Potential upsets abound on day 2 of the men’s NCAA Championships in Iowa City. A number of event favorites, defending champs and even national record-holders could be at risk of being toppled during tonight’s 8 events.
Maybe the most notable of these potential upsets is in the 100 breast, where Arizona’s Kevin Cordes is on the cusp of a four-peat. He’s never lost the event at the NCAA Championships, but Cal’s Chuck Katis has had his number so far this week, outsplitting the Wildcat in both medley relays and beating him for the top seed in this morning’s prelims.
Then there’s the 400 IM. Georgia’s Chase Kalisz won the event in both of his collegiate seasons so far, and broke the American record last year. But Texas Longhorn Will Licon has been on fire this week, and with Texas has a whole looking nearly unstoppable this week, it’s possible Licon could push Kalisz for the win.
And maybe the race of the night will be the 100 backstroke. Arguably the three best all-around swimmers in the NCAA will collide in this one event, a showdown that should keep everyone on the edge of their seats until the final individual swimming race tonight.
Cal’s Ryan Murphy won the race last year as a freshman, and broke the NCAA record last night leading off Cal’s American record-setting 400 medley relay. But the top seed is Stanford senior David Nolan, who highlighted last night with the fastest 200 IM ever swum and has been a one-man army for the Cardinal this postseason. Lurking in the shadows is Texas sophomore Jack Conger, who comes into tonight with shots to win both the 100 fly and 100 back.
That butterfly race is a battering ram for Texas, who stacked the A final with an unprecedented 6 swimmers. In what will be nearly an intrasquad competition for the Longhorns, Conger will show down with freshman Joe Schooling for the title, and both are likely to break the Texas school record held by Olympian and former world record-holder Ian Crocker.
The 200 free could be a toss-up, with the whole A final separated by just half a second this morning. USC’s Cristian Quintero is the top seed, but he struggled last night and failed to defend his 500 free title. Still, Quintero almost looks more tuned in to the shorter distances this year, so as he moves into the 200 tonight and the 100 tomorrow, his chances might improve. Also under 1:33 this morning were Michigan’s Anders Nielsen and Texas’s Clay Youngquist.
Texas has yet to lose a relay at this year’s meet, but tonight will offer a tough test. Cal broke the American record in prelims of the 200 medley relay and should be faster tonight. The Bears likely have a big breaststroke advantage over Texas, but watch for the Longhorns to surge back with their elite butterfly leg.
The night will end with timed finals in the 800 free relay, where Nielsen and Michigan are the top seeds and USC the defending champs.
Keep refreshing this page for event-by-event updates live from Iowa City, and follow along with every beat in the action on our new live Twitter account, @SwimSwamLive.
2015 Men’s NCAA Championships
- Thursday, March 26 – Saturday, March 28
- University of Iowa, Iowa City
- Prelims 11AM/Finals 7PM (Central Time)
- Defending Champion: California – results
- Iowa Championship Central / NCAA Championship Central
- Prelims (& Thursday finals) Live feed: Hawkeye Sports / Finals Live feed: ESPN3 (Friday & Saturday)
- PSA: What to do when live results aren’t updating
- Live results
200 Medley Relay – Finals
- NCAA – 1:22.27 – Michigan – 2013
- Championship – 1:22.27 – Michigan – 2013
- American – 1:22.40 – California – 2015
- US Open – 1:22.27 – Michigan – 2013
- 2014 Champion – California – 1:22.83
Cal started off the night by powering away with their first relay title of the meet. Though the Golden Bears couldn’t quite match their American record performance from this morning, they still beat the field by a wide margin and denied Texas a third consecutive relay win.
The Bears got a 20.64 leadoff leg from star backstroker Ryan Murphy, but he was the only one who went faster than his split this morning. Chuck Katis was still huge on his split, going 22.79 swimming breaststroke – he was 22.64 this morning for the fastest recorded 50 breast split in history. Freshman Justin Lynch was 20.63 and junior Tyler Messerschmidt went 18.68 to ice the title.
Alabama was second, keeping pace with Cal early. Fast-rising backstroker Connor Oslin blasted a 20.78 leading off, and ‘Bama bookended the relay with an 18.24 split from Kristian Gkolomeev. That’s among the fastest splits in history, though well off the 17.8 from Vlad Morozov back in 2013. The Crimson Tide finished in 1:23.35, with Anton McKee going 23.86 on breast and Brett Walsh swimming fly in 20.47.
