2017 Men’s NCAA Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap


After a hit parade of an opening two days, the NCAA Championships continue this morning with heats of 6 swimming events and a diving competition, including several American and U.S. Open record-holders looking to add to their medal collections.

Ryan MurphyJoseph Schooling and Townley Haas all set national records last year in winning their events, but all three have challengers today.

Murphy leads the 100 back, but Texas’s John Shebat was only two tenths behind leading off last night’s 400 medley relay. Schooling takes on the 100 fly, but will have to contend with his teammate Jack Conger plus Florida’s 50 free champ Caeleb Dressel

Haas won the 200 free last year, but has to take on teammate Clark Smith for the second time after Smith won the 500 last night. The 200 also features freshman sensations Dean Farris of Harvard and Cameron Craig of Arizona State, who hold the top two seeds.

Then there’s Olympian Chase Kaliszlooking for his first 400 IM title since 2014. Kalisz is the American record-holder in this event and won as a freshman (2013) and sophomore (2014) but was upset as a junior in 2015 by Will Liconwho has since moved out of the event for the 100 breast.

Licon will look to topple last year’s breaststroke champ Fabian Schwingenschlogl of Missouri in that race.

The morning will finish off with the 200 medley relay, which Alabama won last year on a huge final leg from now-departed Kristian Gkolomeev. Cal holds the top seed by eight tenths of a second.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event recaps in real-time from this morning’s NCAA heats, and follow @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for even more updates.

400 YARD IM – Prelims

  • NCAA record: 3:34.50 Chase Kalisz (Georgia) 3-28-2014
  • American record: 3:34.50 Chase Kalisz (Georgia) 3-28-2014
  • U.S. Open record: 3:34.50 Chase Kalisz (Georgia) 3-28-2014
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Josh Prenot (Cal) – 3:35.82

Maybe more so than any event, the 400 IM is about gamesmanship, with the top seeds doing only what it takes to get into the A final. That made this morning’s heat distribution very interesting – the first and last circle-seeded heats were a little thin on returning scorers, but the middle heat was loaded with 6 returning NCAA All-Americans.

That heat put up a crowd of top times, but it was final heat winner Chase Kalisz who is the top qualifier going into tonight. He took care of business, winning his heat easily in 3:37.18 and grabbing lane 4 for tonight. Kalisz will chase his own American record, plus try to regain control of the NCAA title after a redshirt last year and being upset by Will Licon the year before that.

Kalisz’s morning swim was the 10th-fastest all-time.

Georgia packed the A final with three swimmers – Jay Litherland came through with his patented massive last 100 (51.39 this morning) to win the first of the circle-seeded heats in 3:38.19. Meanwhile Gunnar Bentz closed hard in that loaded heat 2 to take the fourth seed overall in 3:38.62. Bentz almost ran down Florida’s Mark Szaranek for that heat win, but Szaranek, the co-200 IM champ last night, sits third in 3:38.55.

7 of the top 8 qualifiers broke 3:40 as the A final was very fast, but the B final actually took a little bit slower of a time to qualify than last year. Jon Roberts from Texas was 3:38.91 for fifth, Robert Owen of Virginia Tech 3:38.97 for sixth and Stanford’s Abrahm DeVine 3:39.44 for seventh.

Cal’s Andrew Seliskar snuck into his second A final of the week, going 3:40.64 for 8th.

Returning A finalist Sam McHugh missed the championship heat and almost the B final as well, sliding to 16th in 3:43.64.

Top 8:

  1. Kalisz, UGA – 3:37.18
  2. Litherland, UGA – 3:38.39
  3. Szaranek, FL – 3:38.55
  4. Bentz, UGA – 3:38.62
  5. Roberts, TX – 3:38.91
  6. Owen, VT – 3:38.97
  7. DeVine, Stan – 3:39.44
  8. Seliskar, Cal – 3:40.64

100 BUTTERFLY – Prelims

  • NCAA record: Joseph Schooling (Texas), 2016- 44.01
  • American record: Tom Shields (Cal), 2016- 43.84
  • U.S. Open record: Tom Shields (Cal), 2016- 43.84
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Joseph Schooling (Texas)- 44.01

We’ve got a list of stars lined up for tonight’s 100 fly final, led by Texas Longhorn Jack Conger – perhaps the best swimmer in this year’s NCAA meet to never win an individual title. Conger went 44.44 this morning to win his heat handily and take top billing.

