2016 NCAA Men’s Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


We’ve hit the final night of the 2016 Men’s NCAA Championships, with Texas careening towards a second-straight NCAA team title.

Tonight’s events include finals of the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform diving and 400 free relay, along with the fastest heat of the 1650. The earlier heats were swum this afternoon.

Cal’s Ryan Murphy looks to break his own American record in the 200 back a day after recording the fastest 50 and 100 backstrokes in history last night.

The 100 free returns sprint sensation Caeleb Dressel of Florida, who broke the American 50 free record and was second in the 100 fly. The 200 breast serves as the rubber match in the ongoing battle between Texas’s Will Licon and Cal’s Josh PrenotLicon won the 200 IM over Prenot, while Prenot beat out Licon in the 400 IM last night.

Finally, the 200 fly pits Longhorn teammates Jack Conger and Joseph Schooling against one another. Schooling is the defending champ, Conger the American record-holder.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from Atlanta. And follow @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for up-to-the-second results and highlights.

1650 Free – Finals

  • NCAA Record: 14:24.08, Martin Grodzki, 2012
  • American Record: 14:23.52, Connor Jaeger, 2014
  • U.S. Open Record: 14:23.52, Connor Jaeger, 2014
  • Pool Record: 14:29.43, Sebastien Rouault, 2012
  • 2015 Champion: 14:32.38, Matias Koski, Georgia

Top 3:

  1. Chris Swanson, Penn – 14:31.54
  2. Akaram Mahmoud, South Carolina – 14:31.66
  3. Matthew Hutchins, Wisconsin – 14:33.09

The night kicked off with one of the wildest miles you’ll ever see. Texas’s Clark Smithwho blasted the nation’s fastest time mid-season, was out in a flash, leading the way at he 500 in 4:20.23. But Michigan’s PJ Ransford started to push Smith through the next 500, and just like in prelims of the individual 500, Smith started to falter in a big way.

Ransford started feeling the momentum, officially taking over at the 700 and surging ahead through the 1100. But then he, too, started to fatigue in a hurry, as South Carolina’s Akaram Mahmoud started chewing up the gap behind the leader.

Mahmoud took over at the 1200 and held a pretty respectable lead right down to the final 50, when Penn’s Chris Swanson came out of nowhere to blast a 24.3 split and take the touchout win by just a tenth.

Swanson’s 24.3 made up almost three seconds on Mahmoud, and he won the race in 14:31.54 to Mahmoud’s 14:33.09.

Wisconsin’s Matt Hutchins rolled in at 14:33.09, also closing the gap hard on Mahmoud over the final 50 but just running out of pool. 500 free champ Townley Haas of Texas was fourth in 14:34.36 and NC State’s Anton Ipsen fifth in 14:35.35.

When the results of the afternoon heats factored in, Smith faded all the way to 12th in 14:50.00 and Ransford to 13th in 14:51.51. Top afternoon swimmer Tom Peribonio gave South Carolina a second swimmer on the podium, with his 14:44.57 holding up for 6th.

200 Back – Finals

Top 3:

  1. Ryan Murphy, Cal – 1:35.73
  2. Jacob Pebley, Cal – 1:38.50
  3. Hennessey Stuart, NC State – 1:38.56

Cal’s Ryan Murphy continues to expand what we thought was possible in the backstroke races, becoming the first man ever under 1:36 in the 200 back with a 1:35.73.

That swim breaks the NCAA, American and U.S. Open records and gives Murphy three of the four fastest swims in history. He’s now twice beaten Ryan Lochte‘s former American record of 1:36.81, set in this same Atlanta pool back in 2007.

It was a great event for Cal, with Murphy’s senior teammate Jacob Pebley going 1:38.50 for the Golden Bear 1-2. Pebley trailed NC State’s Hennessey Stuart at the halfway point, but surged back to touch out Stuart for silver. Stuart was 1:38.56.

In a historically fast prelims session, the top 9 swimmers all got under 1:40, but only six of the top eight broke the barrier again at night. Tennessee’s Sean Lehane was 1:39.29 for fourth, followed by Alabama’s Connor Oslin (1:39.85) and BYU’s Jake Taylor (1:39.93).

In the B final, Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich stayed under the barrier, going 1:39.81 to hold 9th, and Alabama’s Chris Reid went 1:39.87, meaning 10 men broke 1:40 on the day in total.

Texas still has the team battle well in hand, even after a 1-2 from Cal. The Longhorns lead by 82, with Cal up 39 on Florida. NC State is 45 behind the Gators as the top 4 appear pretty close to locked into their spots at this point. The best battle seems to be for 5th, where Tennessee (167) narrowly leads a pack that includes Georgia (165), Alabama (164), Missouri (145) and Louisville (143.5).