Texas elected to sit Jack Conger out of this relay, freeing him up to swim the remaining two relay events. That probably cost the Longhorns any shot they had at a title here. They wound up third in 1:23.35 and had the nation’s fastest fly split with Joe Schooling‘s 19.91. Fellow freshman Brett Ringgold anchored in 18.71, and also on the relay were Kip Darmody (21.29) and John Murray (23.55).
The fast-rising Louisville program took fourth overall, a big swim for the Cardinals. They were 1:23.90, boasting one of just two sub-20 fly splits courtesy of Josh Quallen‘s 19.98.
Just on the other side of the 1:24 barrier were Auburn and USC. Auburn was 1:24.03 for fifth, putting stud freestyler Kyle Darmody on the backstroke leg to the tune of a 21.30 split, and freshman Jacob Molacek filled in on free with an 18.79. Southern Cal, meanwhile, was 1:24.08, also boasting nice first and last legs: Luca Spinazzola was 21.23 on back and Santo Condorelli 18.81 on free.
Florida got a 20.11 on fly from star freshman Caeleb Dressel and finished 7th in 1:24.16. The last club to finish that A final were the men of Tennessee at 1:24.26, with freshman Peter John Stevens dropping below 23 on the breaststroke split with a 22.98.
In the B final, Michigan went 1:24.26 to touch out Missouri’s 1:24.49. The Wolverines had quick splits from Richard Funk (23.29 breast) and Bruno Ortiz (18.77 free).
Also of note in that heat: Arizona’s Kevin Cordes was 23.11 on breaststroke. He’ll try to win his 4th-straight 100 breast title later tonight.
Cal gained a few points in that event, but Texas still leads 203 to 159.
400 IM – Finals
- NCAA – 3:34.50 – Chase Kalisz, Georgia – 2014
- Championship – 3:34.50 – Chase Kalisz, Georiga – 2014
- American – 3:34.50 – Chase Kalisz – 2014
- US Open – 3:34.50 – Chase Kalisz – 2014
- 2014 Champion – Chase Kalisz, Georgia – 3:34.50
Individual races kicked off with an entertaining back-and-forth in the 400 IM. Cal’s Adam Hinshaw had the early guts, leading the field through butterfly and the first half of backstroke. But in the middle of the pool, top-seeded Chase Kalisz and Will Licon started to track him down, officially taking the lead at the 200.
It was Kalisz ahead at that point, but Licon started to press his advantage over the breaststroke. Licon’s stroke is smooth compared to Kalisz’s bulldozing style, and you could see the Longhorn’s cool efficiency really start to pay off over the final 200 yards. He’d built a lead of .7 seconds heading into freestyle, and noticeably powered away from the reigning American record-holder early in the freestyle.
That gave Licon the national title in 3:36.37, the fourth-fastest time in history. He had the field’s best breaststroke split, astoundingly getting under a minute on that leg with a 59.80.
Kalisz could only watch as Licon took the title. He came in second in 3:39.51 – that’s well off his American record, and perhaps suggesting he’s focused a little more on this summer’s long course world championships. Kalisz did put up the fastest backstroke split of the field at 55.16.
His Georgia Bulldog teammate Gunnar Bentz was actually running him down late, and rolled into a 3rd-place finish in 3:39.87. His final 100 split of 49.68 was the best in the field on freestyle.
Cal’s Josh Prenot went 3:41.42 for fourth, getting in just a tick ahead of Michigan’s South African import Dylan Bosch (3:41.50).
A pair of Florida Gators took 6th and 7th, with Dan Wallace going 3:42.15 and Mark Szaranek 3:42.88. After pushing the pace early, Cal’s Hinshaw fell all the way off to 8th, finishing in 3:42.88.
Tennessee freshman Sam McHugh won the B final in 3:41.29. Another freshman in that heat, Stanford’s Curtis Ogren, fell victim to somewhat of a unique DQ – he was called for not separating his hands before dolphin kicking on the breaststroke pullout. That rule has been changed by FINA, but the NCAA won’t adopt a new rule midway through a season. The new rule, allowing the type of pullout Ogren was called for, will take effect after this season wraps up, meaning Ogren was essentially DQ’d at the very last meet that rule will be in effect.
