Swimming

Carson Foster’s Instagram Followers Want Him To Pick 200 Fly Over 200 Back At NCAAs

On Friday, University of Texas swimmer Carson Foster posted a poll on his Instagram story about whether he should swim the 200 fly or the 200 back on the final day of the 2023 NCAA Championships. As of 23 hours later, 1,902 people have voted, with 997 people saying he should swim the 200 fly (52%) and 905 people saying he should swim the 200 back (48%).

Screenshot via Carson Foster

Foster is the defending NCAA runner-up in the 200 back, and has swum the event at NCAAs for the last two years. However, last summer, he clocked a 1:53.67 in the 200 fly, which made him the third-fastest American ever and the fastest amongst American men in 2022. This led many to speculate about what his true potential was in the 200 fly short course—something that we never got to see, as he was originally set to swim the event at short course worlds but then had to remove it from his lineup because he clocked his long course personal best at a meet that wasn’t FINA-approved.

The 200 back is a lot less competitive than the 200 fly, considering that Destin Lasco was two seconds off his best time at NCAAs last year but still won the 200 back title by over a second. Meanwhile, in the 200 fly, Foster will have to contend with swimmers like Brendan Burns, Gabriel Jett, and potentially Leon Marchand and Hubert Kos if they choose to swim the event.

That being said, given Foster’s improvements in the 200 fly over the summer, his ceiling is very high in the event, and he could potentially be a lot faster than his competitors if he swam the 200 fly.

Texas doesn’t have any clear-cut ‘A’ finalists in the 200 fly or the 200 back aside from Foster, as in both events, there’s at least one or two swimmers behind Foster who are on the fringe of scoring. However, it might make sense team-wise for Foster to swim the 200 back considering that he still has to train backstroke anyways to be on the Texas medley relays. Here’s what the Texas depth charts look like in the 200 fly and 200 back:

200 Fly (2022 NCAA ‘B’ Finaling Time — 1:41.76):

Swimmer
Personal Best

Carson Foster
1:41.79

Sam Artmann
1:42.06

Cole Crane
1:42.25

200 Back  (2022 NCAA ‘B Finaling Time — 1:40.37):

Swimmer
Personal Best

Carson Foster
1:38.71

Chris O’Connor
1:40.47

Ethan Harder
1:40.84

Foster’s personal best in the 200 back is a 1:38.77, which he swam to finish second at NCAAs last year. He’s been as fast as 1:41.79 in the 200 fly, setting that time at a dual meet against TCU in January 2022.

Do you think Foster should swim the 200 fly or the 200 back at NCAAs? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

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