Will Ress ‘Rule’ In 50 Again? Not If Armstrong Has A Say



MEN’S 50 Backstroke — BY THE NUMBERS:

Hunter Armstrong returns to the U.S. Nationwide Championships because the world document holder and reigning gold silver medalist. Justin Ress returns to this meet because the defending world champion. Every week earlier than this meet in 2022, we had Ress ending first and Armstrong squeaking into the ultimate in eighth place.

When the mud settled after the 2022 Trials, each Armstrong and Ress have been beneath the American Document, with the previous additionally breaking Kliment Kolesnikov’s world document. Ress, luckily, made it onto the staff within the 4×100 free relay and was in a position to swim this occasion in Budapest. The 2 flipped spots at Worlds, with Ress successful in a time (24.12) slower than what he swam at trials and in a really controversial end.

Justin Ress wins gold in males’s 50m again
courtesy of Fabio Cetti

Rather less than a yr and a brand new rule later, we discover ourselves taking a look at these two because the clear favorites once more. Armstrong enters because the prohibitive favourite. He holds the world document and has the quickest time within the occasion this season, 24.30 from the Westmont cease of the Professional Swim Collection. A time that has him in third on the prime of the world rankings, however may as properly be 1st as the highest two spots (24.12 and 24.28) are held by ineligible Russian swimmers.

The one different American within the prime 25 is the aforementioned Ress. His season finest is 24.49 from the Knoxville cease which slots him into seventh on this planet. Additionally breaking the 25-second barrier is SwimAtlanta/UVA swimmer Jack Aikins. He put up a 24.97 earlier this month, simply off his private better of 24.81 which he swam ultimately yr’s Trials.

The opposite ‘A’ finalists from final yr embody Shaine Casas (third, 24.00), Ryan Murphy (4th, 24.57), Adam Chaney (sixth, 24.82), Aikins (seventh, 25.04), and the now-retired Daniel Carr (eighth, 25.10). Additionally in that closing was Michael Andrew, who was on the finish of a tricky triple. He nabbed 2nd within the 100 fly (50.88), topped the rostrum within the 50 breast (26.52), then swam to a Fifth-place end within the 50 again (24.80).

Casas’s prime time this season is 25.20, which whereas greater than a second slower than his private finest is an effective signal; coming into final yr’s meet his season finest was simply 25.89. Andrew’s season finest can be 25.20 from his swim on the Acropolis Open in Could. Whereas he has competed at a whole lot of meets this season, he solely swam the 50 again as soon as. It wouldn’t be a shock for Casas to choose out of this occasion given the 100 fly falls on the identical day, however his 24.00 swim final yr may make him wish to take one other crack at it given he might realistically win the world title. Chaney has not had an important lengthy course season, swimming the 50 solely as soon as (26.48) however he could be coaching via the spring after a SCY season wherein he was part of three NCAA successful relays.

Some youngsters who could break into this prime group are Daniel Diehl and Will Modglin. Diehl completed eighth within the 100 final yr and his season finest within the 50 is 25.28, from the Knoxville Professional Swim Collection meet, ending behind solely Ress and Armstrong. Rather less than .2 sooner than Diehl is Modglin’s 25.11, which is definitely from his relay break up from the Speedo Sectionals Meet.

School stars Brendan Burns, Destin Lasco, and Jack Dolan is also within the combine however have restricted outcomes this yr within the 50. Burns’s solely time this season is 26.84 from Could and Lascos’ season finest (25.83) is from January, which is correct in the course of faculty coaching. Of those three, solely Dolan entered the occasion final yr finally putting nineteenth (26.28). This yr his season finest is 25.60 and he presently has the sixth quickest 100 again amongst Individuals.

Ryan Murphy (photograph: Jack Spitser)

Whereas he positioned 14th within the 100 again at NCAAs, Notre Dame’s Tommy Janton swam 25.25 (listed as exhibition in Meet Cellular) in Could. Nevertheless, Janton has been named to the 2023 World College Video games staff and it’ll overlap with the World Championships.

No backstroke preview can be full with out mentioning Ryan Murphy. Whereas he has no official occasions within the 50 (lengthy course) this season, he did sweep the backstrokes at Brief Course Worlds (his 50 SCM time was 22.64). His finest 50 lcm to the toes (25.48) is from his runner-up end to Armstrong within the 100 again on the Westmont Professional Swim Collection. These outcomes or lack thereof may lead us to conclude, like Andrew that he may not swim the 50, thereby leaving his finest and solely probability of swimming this occasion in Fukuoka in successful the 100.

SwimSwam’s High 8:

Darkish Horse: Ryan Held – Held has a season and private better of 25.25 that he swam on the Westmont cease of the Professional Swim Collection ending behind solely Armstrong and Ress. His finest time on this occasion is 24.59 from the 2018 Summer season Nationwide Championships and whereas his 25.25 places him within the prime 8 of Individuals this season, the truth that he didn’t enter this occasion ultimately yr’s meet is slightly suspicious. The truth is, he has solely swum it at 5 meets since 2018 which makes us marvel if he’ll enter it. 

See all of our choices for the 2023 U.S. Nationals with the SwimSwam Preview Index right here.


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