100 Butterfly – Finals
- NCAA – 44.18 – Austin Staab, Stanford – 2009
- Championship – 44.18 – Austin Staab, Stanford – 2009
- American – 44.18 – Austin Staab – 2009
- US Open – 44.18 – Austin Staab – 2009
- 2014 Champion – Marcin Cieslak, Floria – 44.87
The 100 fly was the Texas Longhorn party, with 6 different Texas swimmers in the championship final. That amounted to 92 total points, as Longhorns went 1-2-3-4-6-8.
Sophomore Jack Conger led early, turning at 20.82 at the 50. But his freshman teammate Joseph Schooling ran him down, really picking up his stroke tempo over the final 50 yards to go 44.51. That’s the second-fastest time in history, and breaks a Texas school record held by legendary Olympian Ian Crocker.
Conger wound up second in 44.55, also breaking that school record. Conger is #3 in history. He’ll be back later tonight to swim the 100 back.
Senior Tripp Cooper nearly became just the fourth Longhorn ever under 45, taking third place in 45.06. Sophomore Will Glass rounded out the Longhorn 1-2-3-4 sweep in 45.56. That’s the first time any team has swept the top 4 spots in NCAA swimming history.
The top non-Longhorn was North Carolina’s Sam Lewis, who went 45.66 for fifth place.
Sixth was Matt Ellis in 46.12, and Texas’s final swimmer was 8th-place John Murray (46.72). In between was Ohio State’s Matt McHugh in 46.45. McHugh will also swim the 100 fly/100 back double, and is in the B final of the latter event, a big part of a huge day 2 for the Buckeyes.
In the consolation final, former Bolles School Sharks teammates Caeleb Dressel and Santo Condorelli dueled for the win. Dressel, now a freshman with Florida, beat out Condorelli, now a USC sophomore, 45.69 to 45.79 for 9th place. With Schooling also a Bolles alum, that means former Sharks swept both heats at the NCAA Championships.
As we expected, that race was pretty much a dagger swim for any team hoping to run down Texas for the team title. The Longhorns now lead Cal by a whopping 125 points, and it would take a major catastrophe for that lead to evaporate anytime soon.
200 Freestyle – Finals
- NCAA – 1:31.20 – Simon Burnett, Arizona – 2006
- Championship – 1:31.20 – Simon Burnett, Arizona – 2006
- American – 1:31.31 – Ricky Berens – 2013
- US Open – 1:31.20 – Simon Burnett – 2006
- 2014 Champion – Joao De Lucca, Louisville – 1:31.96
USC’s Cristian Quintero is known for going out fast, so it might have surprised even him when he was sitting just 3rd at the 50 turn. It was Ohio State’s duo of Josh Fleagle (21.33) and Michael Disalle (21.34) who led the way from lanes 1 and 2.
Quintero took over at the 100, though, turning in 44.68, and the senior never looked back, rolling to the title in 1:32.03. Quintero won the national 500 free title last year, but is starting to look better over the shorter distances. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s got the speed to compete in the 100 free tomorrow, where his rangy stroke will go up against fast-twitch sprinters like Caeleb Dressel and Kristian Gkolomeev.
Michigan’s Anders Nielsen made things interesting at the end, reeling in Quintero over the third 50, but he couldn’t quite take down the Trojan, and had to settle for second in 1:32.73. Texas’s Clay Youngquist took bronze in 1:33.10, just a tick off his prelims swim.
Indiana freshman Blake Pieroni capped off a brilliant rookie season with a 1:33.29 that was good for fourth place overall. Just behind him, Cal’s Trent Williams touched out Pac-12 rival Tom Kremer of Stanford 1:33.43 to 1:33.52.
Ohio State’s Disalle and Fleagle fell off quite a bit at the end, with Disalle taking 7th in 1:33.53 and Fleagle going 1:33.72 for 8th.
Georgia’s Matias Koski: All he does is win, win win… B finals. For the second-straight day, Koski earned a 9th place finish by winning the consol heat. Yesterday it was the 500 free, tonight it was the 200, where Koski was 1:33.46 to take the heat. NC State’s Simonas Bilis was 10th overall in 1:33.68.
Also of note in that heat: 9th-seeded Dylan Carter of USC dropped all the way to 16th in 1:36.01, perhaps resting up for the 800 free relay tonight, where Southern Cal are the defending champions.
Texas added a point to its lead over Cal with that event, and sits at 337. Cal is at 211. It’s a tight battle for third, with Florida leading Michigan 178-154. USC is just outside that group at 131.
