2016 Men’s NCAA Championships: Day 1 Live Recap – 800 Free Relays


The 2016 men’s NCAA Championships open up tonight in Atlanta, Georgia with the 800 free relay. For the first time in NCAA history, that event will open the meet on Wednesday night, allowing fresher swimmers and upping the unpredictability factor in the NCAA’s longest relay event.

USC picked up the win last year and returns last year’s hero anchor Reed Malone and Michael Domagala.

They’ll be hard-pressed to repeat in 2016, though, with some major challengers slated in ahead of them on the psych sheets.

NC State is looking for the NCAA relay title that has eluded them for two years straight, and comes in with the nation’s fastest time and a gauntlet of great freestylers. Texas should be in the mix along with SEC champs Florida and Big Ten champs Michigan.

Stay tuned to this page for a live recap of the action as it happens, and follow us at @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for even more breaking updates.


  • NCAA record: 6:09.85 – Michigan (A Nielsen, M Wynalda, J Glanda, C Jaeger, ) – 02/26/14
  • American record: 6:10.16 – Texas (D Walters, R Berens, S Jostes, M Klueh) – 03/27/09
  • U. S. Open record: 6:09.85 – Michigan (A Nielsen, M Wynalda, J Glanda, C Jaeger, ) – 02/26/14
  • 2015 Champion: 6:11.64 – USC (C Quintero, D Carter, M Domagala, R Malone)
  1. Texas: 6:08.03
  2. NC State: 6:09.58
  3. Florida: 6:09.84
  4. California: 6:11.30
  5. Georgia: 6:12.54
  6. Michigan: 6:13.94
  7. Louisville: 6:15.86
  8. Auburn: 6:16.11

The University of Texas smashed the NCAA Championship, NCAA, American, and U.S. Open records with a blazing 6:08.03. Junior Jack Conger‘s leadoff leg, a 1:31.89 that would have won the individual championship last year, put him into the top 10 all-time for the individual 200 free.

However, it was freshman wonder Townley Haas who put up the fastest split in history, a flying start 1:30.52 in the second leg of the Longhorn race. His swim took down the previous fastest ever, a 1:30.60 from Michigan’s Michael Wynalda at 2014 Big Tens.

Junior Clark Smith and sophomore Joseph Schooling rounded out the Texas relay with 1:33.28 and 1:32.34, respectively.

Both NC State and Florida also came in under the U.S. Open Record, but, despite late surges from both teams, they weren’t fast enough to catch the Longhorns. Senior Simonas Bilis clocked the second-fastest relay split of the field, outswimming all but three flying- start swimmers in the pool with 1:32.02. His lead-off would have won last year’s NCAA 200 free championship by .01, and is a new ACC Record. Sophomore Ryan Held and freshman Justin Ress went very respectable times as the middle two legs: 1:32.06 and 1:33.64, but it was junior Soeren Dahl who won the team second place with a very quick anchor 1:31.86.

Notably: nobody broke the American Record in this race, as each of the top three teams had at least one international swimmer on their relays.

Florida sophomore Jan Switkowski‘s second-leg swim was the fastest of his relay, a 1:31.33. Senior Pawel Werner led off the Gators in 1:33.11, junior Mitch D’Arrigo went third in 1:32.69, and sophomore Mark Szaranek anchored a 1:32.71.

Cal’s Long Gutierrez (1:32.74), Trent Williams (1:32.77), Andrew Seliskar (1:32.42), and Jacob Pebley (1:33.37)  swam a consistent race to take the fourth slot in 6:11.30. Their time would have won last year’s championship.

The Georgia team made a huge move out of the second heat for fifth with 6:12.54. Matias Koski clocked the third-fastest lead off of the field with 1:32.31. That time also would have taken the individual silver at last year’s championships. Pace Clark and Jay Litherland swam the middle legs, and Gunnar Bentz anchored a quick 1:32.36.

Michigan took sixth in 6:13.94, with lead-off senior Anders Nielsen clocking a quick 1:32.50. Louisville nabbed seventh in 6:15.86, and Auburn took the eighth slot in 6:16.11.

Notably, last year’s champions, USC, finished ninth, with junior anchor Reed Malone swimming the fifth-fastest split of the field, a 1:31.94.

Men – Team Rankings – Through Event 1
1. Texas: 40
2. NC State: 34
3. Florida: 32
4. California: 30
5. Georgia: 28
6. Michigan: 26
7. Louisville: 24
8. Auburn: 22
9. Southern Cali: 18
10. Indiana: 14
11. Missouri: 12
12. Wisconsin: 10
13. Stanford: 8
14. Tennessee: 6
15. South Carolina: 4
16. Alabama: 2

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4 years ago

Isn’t USC’s Michael Domagala returning?

Reply to  Uh
4 years ago

Was thinking the same thing, but I do not recall seeing his name on their entries.
He did not make the meet individually this year either.
Maybe he is prepping for Polish trials or a selection meet?

4 years ago

Is the live stream not working for anyone else? It says the broadcast is interrupted.

Reply to  jdsmitty1
4 years ago

Working for me

Reply to  jdsmitty1
4 years ago

Nevermind. It’s just my computer

Reply to  jdsmitty1
4 years ago

not for me either

Reply to  jdsmitty1
4 years ago

Not working for me on Safari. Got it working on Edge and Chrome.

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
4 years ago

I have it on my phone but can’t get it on my computer. Windows 10 issue?

4 years ago

It isn’t letting me go full screen

Reply to  Sw1mFan
4 years ago

ditto, very annoying!

Reply to  Sw1mFan
4 years ago

hit ctrl and +, not full screen but zoomed in atleast

Reply to  Sw1mFan
4 years ago

click in the upper right and just enlarge until size desired. I also had that problem.

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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