2017 College Challenge: Saturday Night Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 46

October 21st, 2017 College, News

Meet Info

  • Saturday, October 21-Sunday, October 22
  • Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • 25 yards
  • USA Roster
  • Pac-12 Roster
  • Live Results
  • Results on Meet Mobile as “2017 College Challange”

The second-ever USA Swimming College Challenge kicks off tonight in Los Angeles, CA.  This unique event features some of the top USA National Team swimmers, including professionals and high schoolers against the top stars from the Pac-12 Conference.

On paper, the Pac-12 squad should have the advantage on the women’s side, as their lineup features Olympic gold medalists like Kathleen Baker, Katie Ledecky, and Abbey Weitzeil.  There’s plenty more star power, and the college ladies should have enough depth to overcome the loss of Simone Manuel.

On the men’s side, the USA National Team will feature a strong mix of veterans (Matt Grevers), recent NCAA stars (like Ryan Murphy and Jack Conger), and younger swimmers (like Michael Andrew and Daniel Krueger), but will definitely have their work cut against a very solid Pac-12 team.

400 Medley Relay – Women

Well, it didn’t take long for the script to get flipped.  Sure enough, Kathleen Baker stormed out to a lead for the Pac-12, finishing in a very strong 51.05.  But Team USA’s Molly Hannis blew away the field on the breakstroke leg and built a two bodylength lead by the time she touched.  Hellen Moffit and Lia Neal (a former Pac-12 swimmers herself) held off the dangerous combination of Louisse Hansson and Abbey Weitzeil to touch in 3:28.37.  The Pac-12 women mitigated some of the damage by finishing 2nd and 3rd.

400 Medley Relay – Men

Once again, it was a close race after the first leg, with Ryan Murphy taking it out in 46.30 to Ralf Tribuntsov’s 46.38.  It was all Team USA from there, as Cody Miller pulled ahead with a 52.23, followed by Tom Shields (44.52) and Jack Conger (43.21), as the USA “B” team won in 3:06.26.  It was a 1-2 USA sweep, thanks to high schooler and Texas commit Daniel Krueger holding off USC’s Dylan Carter with a 42.53 split.  With several of the post grads sporting beards, it doesn’t look like most of the National Team guys are anywhere close to rested/tapered for this meet.  But, on the basis of the first event, it doesn’t look like they’ll need to be in order to win.

500 Free – Women

No surprises here.  Stanford’s Katie Ledecky, representing Pac-12 casually cruised to a 4:28.75, the 7th-fastest time ever.  USA’s Melanie Margalis picked up 2nd place with 4:36.29, while Pac-12 took the next two spots thanks to Katie Drabot (4:37.51) and Hannah Cox (4:38.64).  Those times by Cox and Drabot are both faster than what each swimmer did in the prelims of last year’s NCAA Championships, and would have been enough to earn them some points.  Madison Homovich (4:39.74) and Kendall Dawson (4:51.30) were the final two finishers.

With Ledecky’s win, the Pac-12 women now have a 20-16 lead over USA Swimming.

500 Free – Men

For a couple minutes it looked like it would be a repeat of some of last summer’s USA Nationals races, as Zane Grothe and Clark Smith went out together.  But Grothe pulled away from the field, while Smith fell back as the race went on.  In the end Grothe touched in 4:13.63, while Mitch D’Arrigo outdueled Grant Shoults over the final 50 and took 2nd for Team USA.  D’Arrigo touched in 4:15.33, Shoults in 4:15.41.  Smith finished 4th in 4:18.09, while Sean Grieshop and True Sweetser finished 5th and 6th with times of 4:21.32 and 4:23.63.

100 Butterfly – Women

USC’s Louisse Hansson looks to be in solid form early in the season, as she jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to 51.28 finish and the victory.  Team USA earned back some points with 2nd and 3rd place finishes by Amanda Kendall (51.97) and Hellen Moffitt (52.11).