100 Breaststroke – Finals
- NCAA – 50.04 – Kevin Cordes, Arizona – 2014
- Championship – 50.04 – Kevin Cordes, Arizona – 2014
- American – 50.04 – Kevin Cordes – 2014
- US Open – 50.04 – Kevin Cordes – 2014
- 2014 Champion – Kevin Cordes, Arizona – 50.04
He hadn’t looked like himself much this year, but when all the chips were on the table, Arizona’s Kevin Cordes came through as always. The Wildcat senior won his fourth-consecutive 100 breast title, going 50.25. That’s the second-fastest swim in history, behind only his own American record set at this meet last year.
There was speculation that Cal’s Chuck Katis or Georgia’s Nic Fink could challenge Cordes, but when the lanky Wildcat led at the 50, the crowd seemed to know the race was over. A notoriously good closer, Cordes came home in 26.52, the only guy under 27 on the back half.
Fink roared in from an outside lane to take second, going 51.08. That makes him the fourth-fastest swimmer in history, behind Cordes, Cal’s Damir Dugonjic and Katis, who was 50.89 this morning. Katis fell off just a tick at night, going 51.15 for third, but that’s still an outstanding swim, considering Katis had never been under 52 seconds prior to this week.
Missouri’s Sam Tierney was 51.54 for fourth place, with Michigan’s Richard Funk, the Big Ten record-holder, going 51.65 for fifth. For Tierney, that’s the highest finish in Missouri school history, tying 50 freestyler Kevin DeForrest from 1979.
Western Kentucky’s top swimmer, Fabian Schwingenschlogl, was 51.66 before Funk’s teammate Bruno Ortiz came in at 51.68. For the first time in NCAA history, the entire top 8 went under 52 seconds, as Louisville’s Thomas Dahlia was 51.99 for 8th place. This event will see a lot of turnover next year with 7 seniors among the top 8, so it’s possible this will be the last all-51 field for a few years.
In the B final, Florida State’s Jason Coombs held off Auburn’s Michael Duderstadt for the win. Coombs was 52.11, and Duderstadt, who was on his third 100 breast of the day after a swim-off with Dahlia for 8th, was 52.19 for 10th overall.
Two A-finalists helped Michigan pass Florida for 3rd in team points. The Wolverines have 180 to Florida’s 178. Texas (341) and Cal (227) are still one and two.
100 Backstroke – Finals
- NCAA – 44.17 – Ryan Murphy, California– 2015
- Championship – 44.17 – Ryan Murphy, California– 2015
- American – 44.07 – Nick Thoman – 2013
- US Open – 44.07 – Nick Thoman – 2013
- 2014 Champion – Ryan Murphy – 44.63
In a loaded 100 back field, Cal’s Ryan Murphy showed why he’s one of the most exciting up-and-comers in a traditionally dominant event for the American men. The sophomore led wire-to-wire, going 44.21 and just missing his own NCAA record set last night on the medley relay.
Stanford’s David Nolan continued his strong week, taking second in a new lifetime-best of 44.78, which leaves him just outside the top 10 swims of all-time.
Those two wound up breaking away from the rest of the field by quite a bit. Penn State’s star Shane Ryan took home the bronze medal, going 45.24, though it was about half a second off the time that earned him runner-up honors last year.
Brigham Young’s Jake Taylor gave his mid-major school great representation, going 45.45 to take fourth. He had to eke that spot out over SEC champ Connor Oslin of Alabama. Oslin has had a breakout sophomore season, and was 45.54 for fifth.
USC’s duo of Luca Spinazzola and Ralf Tribuntsov flanked the field from lanes 1 and 8, respectively. Spinazzola, a senior, took sixth in 45.63, and the freshman Tribuntsov was eighth in 46.20.
In between was Texas’s Jack Conger, who looked a bit fatigued coming off his second-place 100 fly earlier in the meet. Conger was just 45.76, about two tenths off his prelims time. It’s been a busy meet for Conger, who swam on both Texas relays yesterday, both the 100 fly and 100 back today, and will likely compete in the 800 free relay to close out tonight’s session. His biggest event comes tomorrow in the 200 fly, where he broke the American record in a time trial the day before the Big 12 Championships.
The consol heat went to Texas Longhorn senior Kip Darmody in 45.73, with Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich coming from an outside lane to take second in 45.97.
