NCAA: Quah Zheng Wen qualifies for 200 fly final while Schooling crashes out

Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen. Photos: Getty, Red Sports

This Sunday (27 March), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships will see a new champion in the 200 yard butterfly after defending champion Joseph Schooling failed to qualify for the finals.

Schooling, who represents the University of Texas (UT) finished last in his heat on Saturday, clocking 1:45.47. He finished 37th overall. Quah, who swims for the University of California, Berkeley in his NCAA debut clocked 1:40.44 to qualify second overall.

Yahoo Singapore understands that Schooling developed a fever on Friday but still swam in the 100 fly final and 200 medley relay final.

Schooling holds the NCAA record and US Open record of 1:37.97. Fellow UT swimmer Jack Conger holds the American record for the event in a time of 1:38.06. American records refer to the fastest time by an American swimmer, while US Open records refer to the fastest time clocked within the United States.

Conger, a Olympic gold medallist in the 4x200m freestyle relay at the Rio Olympics will be gunning for his first individual NCAA title in this short course competition. He holds this season’s best time at 1:39.17. He qualified for the 200 fly final in the overall first position in a time of 1:39.88.

Quah clocked 1:40.36 earlier in March at the Men’s Pac-12 Championships to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Quah’s timing ranks him No. 2 in the US this season behind Conger.

Schooling has not won an individual race at this meet. He took third place in his debut at the 50 yard freestyle and failed to defend his title in the 100 fly, coming in second to Florida’s Caeleb Dressel. However, UT is at the top of the scoreboard thanks to strong swims in the relays so far.

The inter-college championships are regarded as the top competition for the best swimmers in the United States. Points are awarded for individual swims and relays, and the team championship is decided by the university which collects the most points at the end of the meet.

The University of Texas at Austin is the defending champion for the meet. An NCAA championship this year would give the college the most titles in the swimming and diving competition in US college history. The University of Texas is currently tied with the University of Michigan with 12 titles each.