NCAA Men’s Championships: Leon Marchand Chases Third Crown Amid Team Race Intrigue (Heat Sheets)

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

NCAA Men’s Championships: Leon Marchand Chases Third Crown Amid Team Race Intrigue (Heat Sheets)

Leon Marchand has become appointment viewing in an NCAA pool. Set your watches for Saturday’s 200 breaststroke at the 2023 NCAA Championships.

Marchand will chase his third title of the weekend in the 200 breaststroke against hometown favorite Max McHugh of Minnesota. Marchand has set NCAA records in winning the 400 IM and 200 IM this week.

McHugh won the event last year. He wrapped up a 3-peat of 100 breast title Friday night in 50.00 seconds. They are seeds one and three, with Florida freshman Aleksas Savickas in the middle.

It’s one of five individual events, including the mile, leading up to the concluding 400 free relay. Platform diving will also be contested.

Saturday Morning Heat Sheets

The 200 backstroke will have plenty of firepower. Destin Lasco is the top seed, and IMers Hugo Gonzalez and Carson Foster will be in the penultimate heat with Baylor Nelson.

Eight heats of the 100 free could set up a rematch of Josh Liendo, Jordan Crooks and Youssef Ramadan. The Tennessee sophomore Crooks took the 50 free. Ramadan won the 100 butterfly Friday night and is the top seed entering the 100 free.

The 200 fly presents an open event for this year’s field. Brendan Burns won it last year, but the next four finishers are absent. Gabriel Jett of Cal, who is swimming well, enters as the top seed, but Burns and Arizona State’s Alexander Colson are also under 1:40, in a race that could significant implications for the title race.

The first four heats of the mile will happen starting at 5 p.m. ET with the final heat an hour later to start the night session. Levi Sandidge of Kentucky is the top seed by nearly six seconds in 14:31.47, but Texas’s David Johnston, Will Gallant of NC State and Georgia’s Jake Magahey will have something to say about it.

There also will be in intrigue in the team race, a rarity in recent years. At the end of Friday night, Cal, Arizona State and Texas were separated by 23 points. In the battle for fourth, just 12.5 points separate Indiana, Florida and NC State.

                      Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 14                      
  1. California                        315   2. Arizona St                        302
  3. Texas                             292   4. Indiana                           259
  5. Florida                           251   6. NC State                        246.5
  7. Tennessee                         144   8. Stanford                        112.5
  9. Auburn                             96   9. Virginia Tech                      96
 11. Louisville                         71  12. Virginia                           67
 13. Texas A&M                          65  14. Ohio St                          54.5
 15. Georgia                            53  16. Missouri                         50.5
 17. Lsu                                40  18. Alabama                            38
 19. Notre Dame                         34  20. Southern California                31
 21. UNC                                27  21. Wisconsin                          27
 23. Michigan                           24  24. Minnesota                          20
 25. Utah                               14  26. Columbia                           12
 27. Arizona                            10  28. Siuc                                9
 28. Miami                               9  30. Princeton                           4
 30. Penn St                             4  30. Pittsburgh                          4
 33. Georgia Tech                        3  34. Air Force                           2
 34. Towson                              2  36. Purdue                              1
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