In the very next heat, last night’s 50 free champ Caeleb Dressel went 44.49 to win the heat and take the second spot into the final. That’s a much better swim for Dressel than his 100 fly on the medley relay last night, which was 44.3 with a flying relay start.

And in the final heat of the morning, two-time defending champ Joseph Schooling went 44.97 for his own runaway win and the third spot in the prelim ranks. Schooling and Longhorn teammate Conger have been a dynamic duo throughout Texas’s run atop the NCAA and get their last head-to-head 100 fly battle (within the NCAA at least) tonight.

Conger and Dressel’s prelims swims stand up as the 5th- and 6th-fastest swims in history in the event.

NC State’s Ryan Held sits fourth – the Olympic sprinter traded the 200 free for this event this year, and should join the top three under 45 tonight after going a smooth 45.21 this morning.

Cal put a pair of flyers into the final to match Texas. Singaporean addition Zheng Wen Quah was fifth in 45.27 and former Division II powerhouse Matt Josa 45.31 for sixth. It’s an odd confluence of previous relationships tonight – Schooling and Dressel swam together in high school for the Bolles School Sharks club, and Schooling and Zheng are the top two swimmers internationally for Team Singapore.

Missouri’s Andrew Sansoucie is in this final along with Indiana’s Vini Lanza in a heat of guys who have all shown 44-second ability in the past.

The influx of new talent in this event (Held, Zheng and Josa are all new from last year’s field) means a number of A finalists failed to repeat in the top 8. That list includes Georgia’s Pace Clark (10th, 45.68), Cleveland State’s Philipp Sikatzki (20th, 45.99) and Alabama’s Luke Kaliszak (24th, 46.16).

Top 8:

  1. Conger, TX – 44.44
  2. Dressel, FL – 44.49
  3. Schooling, TX – 44.97
  4. Held, NC St – 45.21
  5. Zheng, Cal – 45.27
  6. Josa, Cal – 45.31
  7. Sansoucie, Mizz – 45.45
  8. Lanza, IU – 45.47

200 YARD FREESTYLE – Prelims

We’ve seen some blazing times out of this 200 free field so far this week, whether from the 800 free relay Wednesday or from these guys in the 500 free last night. But it was a pretty sleepy morning in this event time-wise, with most swimmers going very tactical and swimming only to get their hand on the wall in a top 8 position.

Last year’s champion and American record-break Townley Haas took the top spot in 1:31.97, still about a second and a half off his best. Haas was 1:30.4 in his relay split Wednesday, so expect a similar time in the big show tonight.

Haas topped the two standout leadoff legs from Wednesday night for the top qualifying spot. USC’s Dylan Carter was 1:32.17 and Indiana’s Blake Pieroni 1:32.42 for second and third, respectively. Carter went 1:30.95 and Pieroni 1:30.87 leading off the relays Wednesday and should push the pace again tonight.

Both freshman sensations from the conference rounds held up under the intense NCAA spotlight to make the A final. Arizona State’s Cameron Craig is 5th in 1:32.84 and Harvard’s Dean Farris 1:33.05 for 7th. Both were 1:31s last month.

NC State’s Soeren Dahl went 1:32.55 for the fourth spot. Florida got star freshman Maxime Rooney – the junior world record-holder in the long course version of this event – into the championship heat with a 1:32.88, and Wisconsin’s Brett Pinfold (1:33.21) is the last man in, topping Stanford’s Tom Kremer by just a tenth.