100 Free – Finals

  • NCAA Record: 40.76, Vlad Morozov, 2013
  • American Record: 41.07, Caeleb Dressel, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 40.76, Vlad Morozov, 2013
  • Pool Record: 41.59, Simonas Bilis, NC State (prelims)
  • 2015 Champion: 41.56, Kristian Gkolomeev, Alabama

Top 3:

  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida – 40.46
  2. Simonas Bilis, NC State – 41.18
  3. Kristian Gkolomeev, Alabama – 41.52

Though he was the star of day 1, Florida’s Caeleb Dressel had been a bit overshadowed in yesterday’s all-around record haul. But the Gator sophomore smashed his way back into the limelight in the 100 free, going 40.46 to break his own American record and officially take over the NCAA record and title of fastest all-time in the event from Vlad Morozov.

Dressel’s time takes three tenths out of Morozov’s 2013 record and makes him just the third man ever under 41 in the event. Dressel was out in an insane 19.2 to his feet on a flip turn at the 50-mark.

NC State’s Simonas Bilis also had a huge swim, moving into the top 5 all-time with a 41.18. Currently, the top 5 includes Dressel, Morozov, Cesar Cielo, Nathan Adrian and Bilis.

Alabama’s Kristian Gkolomeev had a slow start to the meet, but has been progressively heating up. He finished his individual slate of events with a 51.52 for bronze – that’s his lifetime-best, and actually faster than what he went in winning this event a year ago.

NC State put two into the top 4, with Ryan Held going 41.77 for fourth. Also under 42: Brett Ringgold of Texas (41.80) and Missouri’s Michael Chadwick (41.98).

The top 4 teams remain stable, though NC State made up a little ground on Florida for 3rd. Gkolomeev powered Alabama up to 5th, jumping over Georgia (2.5 points back) and Tennessee (17 back).

200 Breast – Finals

  • NCAA Record: 1:48.66, Kevin Cordes, 2014
  • American Record: 1:48.66, Kevin Cordes, 2014
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:48.66, Kevin Cordes, 2014
  • Pool Record: 1:49.43, Will Licon, Texas (prelims)
  • 2015 Champion: 1:49.48, Will Licon, Texas

Top 3:

  1. Will Licon, Texas – 1:48.12
  2. Josh Prenot, California – 1:49.38
  3. Fabian Schwingenschlogl, Missouri – 1:51.84

In the third and final battle of versatile superstars Will Licon and Josh Prenotit was Texas’s Licon who triumphed. The junior took the 200 breast in a new American, NCAA and U.S. Open record of 1:48.12, taking down the legendary marks set by Kevin Cordes in 2014.

Licon very nearly took the swim below 1:48, hitting a pace through 150 that would have earned him the 1:47 but falling off just slightly to a 28.4 split on the final 50. (He had been 27.2 and 27.8 on the previous two 50s).

Prenot was also historically quick, becoming just the fourth man ever under 1:50 with a 1:49.38. With those two swims, the top 10 swims in history are now all sub-1:50. 5 of them belong to Cordes, 3 to Licon and one each to Prenot and Cody Miller.

100 breast champ Fabian Schwingenschlogl of Missouri was 1:51.84, touching out Albama’s Anton McKee (1:51.87) for bronze. Behind them were a tight trio: Virginia Tech’s Brandon Fiala (1:53.45), Louisville’s Carlos Claverie (1:53.55) and Virginia’s Yannick Kaeser (1:53.64).

200 Fly – Finals

Top 3:

  1. Joseph Schooling, Texas – 1:37.97
  2. Jack Conger, Texas – 1:38.06
  3. Andrew Seliskar, California – 1:39.95

As if in answer to Cal’s 1-2 in the 200 back, Texas responded with a 1-2 in the 200 fly with both men breaking the NCAA record.

Sophomore Joseph Schooling defended his 2015 title, going 1:37.97 to become the first man under 1:38 and break the NCAA and U.S. Open records. Schooling should throw his name into the hat for what should be an intriguing battle for the Swimmer of the Meet award. He, Ryan Murphy and Caeleb Dressel have all won two events and broken national records in both.

Texas junior Jack Conger finished second in 1:38.06, but retains the American record, as Schooling represents Singapore internationally. Conger set the American record last year in a time trial at Big 12s.

Meanwhile Cal freshman Andrew Seliskar went 1:39.95 to take third, getting under the old pool record.

2014 NCAA champ (and NCAA record-holder prior to this race) Dylan Bosch of Michigan tried to run with the top group early but faltered some down the stretch. He faded to 6th in 1:41.11, with Georgia’s Pace Clark (1:40.17) and NC State’s Christian McCurdy (1:41.06) sneaking in ahead of him.

Clark’s swim helped Georgia retake 5th from Alabama. Texas is still way out front, leading by 142.5. Cal leads Florida by 49, Florida tops NC State by 28 and NC State is 72.5 up on the Bulldogs for fourth.

