CHASE KALISZ – 400 IM
On breaking the American record: It’s been a goal of mine all season long so to finally accomplish it, I couldn’t be happier right now. I feel like I’m on top of the world right now.
On if he thought he could break the record: Obviously when you set goals you have to believe in yourself. I had an idea but luckily it worked out for me today.
On being an NCAA champion: It feels just as good as it did last year. It never gets old.
As reported by SwimSwam's Jared Anderson. Video edited by Coleman Hodges.
It sure seemed like something was in the air leading up to this 400 IM. Chase Kalisz had shown all the signs of a breakout swim coming, and yet his final time still was a surprise. The Georgia sophomore went 3:34.50 (!) to not just break the hallowed NCAA/American/U.S. Open recordheld by a super-suited Tyler Clary back in 2009, but absolutely smash it. Kalisz’s time was almost a full 1.5 seconds faster than Clary’s, and was a drop of 3.5 seconds from what Kalisz went in winning this event last year.
The splits for Kalisz are ridiculous all around, but it’s worth pointing out his 59.41 breaststroke leg that really sealed the deal and put the field permanently in his rearview mirror. Kalisz also came home in 50.93 on freestyle.
Florida’s Dan Wallace led briefly after the butterfly, and he held on for second place. The only swimmer to go out in under 50 seconds, Wallace went 3:38.17. Florida was perhaps disappointed to place three men in the B final and only one in the A. But the Gator consol finalists did their jobs at night, sweeping the heat to go 9-10-11 overall. That was led bySebastien Rousseau, who went 3:40.77. He was followed by Matt Elliott and Connor Signorin, who touched out Cal’s Adam Hinshaw for 11th place. The Gator men seem to be heating up as the meet goes on, much like the women did after a shaky start last week at women’s NCAAs.
Cal’s Josh Prenot made a late charge on Wallace but couldn’t quite get by him, going 3:38.58 for third place. Prenot was the last swimmer under 3:40 tonight and also rolled with a great breaststroke leg.
Indiana junior Steve Schmuhl took fourth at 3:40.64, leading a big pack into the finish. Texas freshman Will Licon hacked another two seconds off his best time in taking fifth (3:40.84) and Michigan grabbed the next two spots with Kyle Whitaker (3:41.33) and Dylan Bosch (3:41.65).
Georgia’s Tynan Stewart rounded out the championship heat at 3:42.98.
After that event, Florida has barged back into the title hunt, sitting second, just two points behind Cal. Texas is 12 back and Michigan seems on the verge of falling out of things, though the 200 free could help vault them back towards the top 3.