100 Butterfly – Men

Tom Shields, the former US Open record in this event, used his classically great underwaters to win in 45.16, almost a second ahead of any other swimmers.  The Pac-12 blunted Shield’s victory by sweeping the next three spots, thanks to Justin Lynch (46.03), Matthew Josa (46.09), and Zheng Quah (46.31).  USA’s Michael Andrew (46.59), Jack Conger (46.62) and Pace Clark (47.61) took 5th-7th, while Justin Wright rounded out the times with a 48.43.

200 Backstroke – Women

This one was tied up through the first 100, with Kathleen Baker inching ahead of Regan Smith at the 175 mark. Baker took the win for Pac-12 in 1:50.62, with Team USA’s Smith following in 1:51.30. Third went to Stanford’s Janet Hu, 4th to Lucie Nordmann, 5th to Washington’s Jasmine Margetts, and 6th to UCLA’s Sandra Soe.

200 Backstroke – Men

Robert Glinta took this one out fast in 49.11 at the 100, but USC teammate Patrick Mulcare took the win in 1:40.44 with Glinta following in 1:40.50 (to big cheers from the home crowd). Ryan Murphy touched 3rd in 1:40.62, followed by Jacob Pebley in 1:40.90, Kieran Smith in 1:43.95, and Abrahm DeVine in 1:44.33.

200 Breaststroke – Women

USC freshman Maggie Aroesty topped this race in 2:06.88, followed by USA’s Molly Hannis, then USC’s Riley Scott. Madisyn Cox took 4th in 2:09.10, followed by Andrea Cotrell in 2:09.12, and Genny Robertson in 2:13.50. Sijia Kansakoski came in 6th at 2:13.84. Aroesty went a personal best last weekend at the SMU Classic (2:08.01), and shattered that tonight, putting her at 4th all-time for 17-18 women.

With this race, the Pac-12 team moves into the lead with the score standing at 84-83.

200 Breaststroke – Men

Josh Prenot topped this one by over a second in 1:53.42. He was followed by Nic Fink in 1:54.65, then Cody Miller in 1:55.09, Christian Lorenz in 1:57.79, Jack Burton in 1:59.39, and Connor Hoppe in 1:59.40. Prenot told the crowd “I miss college swimming.”

With the sweep, Team USA reclaims the lead 99-87.

100 Freestyle – Women

Out of lane 8, USC’s Louise Hansson took the win in 47.57 — her first 100 free of the year. After taking out the first 50 1-2, Lia Neal and Abbey Weitzeil came in 2nd and 3rd in 48.03 and 48.04, respectively. Lucie Nordmann followed in 48.35, then Amanda Kendall in 48.51, Robin Neumann in 49.38, and Katrina Konopka in 49.45.

The score stands at USA 106, Pac-12 99.

100 Freestyle – Men

Tom Shields nabbed his second win out of lane 1 in 42.73. USC’s Dylan Carter followed in 42.95, then Daniel Krueger in 43.17, Michael Jensen in 43.22, Samuel Perry and Cameron Craig tied for 5th in 43.61, Matt Grevers was 7th in 43.65, and Ryan Murphy 8th in 44.11.

Team USA leads 118-106.

400 IM – Women

Ella Eastin won by body-lengths in 4:00.02 over Stanford teammate Brooke Forde (4:02.02). Madisyn Cox touch third in 4:07.75, followed by Madison Homovich in 4:11.66, Hannah Cox in 4:12.57, Jasmine Margetts in 4:17.21, and Ruby Martin 4:21.87. Eastin credited her training alongside Forde (who went a personal best) for her early-season success.

Pac-12 is creeping up on USA, with USA leading 123-120.

400 IM – Men

Michael Andrew lead through the first 200, but Andrew Seliskar overtook him in the first 50 of the breaststroke leg, and never looked back. Seliskar finished first in 3:43.11, narrowing out-touching Josh Prenot (3:43.16), who crept up early in the freestyle leg. Third place went to Kieran Smith in 3:46.46, followed by Sean Grieshop in 3:49.84, Michael Andrew in 3:50.02, and Nick Thorne in 3:50.36.

