Things are as close as can be with one day down at the men’s NCAA Championships. We had a tie for an NCAA championship last night and the top two teams are separated by just a single point in Austin with two days of competition yet to go.
Day 2 action kicks off at 11 AM Central Time, and we’ll be here to cover every second of it live. There’s no shortage of storylines. Chase Kalisz hopes to defend his 400 IM title for Georgia after a huge drop in his 200 IM last night. Joao de Lucca looks to do the same in the 200 free, but the Louisville stud will have to contend with Michigan’s Michael Wynalda and USC’s 500 free champ Cristian Quintero. Kevin Cordes leads the 100 breast after a devastating false start to DQ Arizona’s 400 medley relay last night, and his teammate Giles Smith looks to overcome an injury-riddled second-semester to win the 100 fly. Meanwhile Cal stud freshman Ryan Murphy will look to better his 400 medley relay leadoff split in the open 100 back while helping his Golden Bears overcome Texas for the team lead.
After last night, Texas leads Cal by just one point, and Florida is still clearly in the hunt. Defending champs Michigan are just outside that tier, but could easily jump back into things with a big day. (Points analysis here)
Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event recaps of all the NCAA action.
MEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Live results
- Day 2 prelims live stream
- Find all our pre-meet analysis and event-by-event picks on our Men’s NCAA Channel here
- Check out our final power rankings and top 26 predictions here
- All other pertinent links available here
200 Medley Relay
The Texas Longhorns continue to put on a show for their hometown crowd, taking the top seed in the 200 medley relay at 1:24.02. Perhaps the biggest move for Texas was inserting star sprinter John Murray onto the breaststroke leg where he split 23.6, much faster than the 24.2 Texas got out of that leg at Big 12s. Kip Darmody went 21.2 on backstroke and Jack Conger put up one of his more impressive swims of the championships so far, breaking 20 in the 50 fly with a 19.9 that was the fastest of the field. The Longhorns may be able to get more out of the free leg, where Caleb Weir went 19.1. That’s the same time Matt Ellis went from a flat start leading off the 200 free relay last night.
Alabama blasted to a heat win of its own, going 1:24.47. The Crimson Tide seem to be gaining a rhythm after a shaky start on yesterday’s 200 free relay preliminary. Swimming three freshmen and a sophomore, Alabama put up the second-fastest time of the prelims, getting a 21.2 from freshman backstroker Connor Oslin as well as an 18.7 from Kristian Gkolomeev on the anchor leg.
Auburn just beat out Georgia for the 3-seed by .01. Kyle Darmody was 18.7 on freestyle for the 1:24.84 Tigers, while Georgia went 1:24.85 with a 20.2 butterfly split from senior Doug Reynolds.
Arizona is fifth and should have room to move up tonight. The Wildcats swam Kevin Steel on the breaststroke leg instead of Kevin Cordes, and inserting Cordes’s split from a year ago would improve the relay by almost a half-second. Giles Smith looked fast, splitting 20.0 on butterfly, and Jeff Amlee anchored in place of likely finals closer Brad Tandy, going 19.6.
Florida State got into the A final, taking 7th with Pavel Sankovich putting up a huge 21.0 backstroke leadoff. Paul Murray was also 19.0 on freestyle, and those two will try to break the 21 and 19 second barriers as the bookends of that relay tonight.
Cal just snuck into the A final, stealing the spot from Michigan by .09. Ryan Murphy was 21.07 leading off, just .05 slower than Sankovich. This relay seems to have some alternates on it for prelims, too, as Shayne Fleming will probably give way to Seth Stubblefield or Tyler Messerschmidt tonight on freestyle and Marcin Tarczynski could also switch out of butterfly after splitting just 21.1.
Missing the A final was another big blow to Michigan’s repeat title hopes. There’s still plenty of swimming to be done, but it doesn’t feel like Michigan’s year so far like it did in 2013. The Wolverines were actually competitive on backstroke (Pete Brumm went 21.7), but Richard Funk fell off to a 23.5 breaststroke leg and John Wojciechowski was 20.9 on fly. Bruno Ortiz was quick on the close (18.8), but Michigan now has to focus on defending 9th place at finals to stay afloat in the team battle.
NC State also dropped into the B final after coming in with the #2 seed. David Williams was a quick 18.6 on free, but even that was a regression from ACCs – all four swimmers were a tick slower here than at conference.
Teams seemed to get the relay exchange curse out of their system a little bit this morning; only one relay was disqualified in this event after teams were dropping like flies on relays yesterday. Virginia Tech jumped, but it was a close exchange, and Wisconsin was originally called for its second disqualification of the meet, but the decision was reversed after the referee reviewed the decision and felt that it didn’t follow the necessary protocol for a disqualification.