400 Free Relay – Finals

  • NCAA Record: 2:46.03, Auburn, 2009
  • American Record: 2:47.02, Texas, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: 2:46.03, Auburn, 2009
  • Pool Record: 2:47.36, NC State, 2016 (prelims)
  • 2015 Champion: 2:47.06, USC

Top 3:

  1. NC State – 2:46.81
  2. Texas – 2:46.85
  3. Florida – 2:47.16

It’s been a long time coming, but NC State won its first NCAA relay title ever in the 400 free relay tonight, going 2:46.81 to touch out Texas by just .04. NC State had shots at the 200 free relay title for the past three years, taking DQs in 2014 and 2015 and finishing second by two tenths this year. But it finally came together this season in the 400 free relay, with the Wolfpack going out fast and outlasting the Longhorns for the win.

Ryan Held was 41.82 on the leadoff leg, and Simonas Bilis popped a 40.80 to give NC State a killer front half. Andreas Schiellerup (42.10) and Soeren Dahl (42.09) closed off the relay, surviving a tough Texas charge.

The Longhorns were 2:46.85, getting a 41.61 from Brett Ringgold and a 41.15 anchor from Jack Conger. Joseph Schooling was 41.97 and John Murray 42.12 for the ‘Horns, who capped off their second-consecutive NCAA team title by finishing within the top 3 in all 5 relay events.

Florida was third in 2:47.16, riding a big-time 40.86 leadoff split from Caeleb Dressel to the bronze. That time ranks as the 3rd-best swm of all-time, just behind the old Vlad Morozov NCAA record Dressel broke earlier tonight.

Fourth went to Indiana, with Blake Pieroni‘s 41.48 anchor leg powering a 2:49.10 for the Hoosiers. Also sub-2:50 were Georgia (2:49.84 on a run of straight 42s) and Alabama (2:49.96 with Kristian Gkolomeev going 41.52 on the end).

Cal’s relay, 3rd coming out of prelims, was DQ’d in the event, a loss of at least 22 points for the Golden Bears, though they were already locked into 2nd place as a team prior to this event.

Team Scores

There was little drama by the final day, with Texas all but running away with the 2016 NCAA title. They topped Cal by nearly 200 points in an insanely dominant showing.

The late DQ made things awfully close between Cal and Florida for second, but the Golden Bears still held on for the runner-up prize, topping Florida by 17.

NC State had a great run as a team, rising all the way to 4th place and finishing just 20 back of the Gators. In the end, it was Georgia outlasting Alabama for the final slot inside the top 5. The Bulldogs earned 14.5 more points than the Crimson Tide.

Final Standings:

  1. Texas – 541.5
  2. California – 351
  3. Florida – 334
  4. NC State – 314
  5. Georgia – 239.5
  6. Alabama – 225
  7. Tennessee – 188
  8. Missouri – 184
  9. Indiana – 180.5
  10. Auburn – 167
  11. Louisville – 164.5
  12. Michigan – 158
  13. USC – 117
  14. Stanford – 112.5
  15. Ohio State – 91
  16. Arizona – 87
  17. South Carolina – 71
  18. Wisconsin – 53
  19. Virginia Tech – 44.5
  20. Minnesota – 41
  21. Brigham Young – 40
  22. T-22 Pittsburgh – 31
  23. T-22 Miami (FL) – 31
  24. Penn – 26
  25. Texas A&M – 20
  26. T-26 Air Force – 16
  27. T-26 UNC – 16
  28. T-28 Virginia – 15
  29. T-28 Cleveland State – 15
  30. Oakland – 13
  31. T-31 Florida State – 12
  32. T-31 Hawaii – 12
  33. T-33 George Washington – 11
  34. T-33 Yale – 11
  35. T-35 Utah – 9
  36. T-35 UNLV – 9
  37. T-37 Princeton – 8
  38. T-37 Georgia Tech – 8
  39. Duke – 7
  40. T-40 LSU – 6
  41. T-40 Iowa – 6
  42. T-40 Kentucky – 6
  43. Purdue – 5
  44. T-44 Penn State – 2
  45. T-44 Harvard – 2
  46. T-44 Cornell – 2
  47. T-44 Arizona State – 2

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4 years ago

Do you think you guys could be able to pull together the Bolles’ swimmers after the meet for an interview with all of them? I think that could be a very interesting one.

4 years ago

Will Texas load the relay and will the SS community be outraged like they were at other teams.

Reply to  Question.
4 years ago

Texas is likely to put all three divers on the relay… Oh; settle down, I am just joking NC State!!!!

4 years ago

Rumor has it that Kristaps Porzingis will present all of the awards tonight.

Reply to  Hillary
4 years ago

How many times can I like this? Andrew? You are NOT the father!

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Hillary
4 years ago

Or he’ll be getting throttled by the Cavs while representing the 30-43 Knicks tonight.

Kristaps Porzingis
Reply to  Irish Ringer
4 years ago

Handed out one of the awards and made history in Cleveland all in one night.

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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