Defending champion Stanford was rated as the favorite, but coaches at the 63rd NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships predicted that the battle for the title will be one of the closest in history.
The three-day meet at the Indiana University Natatorium begins today.
“I have to go along with Stanford,” Indiana Coach James Counsilman said Wednesday. But he rated California, with Matt Biondi, and Florida as solid contenders.
Biondi set a world record in the 100-meter freestyle and NCAA marks in the freestyle at 100 and 200 yards last year.
“This will be one of the closest meets that we’ve all been involved in for a long time,” Stanford Coach Skip Kenney said.
Stanford has four returning individual champions who won seven events last year. Defending triple champion Pablo Morales, a junior, has already won five NCAA individual titles. He has won the NCAA title in the 100 and 200 butterfly twice and last year set NCAA records in both events. He also won the 200 individual medley.
Stanford co-captain John Moffet, who set records in winning the 100 and 200 breaststroke last year, is going for his third consecutive championship in each event.
The Cardinal hopes are also boosted by junior Jeff Kostoff, who set the American and NCAA marks of 3 minutes 46.54 seconds in last year’s preliminaries of the 400 individual medley and went on to win the event in 3:47.11, and sophomore Sean Murphy, who won the 200 backstroke.
Other returning defending champions are Tom Jager of UCLA, who holds the NCAA record in the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle, and Mike O’Brien of USC in the 1,650 freestyle.