Very notable in this event: Texas’s Clark Smith scratched the race after winning the 500 free in an American record time last night. Smith was noticeably limping on his way to the awards podium after that 500 last night. His status for tomorrow’s 1650 free could still be up in the air.

A pair of 2016 A finalists for Florida missed the big heat this year. Jan Switkowski is 10th in 1:33.39, and Mitch D’Arrigo missed scoring entirely with a 1:33.89 that got him 19th. USC’s Reed Malone also had a rough swim, going 1:35.04 to take 32nd and miss his chance to reprise an A final spot.

Top 8:

  1. Haas, TX – 1:31.97
  2. Carter, USC – 1:32.17
  3. Pieroni, IU – 1:32.42
  4. Dahl, NC St – 1:32.55
  5. Craig, ASU – 1:332.84
  6. Rooney, FL – 1:32.88
  7. Farris, Harv – 1:33.05
  8. Pinfold, WI – 1:33.21

100 BREASTSTROKE – Prelims

  • NCAA: 50.04 3/28/2014 Kevin Cordes, Arizona
  • American: 50.04 3/28/2014 Kevin Cordes, Arizona
  • U. S. Open: 50.04 3/28/2014 Kevin Cordes, Arizona
  • Championship: 50.04 3/28/2014 Kevin Cordes, Arizona
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Fabian Schwingenschlogl, Missouri

A fast breaststroke field saw Will Licon move to #4 all-time with a 50.87. Licon – who won the 400 IM in 2015 and was second last year but swapped into the 100 breast this season – hit the 8th-fastest swim of all-time and now sits only behind Kevin Cordes, Cody Miller and Damir Dugonjic on the all-time list.

It took a quick 52.06 just to make the top 8 this season in a very deep field. Virginia Tech’s Brandon Fiala sits second in 51.30, which makes him #8 all-time. Cal’s Connor Hoppe followed up on his big relay split last night to go 51.50 for third, and Auburn’s Michael Duderstadt eked out fourth over defending champ Fabian Schwingenschlogl51.75 to 51.76.

South Carolina’s Nils Wich-Glasen makes a return trip to the A final after going 51.86. And challengers Carsten Vissering (USC) and Peter Kropp (Duke) join the A final after going 51.91 and 52.06, respectively.

The B final could be wild tonight, with just 0.3 seconds separating 9th place from 16th this morning.

Top 8:

  1. Licon, TX – 50.87
  2. Fiala, VT – 51.30
  3. Hoppe, Cal – 51.50
  4. Duderstadt, Aub – 51.75
  5. Schwingenschlogl, Mizz – 51.76
  6. Wich-Glasen, SC – 51.86
  7. Vissering, USC – 51.91
  8. Kropp, Duke – 52.06

100 BACKSTROKE – Prelims

Alabama’s Connor Oslin scratched the 100 fly this morning to focus on backstroke and it paid off in a big way. The senior went 44.59 to take the top spot in the 100 back as well as move to #5 all-time in the event.

He’s one of two Alabama swimmers in the A final, joining Luke Kaliszak, who was 45.25 for 6th.

John Shebat of Texas will sit second by just a few hundredths, going 44.63 this morning. Shebat was 44.58 on the medley relay last night and sits just a hundredth ahead of Osin for 4th all-time.

The #1 swimmer of all-time is Ryan Murphyand he qualified third in 44.78. He owns 5 of the 6 fastest swims of all-time, including his 44.32 from last night’s 400 medley relay, which sits 6th.

On the cusp of 44 this morning were USC’s Ralf Tribuntsov (45.00) and Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich (45.13).

Kaliszak sits a hundredth ahead of NC State’s Andreas Vazaios (45.46) for sixth. Behind them, we have a swim-off for 8th place between Penn State’s Shane Ryan and Georgia’s Taylor Dale, who tied at 45.27. Those two will go head-to-head after the session.

