2015 Men’s NCAA Championships Day 2 Prelims: Cal breaks American record, but Texas powering away

The opening night of the 2015 Men’s Division I NCAA Championships was high drama at its finest, featuring a pair of national records and some of the most explosive short course yards swimming in the history of the sport.

But believe it or not, day 2 could be even more exciting. One reason why? Jack Conger is set to make his individual debut, and will swim not one but two individual events. Probably the breakout swimmer of the year so far in the NCAA, Conger will tackle the 100 fly and 100 back today.

The fly sets up a showdown with his teammate Joe Schooling in what could be a wrecking ball of an event for the nation-leading Longhorns. The backstroke will match Conger with Cal’s Ryan Murphy, who broke the NCAA record last night leading off the medley relay and now has his eyes on the American record.

Also in that backstroke: Stanford’s David Nolan, who crushed the American 200 IM record last night.

In today’s IM event, Chase Kalisz is the favorite, and he’ll chase his own national record set last year. But Texas’s Will Licon has looked very good so far and could be a dark horse to unseat Kalisz for the title.

The 100 breast offers another chance for a champion to be upset. Kevin Cordes is the American record-holder, but Cal’s Chuck Katis had the fastest medley relay split last night, helping the Bears break the American record.

Also swimming this morning is the 200 free, where Cristian Quintero is the fastest returner, but wasn’t at his best in the 500 free last night.

Texas will try to maintain its stranglehold on the relays as well. After sweeping last night’s relays, the Longhorns are the 2-seed in the 200 medley this morning behind Michigan. Prelims will also feature the first heat of the timed-final 800 free relay, with the two fastest heats swimming in tonight’s finals session.

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.

Catching up:

2015 Men’s NCAA Championships

200 Medley Relay – Prelims

  • NCAA – 1:22.27 – Michigan – 2013
  • Championship – 1:22.27 – Michigan – 2013
  • American – 1:22.83 – California – 2014
  • US Open – 1:22.27 – Michigan – 2013
  • 2014 Champion – California – 1:22.83

Texas was all but unbeatable on day 1, but Cal’s Ryan Murphy promised in post-session interview that Cal would fight back on day 2.

Murphy’s words turned out to be prophetic, as Cal kicked off day 2 with a statement swim, breaking their own American record in the 200 medley relay. Murphy himself led off the relay in 20.83, but he’s got a shot to be even faster tonight. Perhaps the difference-maker this morning was breaststroker Chuck Katis, who put up the fastest 50 breast split in history at 22.64. Katis is really coming on in his first full season with the Bears – he transferred last year after two seasons in Harvard, and really seems to be responding to training under Cal’s Dave Durden.

Closing out the relay were freshman Justin Lynch (20.33 fly) and junior Tyler Messerschmidt (18.61 freestyle). The Bears were 1:22.40, four tenths under the time they went last season in setting the record. They’re still two tenths off the US Open and NCAA records, set by Michigan back in 2013.

USC holds the second seed at 1:23.90. They had one of the faster leadoff legs with Luca Spinazzola‘s 20.99, but may drop Ralf Tribuntsov onto the relay tonight to pick up even more time. Dylan Carter was 20.03 on fly and Santo Condorelli 18.88 on free to close things out.

Alabama sits third in 1:23.96, getting a huge 18.33 anchor split from Kristian Gkolomeev to rocket by their heat at the last minute.

Maybe the biggest challengers to Cal will be Texas, though. The Longhorns took second in the same heat as the Bears, but didn’t have their lineup fully loaded. Jack Conger didn’t swim the relay, likely saving his energy for his individual double today. Joseph Schooling was a quick 19.88 on fly, but was actually faster at Big-12s. Freshman Brett Ringgold was 19.16 anchoring, Kip Darmody was 21.37 on back and John Murray split 23.59 on breaststroke.

Texas could throw Conger into fly, back or breast tonight. With Schooling so tough on fly, it probably makes sense to put Conger elsewhere, either first or last on the relay. Murray’s leg will be the key, with Cal almost a full second faster on breast this morning.

Also of note: official results had Murray’s relay exchange at -0.13, though there seems to be some inconsistency with the listed reaction times so far.

Louisville nabbed the 5-seed, getting an 18.93 anchor leg from Trevor Carroll. Meanwhile Florida is sixth, with freshman sensation Caeleb Dressel splitting 20.10 on the fly leg.

Also into tonight’s A final: Auburn in 1:24.18 and Tennessee with a 1:24.33. Auburn’s Kyle Darmody anchored in 18.93 and Tennessee got a 22.90 on breast from Peter Stevens, plus an 18.77 from anchor Troy Tillman.

