the Longhorns were fully rested for conferences, so there’s a good chance Johnston and Hobson will be much quicker in the NCAA.
florida Trey Freeman is ranked sixth with a time of 14:39.74. This year he “finked” his competition, beating opponents by splitting 23.9 over his last 50 to clinch the 2022 SEC Championship in this event in Finke’s absence. Prior to this season, Freeman hadn’t swum the mile since 2019, when he finished second to Finke in the SEC with a time of 14:48.69, but then added time in the NCAA to finish 34th with a 15: 06.72. Despite his relative lack of swimming miles over the past two years, it should be pretty reasonable to assume that anyone in Anthony Nesty’s men’s distance group would be able to qualify at any time.
Another SEC swimmer, Georgia’s Jake Magahey, was trapped in a swarm of Florida swimmers who took seven of the top nine SEC mile spots. He was one of the only non-Gators to take first place, finishing second behind Freeman with a time of 14:40.20 which places him eighth in the psych sheets. Magahey was second in the mile last year with a time of 14:28.69 and holds a best time of 14:24.96. He is also the defending NCAA champion in the 500 freestyle and second in the 200 freestyle. However, Magahey hasn’t been close to his best times this season, given he hasn’t finished in the top 2 in any of his SEC events this year.
North Carolina State teammates Will Gallant and Ross Dant conclude the top 8 who will swim in the fastest wave during the NCAA final session. Dant is ranked fifth with a time of 14:38.71 since placing second at the ACC this year, although he holds a best time of 14:31.17 since finishing third at the NCAA Last year. The only man to beat him in conferences was third-seeded Will Gallant with a time of 14:33.40. Gallant is a transfer from Indiana, and in his first year with the Wolfpack, he lost 15.6 seconds from his previous personal best of 14:49.00.
Perhaps the two biggest names that will swim in the first legs of the mile are Indiana Michael Brinegar and that of Arizona Brooks Failure.
Brinegar hasn’t been as strong in yards recently, given that he went from second at the 2019 NCAA to tenth at the 2021 NCAA, and finished fourth at the Big Tens this year well off his best time. However, he made the Olympic team in the long course 800 and 1500m freestyle, which means he still has room to regain his old form. He is currently seeded ninth with a 14:40.23, but his best time is a 14:27.23 from 2019. Brinegar also told SwimSwam a few weeks ago that he thinks it would take more than 14:10 to win the mile, and that he had ambitions to challenge Finke for the title last year.
Fail was the Pac-12 champion in the mile and is ranked 13th with a time of 14:41.22. He finished fourth in the NCAA last year, when he swam his best time of 14:31.38. Failing has been quicker in this event every year from conferences to NCAAs, so it’s very likely he could do it again.
TOP 8 CHOICES:
Black Horse: Sean Grieshop, 5th grade, Cal-Grieshop ranked 33rd with a time of 15:00.90 and finished fifth in the Pac-12. In fact, he’s only able to swim the event because he was below the cut line in the 500 freestyle. However, he has a best time of 14:35.82 since finishing 4th at the 2019 NCAAs. In the final run of his college career, Grieshop could turn heads if he potentially gets back to where he was. two years ago.