Dale already swam the 100 fly earlier today, and is a likely leg on the Bulldog 200 medley relay. That would make his swim-off his fourth race of the morning session, while Ryan only swam the backstroke this morning and won’t swim the relay as Penn State doesn’t have an entry. The winner of the swim-off will take lane 8 for the A final, while the loser will be relegated to the B final in 9th place.

Top 8:

  1. Oslin, BAMA – 44.59
  2. Shebat, TX – 44.63
  3. Murphy, Cal – 44.78
  4. Tribuntsov, USC – 45.00
  5. Tarasevich, LOU – 45.13
  6. Kaliszak, BAMA – 45.25
  7. Vazaios, NC St – 45.26
  8. T-8: Ryan, PSU – 45.27
  9. T-8: Dale, UGA – 45.27

200 MEDLEY RELAY – Prelims

  • NCAA record: 1:22.27, Michigan, 2013
  • American record: 1:22.40, California, 2015
  • U.S. Open record: 1:22.27, Michigan, 2013
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Alabama, 1:22.28

Texas took off with the top spot in the morning, going 1:23.17 and blowing out their seed time by a full second. The scary part is that every single leg could be much faster tonight. John Shebat was 21.02 on backstroke, one of the top splits of the morning. Will Licon went 23.31, which is actually a tenth slower than the first 50 of his 100 split on the 400 medley relay last night. Joseph Schooling was 20.03 (his best split is 19.36 from last year) and Brett Ringgold 18.81.

Cal sits second in 1:23.27, today swimming a bit closer to their best lineup after almost missing the final in the 400 medley yesterday. Ryan Murphy led off in 20.79, though he could be closer to his lifetime-best 20.2 tonight. Connor Hoppe went 23.03 on breast, Matt Josa 20.38 on fly and Pawel Sendyk 19.08.

Missouri had another nice prelims swim, getting a 22.9 breaststroke from Fabian SchwingenschloglIronically, it probably takes swim fans longer to figure out how to pronounce his last name than it does for him to swim a 50 breaststroke. Andrew Sansoucie split 20.30 on fly and Michael Chadwick was 18.59 on freestyle as Mizzou went 1:23.29.

Florida was headlined by Caeleb Dressels 17.71 anchor leg, which holds up as the fastest 50 free relay split in history. Dressel had previously tied with Vlad Morozov at 17.86 after SECs, but Dressel blew that time out of the water this morning with his 17.71. Only Dressel and Morozov have ever broken the 18-second barrier, and Dressel has now done it four times: twice at SECs (17.90 and 17.86) and twice at NCAAs (17.99 on Thursday and 17.71 this morning). It was in this very same pool in 2013 that Morozov first broke the barrier.

NC State is into the final in 1:23.53. Ryan Held crushed an 18.26 on the anchor leg and Andreas Vazaios was 21.02 on backstroke.

Louisville (1:23.87), Alabama (1:23.93) and Stanford (1:23.97) all made the A final. Louisville had the field’s best fly split on a 19.97 from Josh Quallen. Alabama’s Connor Oslin had one of the better backstroke splits with 20.83, and Stanford ducked into the A final with Andrew Liang going 20.09 on fly for one of the top splits.

The other notable split was Ralf Tribuntsov‘s 20.75 backstroke for USC. That was the best in the field (faster than Murphy in the same heat) and USC took 9th.

Top 8:

  1. Texas – 1:23.17
  2. California – 1:23.27
  3. Missouri – 1:23.29
  4. Florida – 1:23.37
  5. NC State – 1:23.53
  6. Louisville – 1:23.87
  7. Alabama – 1:23.93
  8. Stanford – 1:23.97

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Hook em


Plenty of depth and lots of speed today, could shape up to be the most exciting day of competition in terms of pure racing!


Go Dean!


What is it, Spring Break for the Ivy’s? All the up-votes.

Attila the Runt

Pretty rough morning for the messiah. Added 1.5 sec in both events.


hardly, since he;s sitting in finals. But yeah, it’s a tough double in the best of times, especially on a second taper.


He said in an interview he’s recovering from a virus

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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