PHOENIX, Arizona, March 4. WHEN the University of Michigan swam a 6:09.85 in the 800 freestyle relay last Wednesday at the Big 10 swimming and diving championships, it set the table for a dominating performance by the Wolverines at the conference meet. And while we highlight the Wolverines on today’s show, we’re also putting a spotlight on one of the key players that helped them break the NCAA and U.S. Open record.
Swimming the second leg, Michael Wynalda blazed through his 200 yards of freestyle in 1 minute and 30.60 seconds. To our knowledge, that’s the fastest split ever done in the relay, and the first person to every swim that distance under the 1:31 barrier. Of course, that swim itself didn’t break records because it wasn’t a leadoff, but it set the tone for Michigan’s chase of that relay record and put Wynalda squarely in the conversation of people to watch in the individual 200 freestyle at next month’s NCAA championships.
Of course, Wynalda will have some very stiff competition in that 200 freestyle in Austin next month, including reigning NCAA champion Joao de Lucca, who is the third-fastest performer in history. We could see two swimmers under Simon Burnett’s hallowed 1:31.20 NCAA and U.S. Open record, and that would be a swim for the ages.
So congratulations, Michael on your 1:30.60 relay split. It’s earned you the Speedo Performance of the Week.