400 IM – Prelims

  • 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

Prelims of a big-time 400 IM is always a real test of gamesmanship. The difficulty is the balance between saving energy for the final and making sure you make the championship heat.

Georgia’s Chase Kalisz did just enough to nab the inside lane for tonight, winning his heat in a 3:38.99. Kalisz looked pretty relaxed, and really seemed to save his legs for tonight, coming home with only enough kick to hold off Texas’s Will Licon.

Licon is the second qualifier overall at 3:39.40, the only man besides Kalisz under 3:40. Licon is surrounded by Georgia Bulldogs on either side in the standings, as Georgia freshman Gunnar Bentz popped a nice 3:40.06 to win his heat and take the 3-seed.

The other heat winner was Michigan’s Dylan Bosch, who will sit 4th in 3:41.23.

Outside of the circle-seed, Adam Hinshaw of Cal came through with a big swim, going 3:41.58, dropping over three seconds off his seed and jumping into the A final. Cal continues to show some fire this morning, though they’ll need to be flawless all day to have a chance at running down Texas for the team title.

Hinshaw’s teammate Josh Prenot is sixth in 3:41.73, giving the Bears two scoring threats in the A heat tonight. Joining them in the final are Florida’s Dan Wallace (3:41.77) and Mark Szaranek (3:41.82).

A pair of freshmen lead the B heat, with Tennessee’s Sam McHugh 9th in 3:41.88 and Stanford’s Curtis Ogren 10th in 3:42.09.

In terms of the team race, Cal won this event, with 2 up and none down compared to 1 up, none down for Texas.

100 Butterfly – Prelims

  • 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

But after a solid 400 IM for Cal, Texas struck back with an absolutely devastating 100 fly. It’s hard to call anything a killing blow with nearly two full days of swimming left, but Texas put no less than 6 men into the A final, very possibly the nail in the coffin of any Cal comeback hopes.

Joseph Schooling leads the way in 45.04, and he’ll be surrounded tonight by teammates Jack Conger (45.17), Tripp Cooper (45.33) and Will Glass (45.40), who are the top 4 seeds overall.

North Carolina’s Sam Lewis and Ohio State’s Matt McHugh are the two non-Longhorns in the A final. Lewis was 45.60 swimming in a heat with Schooling and Cooper, and McHugh was 45.82 to finish behind Conger in his heat.

After that, it’s two more Longhorns, with John Murray going 45.89 out of an early heat and Matt Ellis putting up a 45.92 for 8th.

The added benefit to Texas loading up that A final is that they essentially blocked Cal out from putting anybody into the championship heat. Seth Stubblefield was a 45.96 for Cal, but that only earned him a tie for 9th place with Louisville’s Pedro Coutinho. Cal’s other potential scorer was freshman Justin Lynch, who missed the B final in 18th place.

200 Freestyle – Prelims

  • 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

After a disappointing 500 free yesterday, USC’s Cristian Quintero bounced back with a very nice 200 free, going 1:32.70 and taking over the top qualifying spot with a win in the final heat. He managed to hold off a charging Anders Nielsen of Michigan for that heat win, and Nielsen checks in as the #2 seed at 1:32.80.

That final heat was an entertaining one, with the third finisher, Trent Williams of Cal, ultimately finishing fourth overall in 1:33.01.

In between them was Texas’s Clay Youngquist, who won his heat in 1:32.85. Both Cal and Texas will have one swimmer in the A final in the event tonight, plus one each in the B.

Ohio State had a very nice event, putting two into the top 8. Josh Fleagle kept pace in that crazy final heat, going 1:33.09 and finishing 5th overall. Out of the earlier heats, Michael DiSalle was 1:33.22, and that time held up for 7th. Their Big Ten rival Blake Pieroni of Indiana also snuck into the A heat, going 1:33.26 for 8th.

In the middle of that Big Ten crew is Stanford’s Tom Kremer at 1:33.18. He is sixth heading into tonight.

Just on the outside: Dylan Carter of USC (1:33.27) and NC State’s Simonas Bilis (1:33.31).

100 Breaststroke – Prelims

  • 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

Cal’s Chuck Katis has suddenly become the trendy pick to upset Arizona’s Kevin Cordes, and we’ve got a showdown looming between those two in tonight’s final. Katis ran away with his heat this morning in a 50.89, a lifetime-best by a full second, his first time under 51 and actually his first time under 52.

That stacks up as the 7th-fastest swim in history. But the owner of the 5 fastest swims in history, Cordes answered back in the next heat with a 50.93. Both men have chances to go low 50-points tonight, or even hit the fabled 49.