Florida and Michigan continue to duel for 3rd, with the Gators retaking the lead by a single point, 181 to 180. USC also narrowly leads Georgia for 5th, 157 to 138.5.
800 Freestyle Relay – Timed Finals
- NCAA – 6:09.85 – Michigan – 2014
- Championship – 6:10.16 – Texas – 2009
- American – 6:10.16 – Texas – 2009
- US Open – 6:09.85 – Michigan – 2014
- 2014 Champion – USC – 6:13.09
Maybe the hardest event to swim at the NCAA Championships is the 200 free, given the meet order. For top-tier 200 freestylers, the Friday meet lineup requires an all-out prelims 200 just to make the A final, then an individual finals race for points, and then one more all-out 200 free on the 800 free relay for double points.
With that said, USC’s Cristian Quintero probably pulled off that combo as well as we’ve seen anyone do it in a long time. Quintero was 1:32.70 in prelims for the top seed, then 1:32.03 to take the win in finals. And as if that wasn’t enough, the senior went a third-straight 1:32 leading off the Trojan 800 free relay, going 1:32.89 and staking his team to a big lead.
The Trojans maintained that lead through the next leg, with Dylan Carter splitting 1:32.78. But on either side of USC, the teams from NC State and Michigan started to close in. Michael Domagala was 1:34.38 for Southern Cal, and fought off the dual foes for 100 yards of his leg, but was officially passed up at the 500-yard mark. He handed off to sophomore Reed Malone with the Trojans trailing NC State by about six tenths.
But Wolfpack anchor Simonas Bilis seemed to overswim his first 50 just a bit, with Malone staying nice and controlled for SC. That pacing came back in a big way at the end, as Malone suddenly started reeling in NC State, sitting just .07 behind with 50 yards to go. From there, Malone blasted by Bilis, using a huge final kickout to seal a second-straight NCAA title for USC in the event.
The Trojans were 6:11.64, with Malone anchoring in a beastly 1:31.59.
NC State, overcoming their rough start to the meet, took a strong second place finish, going 6:12.48. That relay included freshman Ryan Held (1:33.62), senior David Williams (1:32.51), sophomore Soeren Dahl (1:33.35) and Bilis, who was a respectable 1:33.00 on his anchor leg despite fighting some pain after his quick first 50.
Michigan was running third most of the way, but Stanford leaped into contention on a 1:31.81 from David Nolan on the third leg. With Tom Stephens anchoring in 1:33.01, the Cardinal ended up third at 6:14.83. Michigan, meanwhile, faded to fourth in 6:16.05, with NCAA champion butterflyer Dylan Bosch struggling to a 1:35.24 anchor leg. The Wolverines did get a 1:32.44 from Anders Nielsen on the second split, though.
Indiana won the first of two heats swum with finals, going 6:17.09 and just barely touching out Cal (6:17.11) for that heat win. Those times stood up as 5th and 6th overall. Indiana’s best split was breakout freshman Blake Pieroni‘s 1:34.41 from a flat start on the leadoff, and Steve Schmuhl (1:34.15) and Jackson Miller (1:34.01) were also quick. The consistent Hoosiers got a 1:34.52 from anchor Anze Tavcar, who held off a surging Cal.
The Golden Bears were also led by a big leadoff split, with Trent Williams going 1:33.61, and Will Hamilton anchored in 1:32.87, nearly running down Tavcar. But the difference was on the second leg, where Long Gutierrez was just 1:36.17 for the Bears.
Florida, swimming from the final heat, missed Cal’s time by .01 and were relegated to 7th place. Dan Wallace came up clutch as he’s been all meet, anchoring in 1:32.74.
Texas had its lowest relay finish of the meet so far, finishing just 8th in 6:18.03. That included three 1:34s and a 1:33.97 from Clay Youngquist in the middle.
Team Score Update
Texas has really started to hammer down, and it’d take some major moves tomorrow for anyone to run them down. The ‘Horns have almost cracked 400 points on the meet so far, with almost a quarter of those points coming from tonight’s 100 fly.
Cal is a solid second, and Michigan and Florida are locked in a tight battle for third. The Wolverines currently have the upper hand, but only lead by 5 with one day to go. Lurking just outside is USC, 8 back of Florida and 13 behind Michigan.
- Texas – 399
- California – 275
- Michigan – 210
- Florida – 205
- Southern Cal – 197
- Stanford – 156
- Georgia – 148
- Auburn – 131
- Alabama – 127
- NC State – 104