2015 Men’s NCAA Championships: Day 1 Quick Quotes

Texas’ John Murray on winning 200 FR:

“There are some fast relays; Cal was very fast on lane one. NC State was really fast, maybe a little too fast on the reaction times, but they were the better team. They had great swims, so it’s sad to see a team like that DQ a relay. They were a great team so we give them credit, but we also have to take the points for the team race. We are happy where we ended up.”

“It felt great to end up first this time. It has been three years that I have been here and I haven’t won a relay. So for this first one to happen, it felt great.”

Texas’ John Murray on the NC State DQ:

“At first I was a little confused because I heard them say lane four. I said ‘Is that us?’ Then I realized it was NC State. I was a little shocked, and we all looked at each other before it all clicked; we were NCAA champions. We didn’t really feel right about winning this, but it happened so we have to be happy about it.”

Texas’ John Murray on team momentum:

“It’s huge. We came out early with two wins. That was an awesome swim by Clark Smith and obviously Will Licon had an amazing swim. Credit to David Nolan, 39.3 is unreal. But it’s a lot of momentum, the team’s really happy.”

Texas’ Clark Smith on being the first ever 500 freestyle champion from Texas:

“I’m just kind of taking it all in right now. I had never swam a race at the NCAA’s before, so it was a big step from where I was last year. I don’t have much to say about the race, it was just kind of a game of cat and mouse; nobody had a real clear lead until the end of the race.”

Texas’ Clark Smith on the last 50 yards of the race:

“I’m pretty confident going into the last turn. I knew that I just had to flip even with the guy next to me to take control of the race. I figured the guys from Florida, I know Dan Wallace and D’Arrigo have great back halves, and I know Quintero (USC) likes to take it out hard, so I was kind of aware where everyone else was in the field.”

Was it a surprise to you that you came back on Florida’s Dan Wallace?

“The way I have swam the race every year, this year especially, I like to save up for the last 50 of the race. It’s more fun and more interesting that way; it makes the race a little more interesting, too. I’m sure there are smarter ways to the race, but that’s just the way I like to do it.”

Texas’ Clark Smith on his mentality going into the race:

“I just wanted to get top three to be honest. I saw Quintero (USC) take it out really fast at the 150, and I thought he was going to win it, but then he backed off, Dan Wallace (Florida) came up next to me, and I thought he was going to win it now. Things changed in the last 50.”

 Stanford’s David Nolan on winning 200 IM and setting new American record:

“It feels pretty good. It has always been a goal ever since high school. Tonight it was fun to actually have it happen.”

“First off, Will Licon (Texas), incredible swimmer, I was impressed by him and his efforts this entire year. After this morning, this morning it hurt a little bit because I had three swims this morning, but I knew I had a lot more in me. After the PAC-12 Championships, without a chance to be fully rested, I knew I had a chance to be faster. I was confident coming into finals.”

Stanford’s David Nolan on seeing his time for the first time:

“It was special. I didn’t see the time for a couple of seconds because the flags were in the way. It was cool when I finally got to see it. I did feel a little bit hyped before the swim. (Going) below 1:40, let’s rip it and see what happens. I was pumped to actually get the goal time at NCAAs.”

Stanford’s David Nolan on holding the lead all race:

“My fly, I got my splits like five minutes ago. It didn’t feel that fast, just one little thing in my backstroke just made a world of difference for me.” 

Purdue’s Steele Johnson on winning 1-meter diving title:

“It was not something I was expecting. One meter, especially, I am mainly a 10-meter only diver. I’ve been to the World Cup, gotten a bronze medal there, and competed at the World Cup in 10 meter. We didn’t start really doing spring board until the season started and even then I didn’t do any one meter competitions the first couple meets because I had a hamstring injury.

“To come in at the end of the season and win an event I never do was something I never expected to happen and I am really happy with how it all went.”

Purdue’s Steele Johnson on placing third in prelims and winning title in the evening:

“I am not so much surprised that I did dive well because I do train, I have been training very hard for the past 10 years. For six years I trained 12 hours a day, so I was home schooled through all of that. It’s just, in competition anything can happen. So I guess I am a little surprised on how well I dove on one meter, but the fact that dives went as well as they did was good because they normally go well in practice but in competition things get jittery. Tonight I didn’t look at any of the scores, during my dive I didn’t look at any scores. I didn’t know my scores, I didn’t know where I stood, I thought I was going to come in third. I didn’t watch anyone else dive, I just went out and did the dives the best I could. Had fun, enjoyed it, and it all worked out well.”

Texas head coach Eddie Reese on his team getting better since the fall:

“I’m a detailed person. I want good strokes, breakouts, finishes, breathing at the right time, and not breathing at the right time. Everyone coming into this meet said, “Good luck.” We don’t want to be lucky, we just want to win the close races. This meet is being decided by five feet total in three days. You have to be on the right end on three-and-a-half of those five feet. The last two years I’ve thought that this meet has been so fast that nobody would be able to go any faster, but we get here and everybody goes faster, so luckily I don’t make any predictions.”

Texas head Coach Eddie Reese on Clark Smith’s race:

“Clark Smith 95 percent of the practices, every day, day-in-and-day-out, he does things that I can’t believe. He is so good and he hasn’t even started yet. He is still a beginner. He went 48.8, 48.8, 49.0, 47.3, and 46.4 in the 500 free. Nobody can do that. I have never had anyone do that. He is a worker. One more thing about Clark, he did not make this meet last year. He went from watching it from the stands to winning an event. I would like to take some credit for that, but it is all him.”

Texas’ Will Licon on 400-medley relay:

“My goal was to just swim as fast as I can and score as many points for my time as I can, so I am beyond thrilled with that time, and I’m not going to lie I wasn’t expecting it.” 

Texas’ Will Licon (Texas) on how the race felt:

“It felt good, and I just had to go for it. Everyone in that field was fast, so that got me going. And having my teammates on my back and my friends and family at home really helped me get through it. I was just kind of focused on staying in my own lane. I felt like I swam my own race pretty good.”

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“One little thing in my backstroke made a world of difference for me.”-David Nolan.

Watch out Ryan and Jack.

Sean S

As good as Nolan was on the IM, I just don’t think it will be enough to catch Murphy. Murphy 43.9 tomorrow and Nolan 44.6 then Murphy 1:36 and Nolan 1:37.

law dawg

“He went 48.8, 48.8, 49.0, 47.3, and 46.4 in the 500 free. Nobody can do that. I have never had anyone do that.” That’s because he didn’t. Those splits add up to roughly a 4:00 in a 500 free. Is there some context for these times I’m missing?


5×100 free @ 1:15

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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