Heading into the relays, the score is knotted up at 131-131.

800 Freestyle Relay – Women

Ella Eastin closed the third leg strong for the Pac-12, gaining significant ground before handing things off to Stanford teammate Katie Ledecky, who did her thing. She gained over a body length on Madisyn Cox, nabbing Pac-12 the win in 6:57.98. USA was 2nd in 7:00.37, followed by the Pac-12 B-team in 7:01.12, then the Pac-12 C-team in 7:14.41, and USA’s B-team in 7:18.50.

800 Freestyle Relay – Men

Stanford’s Grant Shoults gave the Pac-12 the lead in 1:35.64 after his leadoff leg. USC’s Dylan Carter opened up a 2-second lead on Clark Smith before handing off to Arizona’s Cameron Craig. Cal’s Zheng Wen Quah closed it out for the Pac-12 A-team who finished in 6:19.96, half a pool length ahead of USA anchor Zane Grothe (6:24.97). The USA B-team finished 3rd in 6:27.11, just ahead of the Pac-12 B-team’s 6:27.30.

Day 1 final score: Pac-12 155, USA 141.

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3 years ago

Wow. I forget how not so great the pac-12 breaststroke is.

On Fleek
Reply to  AvidSwimFan
3 years ago

Well if Robertson (Pac-12 C team, 58.53) or Scott (B team, 58.88) had been subbed for Kansakoski (A team, 1:00.27) on the breast leg of the Women’s 400 Medley relay, the Pac-12 A team would have beaten the USA A team in spite of Hannis’ smoking 56.85 split!

As it were, Weitzeil threw down a nice 46.98 on anchor to almost catch up with Neal (47.97).

Guess it’s really hard to predict who’s faster this early in the season or who’s the hotter hand right now. Don’t envy the coaches having to decide on the best possible relay lineups with all these unknowns!

Reply to  On Fleek
3 years ago

That’s a great split by Weitzeil this early on in the season!

crooked donald
Reply to  Swammer
3 years ago

That was encouraging, until her 48 in the individual event.

Pac-12 Fan
Reply to  crooked donald
3 years ago

If you’re familiar with her history, Weitzeil’s a team player. Has more often than not gone faster when helping her teammates in a relay over her individual races. Does tend to falter a bit from her very best when tackling a busy schedule. But that can be addressed in her training over time.

3 years ago

Oh it’s fine I didn’t want splits on the live results

Gator fan
Reply to  PNW
3 years ago

They have them now

Swimmers ear
3 years ago

KLedecky 4:28.7.

crooked donald
Reply to  Swimmers ear
3 years ago

Almost beat Townley’s Haas’ time from the Florida meet.

Gator fan
3 years ago

Where was michael andrew in that 500?

crooked donald
Reply to  Gator fan
3 years ago


Reply to  crooked donald
3 years ago

Came in third in the 18&Under division of the 400 IM. Free leg in 55 (better than a 57, I guess), while the other two came back in 52.1

3 years ago

Shaking my head at a 4:28 this early in the season. Ledecky is out of control

3 years ago

That’s an Amazing split by Daniel Krueger! 42.53? Wow!

Gator fan
Reply to  Longhorn
3 years ago

He is a young kid he was probably rested for this. He rests alot

samuel huntington
Reply to  Gator fan
3 years ago

typically the younger you are, the less rest does for you

3 years ago

Why isn’t anyone talking about Maggie Aroestys swim?! Swim of the night for me and dropping over a second to go 2:06! Maybe she could challenge The King

3 years ago

Da ?S are tapered, kal gonna win when they need to ?

Reply to  Coach
3 years ago

#fakecoach #fake news ? ? ?
Card >> everybodys >> kal ? ? ?

#realfacts weizel slow & baker nearly beat 2x by 15 yo lmao
lolol over da slowpoke swims from mcloglin neuman murphy

shoulda replace kal with Howe Engel Byrnes Szekely Pitzer
Stanford team alone woulda run up da score over da usa

Reply to  coach
3 years ago

byrnes is injured, that’s not possible.