Michigan’s Richard Funk went 51.41 for third, breaking the Big Ten record in the process. He’s followed by Missouri’s Sam Tierney at 51.41, plus Georgia’s Nic Fink at 51.59. Fink was the runner-up in this event last year.

Western Kentucky gets a rare A-finalist for a mid-major school, with Fabian Schwingenslogl swimming his race in about the same time it takes to properly pronounce his name: 51.66. Michigan’s Bruno Ortiz also jumped into the A final with a 51.77.

It’s an insane meet when a sub-52-second swim is required to make the A final. We’ll have a swim-off for 8th in this event between two guys who went 51.83. Michael Duderstadt of Auburn and Thomas Dahlia out of Louisville will show down after the prelims session for the final lane in tonight’s final. We’ll have results of that swim when it happens.

Tennessee’s Peter Stevens becomes the first man in NCAA history to go 51 in the 100 breast prelims and still miss the A final (along with the loser of that swim-off). The freshman was 51.94 and sits 10th.

(Update: Duderstadt went out fast and led at the 50, but Dahlia charged back to take the swim-off 51.87 to 52.64. Dahlia will head to the A final for Louisville, while Duderstadt will lead the consol heat tonight for Auburn.)

100 Backstroke – Prelims

  • 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

The theme of this morning’s 100 backstroke seemed to be closing speed, as each of the circle-seeded heats saw an upstart challenger go out faster than the prohibitive favorite to the 50, but with the favorite always coming back for the win.

In the first heat, it was Brigham Young’s Jake Taylor who went out fast, leading Stanford’s David Nolan at the halfway point 21.43 to 21.80. But Nolan charged home to take the win and the eventual top seed in 44.93, his lifetime-best by just a tick.

Then in the second circle-seeded heat, Alabama’s Connor Oslin went out like a bullet, leading Cal’s Ryan Murphy 21.91 to 22.17. But the defending champ and NCAA record-holder Murphy fired back with a big back half, winning in 45.24. That would hold up as the second seed overall.

Finally, the last heat saw USC’s Luca Spinazzola lead at the 50, but the field closed on him in a hurry. Ultimately, Penn State’s Shane Ryan took the heat win in 45.44.

After it all shook out, Nolan had the top seed followed by Murphy. Oslin’s 45.28 held up for third and Taylors 45.34 sat fourth. Ryan would wind up 5th overall, with Texas’s top finisher Jack Conger going 45.50 for sixth.

Spinazzola also snuck into the A final along with his teammate Ralf Tribuntsov. Spinazzola was 45.53 and Tribuntsov 45.61.

Just missing the A final was Texas senior Kip Darmody, which might be a dash at the team’s title hopes in a parallel universe where the ‘Horns didn’t annihilate the entire nation in the 100 fly. As it is, Texas basically only has to match Cal in points from here on out to seal an easy win. They’ll have 1 up and 1 down here, exactly matching Cal’s total.

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

The fastest two heats of the 800 free relay will swim tonight, but the winner of the opening heat was Notre Dame in 6:25.54. That included a 1:35.86 split from Reed Fujan, plus a 1:35.98 anchor leg from Tommy Anderson.

Alabama was second, with Alex Grey leading off in 1:36.55 and Matthew Adams splitting 1:36.21 on the way to a 6:26.45. UNC rounded out the heat in 6:28.07 with a 1:35.21 from Henry Campbell.

Those times will stand as the times to beat for the teams in tonight’s finals session.


Stay tuned to SwimSwam.com for further analysis, including the day’s ups/downs, a scoring preview, diving recap and more. We’ll be back tonight with live recaps of all the night’s finals events, beginning at 7pm Central Time.

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Question: Has the winning time for an event at a D2 or D3 championships ever been faster than that year’s winning D1 time?


Pretty sure Ben Michaelson in 2003 had the fastest 100 fly time and he was a D2 swimmer. Almost made the Olympic team the following year.


Indeed, Ben was faster with a 45.6 that year!

Swim Alumni

In 2013, Brad Tandy won the 50 Free in NJCAA Champs with a faster time than Division 1 that year.


My pre-prelim predictions yesterday were only 2/5 but I’ll try again.

200 medley: TExas with cal close behind
400 IM: I’m thinking licon upsets Kalisz. Wallace, BEntz and prenot in the race too
100 fly: confer nips schooling
200 free: Quintero
100 breast: Katus upsets the off looking corded
100 back: Murphy wins in under 44z Nolan second conger and tribunstov in there as well
800 free relay; USC . Texas Michigan and nc state just behind

Varsity Swimmer

dude… u predicted licon!!!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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