SwimSwam Pulse: 49% Most Excited For Stacked 100 Free Showdown At Men’s NCAAs

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which showdown at the Men’s NCAA Championships they’re looking forward to the most next week:

Question: Which men’s NCAA matchup are you most excited for?


  • 100 free – 49.2%
  • 100 fly – 25.8%
  • Other – 11.4%
  • 500 free – 10.0%
  • 200 fly – 3.5%

There’s no shortage of intrigue surrounding essentially every event heading into next week’s Men’s NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, though there are a few matchups in particular that fans are anxiously anticipating in the lead-up.

Prior to the start of the season, the impending individual medley battles between Leon MarchandCarson Foster and Hugo Gonzalez would’ve been first on many peoples’ list of races to watch, but Marchand has transcended all expectations throughout the season to make himself a massive favorite in both the 200 and 400 IM.

A similar situation has come up in the 50 free, as Jordan Crooks has seemingly distanced himself from the pack after becoming the second man in history under 18 seconds at SECs, though there’s still no room for error in the splash n’ dash.

But the two showdowns on everyone’s radar are the two other events Crooks will be involved in next week, as he’s right in the center of what should be two excellent races in the 100 free and 100 fly.

In the 100 free, a mind-boggling 18 men are seeded under 42 seconds, led by Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger, who is the only swimmer sub-41 this season at 40.90.

Seeliger is followed by Crooks (41.17), Florida freshman Josh Liendo (41.22) and Virginia Tech’s Youssef Ramadan (41.33), while defending champion Brooks Curry (41.86) is lurking down in 14th on the psych sheets.

In the 100 fly, it’s Ramadan (43.93), Crooks (44.04) and Liendo (44.11) at the top of the marquee, while 2022 champion Andrei Minakov (44.34) sits fourth.

In our latest poll asking SwimSwam readers which matchup they were most excited for, the 100 free came out on top by a landslide with 49.2 percent of votes, followed by the 100 fly with 25.8 percent.

“Other” picked up over 11 percent of votes, with the 200 and 400 IM races featuring Marchand, Foster and Gonzalez likely in mind for at least some of the voters, while the 50 free may have gotten some love as well with Seeliger and Liendo potentially within striking distance of Crooks if he’s not firing on all cylinders.

If you were one of the people who voted ‘Other’, sound off in the comments on which race you’re looking forward to most.

The 500 free picked up 10 percent of votes, with three men seeded in 4:09 territory, plus last year’s third-place finisher Luke Hobson is also dangerous despite sitting at 20th on the psych sheets.

The 200 fly received just 3.5 percent of votes, though that figures to be anyone’s race with the three top seeds ranked within three-tenths of one another in 1:39-mid.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Which outcome would come as a bigger surprise next week at men’s NCAAs:

Which would outcome would be the bigger "upset" at men's NCAAs?

View Results

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The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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9 days ago

How 50 free and 100 fly didn’t get more votes is beyond me.

50 free – Curry, Chokeeliger, Liendo, Crooks, Ramadan, Brownstead, Chaney, Korstanje, etc

100 fly – Liendo, Crooks, Ramadan, Burns, Frankel, Minakov, Hayes, Korstanje (Liendo will ruin the all red final part 2)

Those are my predicted finals for each event

Reply to  Andrew
9 days ago

Expecting Korstanje and Brownstead but no Elaraby and Caribe??

Reply to  Rafael
9 days ago

Not expecting, just my predictions.

And obviously the 50 is such a tight event decided but a few hundredths so there’s an equal possibility that Elaraby and Caribe make it (although I’m expecting Tennessee to add big time at NCs)

Reply to  Andrew
9 days ago

Caribe time was almost the same he went at an invite last year.. I think he is focusing for ncaa and soon he will have trials also

tea rex
9 days ago

I don’t think it will be the closest race, but watching the speed, versatility, underwaters, and race strategy of the 400 IM will be the most exciting for me.

Reply to  tea rex
9 days ago

If you look at some of the top 4IMers right now, I feel like none of them truly have a weak stroke. I always found it a bit more exciting when you watched the Phelps-era, for example, where you would see some swimmers surge and fall depending on the stroke.

Realistically, Foster Marchand or Gonzalez would be top-tier swimmers in any of the single strokes if the IM did not exist.

Reply to  RealSlimThomas
9 days ago

Phelps was top tier in all 4. And faster in the 4IM

Reply to  RealSlimThomas
9 days ago

This is a dumb comment. They are all top tier swimmers in all the strokes look at their times. Marchand is the obvious one as he is going to win the 200 breast and could win the 200 free and (maybe) 200 fly, but Foster would A final in every 200 at NCAAs. Gonzalez is no slouch either

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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