Defending champ Chase Kalisz is the runaway top seed in the 400 IM, and based on his prelims swim, you don’t want to miss the final of this event. After a big drop in the 200 IM last night, Kalisz looks primed to explode in the 400, his better race. He was out a full second faster at the 200 mark than he was at SECs before shutting things down to save up for tonight. He’s already the top seed by almost two seconds and went practically the same time he did while winning the event last year – plus he’s clearly got more in his back pocket. Keep your eyes peeled on the final tonight, because we might see something really incredible.
Michigan had a solid event, trying to make up the ground they lost by missing the A final of that relay. Kyle Whitaker went 3:40.11 for the second seed, and he should definitely be faster tonight. His teammate Dylan Bosch sits 4th (3:40.41) as both Wolverines matched their seeds exactly.
Cal’s Josh Prenot snuck in between those two, dropping two seconds to go 3:40.37 with the best closing 50 of the field.
Indiana’s Steve Schmuhl had a strong race, going 3:41.24 to take 5th. He seems to be swimming well for the Hoosiers even while Cody Miller has been a bit off. Florida junior Dan Wallace cruised to sixth in 3:41.93, still three seconds off his seed. Wallace crushed his heat on breaststroke, and if he adds his typically great freestyle to that at night, he could be a big back-half threat.
Sneaking into the A final from non-circle-seeded heats were freshman Will Licon of Texas and sophomore Tynan Stewart of Georgia. Licon continues to have a great meet, going 3:42.75 – a drop of over four seconds. Stewart dropped almost five seconds off his seed to take 8th at 3:42.85.
Florida senior Sebastien Rousseau hasn’t quite looked like himself this week, and he missed the A final after missing both scoring heats in the 200 IM yesterday. Rousseau was 3:43.03 to take 9th.
His Gator teammate Matt Elliott follows him in that heat along with Minnesota freshman Jakub Maly and Cal’s Adam Hinshaw.
Despite missing the A final with Rousseau and Elliott, this should be a good scoring event for Florida, with 1 swimmer up and 3 down.
Tim Phillips and Giles Smith dueled each other for the win in the final heat, and the duo put up the two fastest times of the field this morning. Smith looked like he had an advantage on the homestretch, but the Arizona Wildcat got a bit long at the finish and Phillips snuck in and stole the top seed. Phillips went 45.18 for Ohio State to Smith’s 45.20.
Texas freshman Jack Conger popped off another strong butterfly swim, going 45.46 for the 3-seed. Don’t sleep on Conger, though, as he was out in 21.2, which is pretty far off his 19.9 relay split from a few events earlier – he could have quite a bit more speed left up his sleeve for tonight.
Florida State breakout star Pavel Sankovich sits fourth, going 45.51. He was 45.12 entering the meet, so keep an eye on him tonight as well. Just .01 behind was Florida’s Marcin Cieslak at 45.52.
Texas is set to score major points in this event tonight with three men up. In addition to Conger, the Longhorns got Tripp Cooper (45.77) and Will Glass (45.85) into the championship heat. Scarier is that Cooper might have more speed of his own after going 44.4 on the medley relay last night.
Georgia senior Doug Reynolds followed up his fast medley relay split with an 8th place finish this morning, going 45.92.
Cal didn’t get anyone into the A final, but loaded up the B heat with Seth Stubblefield, Tony Cox and Marcin Tarczynski sweeping spots 10-12. UNC’s Sam Lewis heads that field at 45.99, and Texas gets a fourth p0int-scorer in Matt Ellis, who sits 14th.
An extremely tight 200 free field is assembled for tonight, with seeds 2-7 all within a half-second. Michael Wynalda was the most impressive out of prelims, going 1:32.55 to serve notice that his amazing relay split on Michigan’s 800 free relay at Big Tens was no fluke. Still, Wynalda will have to go much faster to impress as much as his 1:30.60 split did, and he’ll also have to go much faster to win this race tonight.
Defending champ Joao de Lucca did only what he had to to win his heat, going 1:33.11 without the kind of front-half fire we’re used to seeing from him. Watch for him to go out like a rocket tonight – it’ll be up to the more distance-oriented swimmers in the field to track him down.
Speaking of back-half swimmers, the third seed is Georgia miler Mathias Koski, who closed in an insane 23.3 to almost upend de Lucca for the heat win. Koski doesn’t have the speed of some in this field, but he’s clearly dangerous with his closing burst.
Texas junior Clay Youngquist sits fourth, continuing a big morning for the Longhorns. He went 1:33.23 to eke out the spot from Notre Dame’s Frank Dyer (1:33.26).
