What will Léon Marchand swim at the 2023 Pac-12 Championships? (DROP OF PSYCH LEAVES)


Just hours before the start of the 2023 Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships on Wednesday, SwimSwam received psychological sheets from the conference.

And all your biggest questions are still unanswered.

Arizona State Sophomore Leon Marchand, the best swimmer in the NCAA this season, is entered in 5 individual events, which he will have to reduce to 3 throughout the week, at least to score points. The Pac-12 allows athletes to swim additional races in the preliminaries as well as exhibition swims, and big-name swimmers often do (like Claire Curzan at the women’s meet last week in the 50 freestyle).

Marchand will be a favorite in each of those five races he swims. He is the top seed in the 500 freestyle (4:07.81) and 200 individual IM (1:38.89) on day 2, the 400 individual IM (3:31.84) on day 3 and the 200 breaststroke (1:48.82) and the 200 butterfly (1:39.57) on Day 4. That means he’s not swimming, say, the 100m breaststroke, where he’s also No. 1 in the conference so far this season, by half a second.

The race for this group where it would be most contested would be the 200 butterfly, where Cal sophomore Gabriel Jet and Marchand’s senior teammate Alexander Colson are not far from its tail.

He could also have big clashes with Cal junior Destiny Lasco in the 200 IM and Cal 5th grade Reece Whitley in the 200m breaststroke.

Lasco is the second seed in the men’s 200 IM and the top seed in the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke.

There are a few other notable choices that have been made. Most of them aren’t surprises, but there were choices to be made.

  • Stanford sophomore Ron Polonsky entered the 200 IM, 400 IM, 100 breast and 200 breast. He swam the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 breaststroke last year, although this year he is the second seed in the 100 breaststroke, which could influence his choices. He also ranks 6th in the conference in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle this season.
  • from Stanford Andrei Minakov, the defending NCAA champion in the 100 butterfly, will swim the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly this week. This means no 200 free or 200 fly. His seeds are below par as he only joined the team in the spring semester, spending the fall at his home in Russia. At last year’s Pac-12 championships, he won the 100 butterfly and finished 2nd in the 50 freestyle.
  • Arizona State Grant House will swim the 200 IM, 200 free and 100 free. Freestyle races are a no-brainer for him, despite being 8th in the Pac-12 in the 100 butterfly this season. However, this double was not enough to get him out of the 200 QNI, where he is the 4th seed.
  • California sophomore Evan Petty is not entered to compete, although he would be in the top eight in the 100 backstroke. He also didn’t swim at the Pac-12 last year.
  • Arizona State’s top two distance swimmers are not entered to compete. Dylan Graveley (5th seed – 1650 free) and Parker Reynolds (7th seed – 1650 free) are not both entered in the competition.
  • Arizona State Semester Pickup Hubert Kos of Hungary has entries in the 200 IM, 400 IM, 100 butterfly and 200 backstroke. That means no 200 butterflies, where he ranks 8th in the conference so far this season.

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