Analysis: Male High School Seniors Set to Score at NCAAs

Photo Courtesy: Addie Freeman

By Kevin Donnelly, Swimming World College Intern.

Every season, the NCAA Championships meet is among the most competitive and exciting in the country. Even qualifying for this exclusive meet takes a massive amount of motivation, talent, and training. It’s even tougher to make it into the top sixteen individually and score points for your team. But every year we see many swimmers who have yet to even get to the NCAA level swim times fast enough to score at the meet.

Using times from this season from USA Swimming’s database, as well as CollegeSwimming’s list of 2018 recruits, I looked up the times it took to place 16th or better in prelims (or in the timed finals, for the 1650 free) at the 2017 Men’s Division I NCAA Championships, and compared them to the list of current times swam this season by high school seniors. The table below depicts how many male high school seniors have already been faster than what it took to score at NCAAs last season, per event.

EventNumber of Potential Scorers
50 Freestyle0
100 Freestyle0
200 Freestyle2
500 Freestyle0
1650 Freestyle1
100 Backstroke0
200 Backstroke0
100 Breaststroke2
200 Breaststroke1
100 Butterfly0
200 Butterfly0
200 Individual Medley0
400 Individual Medley1


So as seen in the table above, it is very difficult for high school boys to swim times under what it takes to score at NCAAs. That said, there are a few who are fast enough to make it under the swift times.

Seven times swum by seniors thus far in 2017-2018 have been faster than what it took to score at men’s NCAAs in 2017. Reece Whitley, who is committed to California, is the only person to have more than one of those scoring times, as he would be able to score in both the 100 breast and 200 breast.

The other five times were done by five different swimmers. Trey Freeman and Kieran Smith, both of whom are committed to Florida, each swam one of these times. Freeman’s came in the 200 free, while Smith’s is in the 400 IM. Jack LeVant, a Stanford commit, holds the other time in the 200 free. Michael Brinegar, who is committed to Indiana in the fall, holds the time in the 1650 free, while Max McHugh, a Minnesota commit, holds the other time in the 100 breast, just behind Whitley.

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