USC got two men into the final and both are big threats tonight. Cristian Quintero won the 500 free last night and sits sixth in 1:33.32. Meanwhile Dimitri Colupaev was second in this event last year and qualified seventh with a 1:33.52.
Florida freshman Mitch D’Arrigo put up a big morning swim to sneak into the last A final spot, going 1:33.56.
For the second-straight event, Cal failed to put a swimmer in the championship final. Will Hamilton had a nice early heat swim but wound up on the wrong side of the bubble in 9th place. Hamilton was 1:33.73, just a hundredth up on Stanford’s Tom Kremer. In what was supposed to be one of Michigan’s strongest events, the Wolverines will only get points from top-seeded Wynalda and 12th-place Connor Jaeger.
Always a strong prelims swimmer, Kevin Cordes wasted no time in shattering his own American, U.S. Open, NCAA and meet record in the 100 breast, going 50.55 in the final heat. Cordes was out in 23.95, the only swimmer out sub-24 and in fact the only swimmer to go faster than 24.3 on that split.
After that, things tighten up considerably. Bruno Ortiz is second in 52.04 for Michigan as the Wolverines try to claw their way back into the points hunt. They could have two A-finalists, depending on a swim-off for 8th between Richard Funk and Dartmouth’s Nejc Zupan. Both went 52.44 this morning.
Chuck Katis is 52.14 for Cal and sits third. After going 50.5 on the medley relay last night, Katis looks like a guy who could drop some major time tonight. Western Kentucky freshman Fabian Schwingenschlogl went 52.24 to take fourth, just ahead of Georgia’s Nic Fink, who was fourth last year.
Missouri’s Sam Tierney took sixth with a 52.38 and Indiana’s Cody Miller snuck into the A final at 52.42 for seventh place.
Overall, this event seemed to be a lot slower than seed times, obvious exceptions like Cordes aside. It’ll be interesting to see which guys have more to add tonight (Katis? Fink? Miller? Funk?) and which will fall short of seeds again.
Florida’s Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez is 10th, he’ll lead the B heat along with whoever loses the swim-off, and Alabama’s Anton McKee will join them after falling almost a second off his seed time to go 52.52.
This seems like the first event of the session that won’t be good for Texas. The Longhorns won’t have any point-scorers here compared to 2 for Michigan, 2 for Florida and 1 for Cal.
After his outstanding relay leadoff last night, Cal Bear Ryan Murphy is on top of the 100 backstroke seedings, going 45.08 to win his heat.
A breakout swim came from USC’s Luca Spinazzola, who won the final prelims heat from an outside lane, going 45.13 and taking the second seed. Spinazzola put up nice splits on both medley relays so far, but this was his best swim of the weekend so far.
West Virginia’s Bryce Bohman jumped into third place, going 45.29 for the Mountaineers.
Cal has two men in the top four in this race, as Tony Cox went 45.42 to take fourth. Texas’s Kip Darmody went 45.60 to nab the next spot – he’s the only Longhorn A-finalist, though Aaron Gustafson also had a nice swim to jump into the B final at 11th.
Pavel Sankovich will represent Florida State in this final, going 45.68 for sixth. Defending champ David Nolan of Stanford has had a bit of a rough morning, struggling on the 200 medley relay and just squeaking into the A final here in 45.73. 8th place is Penn State’s Shane Ryan at 45.75 and his teammate Nate Savoy is 9th.
Cal’s Jacob Pebley is also in that B final, seeded one spot behind Gustafson in what should be a good battle in the team race. There’s also a 3-way swim-off for 15th, meaning two of the three swimmers will get in and one will be left out in the cold. The competitors will be all freshmen: Auburn’s Kyle Darmody, Taylor Dale of Georgia and Jack Blyzinskyj of Florida.
Prelims will continue with early heats of the 800 free relay and 3-meter diving, where Texas will hope to duplicate the big points of last night’s boards. Finals tonight start at 7 PM Central with the same event order, plus the 800 free relay tacked on the end as timed finals.
100 breast: Michigan’s Richard Funk got back into the 51s, going 51.75 to win his swim-off by a longshot. Funk was just 52.44 this morning but was 51.75 at his conference championships. The Big Ten champ will now take lane 8 in the championship final tonight, while Dartmouth’s Nejc Zupan will drop to the B final after going 52.65.
100 back: Jack Blyzinskyj went 46.48 to win the all-freshman, three-way swim-off for Florida. Joining him in the B final will be Georgia’s Taylor Dale, who went 46.74. Auburn’s Kyle Darmody was close at 46.90, but he’ll likely miss out on a finals swim tonight as he becomes first alternate.