2017 Men’s NCAA Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


The 2017 NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships wrap up tonight, and we think it’s fair to say that we could see US Open or American records fall in almost every event in front of a pretty thick crowd of fans cheering on their teams.

We’ll kick off with the fastest heat of the mile, where Michigan freshman Felix Auboeck will be swimming in lane four, but should be pushed by Texas senior Clark Smith, who swam the fastest 500 ever Thursday night.  From there Cal senior Ryan Murphy is looking for a clean sweep of backstroke races over his NCAA career with a win in the 200 back.  We’re pretty sure that Caeleb Dressel swam the most relaxed 41.00 anyone has ever seen this morning, and swims fans are salivating over the prospect of Dressel being over a second faster than that.

In similar fashion, Texas senior Will Licon didn’t look like he took a hard stroke as he cruised to a 1:49.80 in the 200 breast this morning, setting up what could be a historic swim in that event as well. The last individual event will be the 200 fly, which now appears to be a little more open after two-time defending champion Joseph Schooling shockingly didn’t make it out of prelims.  His teammate Jack Conger, the runner-up the past two years, is surely hoping to parlay Schooling’s absence into his first individual NCAA title, but he’ll have some challengers with four other men under the 1:41 mark this morning.

It’s not as if the Longhorns really need Schooling’s points, however.  If our math is correct, Texas could’ve headed home to Austin this afternoon and still had enough of a lead to secure the title.  Still, the teams below them will have a lot on the line in these evening swims as they jockey for position.  That jockeying should continue through the 400 free relay where Texas is the top seed, but Florida and Southern California were not too far behind them.

In terms of team rankings, Cal should have 2nd place pretty well tied up, but Florida and NC State will be dueling for 3rd, while Stanford, Southern California and Georgia will be vying to move up as well.

Scores heading into the evening session (not counting 1650s):
1. Texas 391.5
2. California 253
3. Florida 224.5
4. NC State 196
5. Indiana 189.5
6. Stanford 160
7. Southern Cali 142.5
8. Georgia 141
9. Missouri 135.5
10. Louisville 102.5


  • NCAA record: 14:24.08, Martin Grodzki, Georgia, 2012
  • American record: 14:23.52, Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine, 2014
  • U.S. Open record: 14:23.52, Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine, 2014
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: 14:31.54, Chris Swanson, Pennsylvania

Early heats recap:

Wisconsin’s Matt Hutchins had the fastest time from the early heats, taking the heat 4 with a 14:31.19.  That’s almost two seconds faster than the time from this 3rd place finish last year, and faster than last year’s winning time.  Stanford freshman Grant Shoults knocked over fourteen seconds off his seed time with a 14:35.82 out of heat 3.  Florida senior Mitch D’Arrigo was the only other man under 14:40 so far, touching in 14:38.40 in the same heat as Hutchins.

The final heat promised to be exciting, as it featured a loaded field, and sure enough this was, as announcer Sam Kendriks called it, “the greatest 1650 in history.”  Sure enough, Texas senior Clark Smith and Northwestern senior Jordan Wilimovsky, both USA Olympians, were ahead of US Open and American record pace at the 500, but PJ Ransford and Felix Auboeck kept it close, with Ransford taking the lead by the halfway point and moving ahead of the record pace himself.

At the 1000, Ransford was a body length ahead of the field and still ahead of pace, with Smith, Auboeck and Wilimovsky close together and battling for 2nd.  The leaders would continue to hold that pattern for a few more laps, while South Carolina’s Akaram Mahmoud began to move up on that group out of lane eight.

Wilimovsky took the lead at 1300 and was a second under record pace at the 1350.   By the 1400 mark, all five of the aforementioned men were in a line together, and it looked like the race would belong to whomever could push it coming up.  Ransford began to fall off the pace, but the final were laps were absolutely insane, with the lead changing back and forth, but Smith took the lead with about a 100 to go, and held on to the lead, touching in 14:22.41 and setting a new US Open, American, and NCAA record.  Smith was barely able to climb out of the pool and had to be helped off the deck.

Auboeck, Mahmoud, and Wilimovsky were all under the previous mark of 14:23.52, which was set by Connor Jaeger at the 2014 USA Winter National Championships.

Top Eight:

  1. Clark Smith, Texas, 14:22.41
  2. Felix Auboeck, Michigan, 14:22.80
  3. Akaram Mahmoud, South Carolina, 14:22.99
  4. Jordan Wilimovsky, Northwestern, 14:23.45
  5. Matt Hutchins, Wisconsin, 14:31.19
  6. PJ Ransford, Michigan, 14:32.35
  7. Anton Ipsen, NC State, 14:34.85
  8. Grant Shoults, Stanford, 14:35.82

200 BACKSTROKE – Finals

Top 3:

  1. Ryan Murphy, California, 1:36.75
  2. John Shebat, Texas, 1:37.24
  3. Patrick Mulcare, Southern California, 1:37.80

Ryan Murphy got his eight-peat, but John Shebat made Cal fans sweat a little.  Shebat looked up to pop up ahead of Murphy off the start, touched first at the 50, and had roughly half a body length lead on Murphy at the 100.  Shebat held that lead through the lap, but Murphy and USC’s Patrick Mulcare began closing on Shebat going into the seventh length.  Murphy would take Shebat on the turn and continue to accelerate through the final length, eventually winning in 1:36.75, the 2nd-fastest swim of all time.  Shebat would hold off Mulcare, 1:37.24 to 1:37.80, with both of those times cracking the top ten performances all time.

Murphy’s swim made him only the 4th man in NCAA history go eight-for-eight in NCAA victories across the 100 and 200 of any one stroke, joining all-time greats John Nabor (back), Pablo Morales (fly), and Brendan Hansen (breast).

Alabama senior Connor Oslin closed hard to take 4th ahead of Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich, 1;39.23 to 1:39.73. Carter Griffin (1:40.20), Anton Loncar (1:40.64), and Jonathan Roberts (1:41.35) rounded out the field.

100 FREESTYLE – Finals

Top 3:

  1. Caeleb Dressel, 40.00
  2. Michael Chadwick, 40.95
  3. Ryan Held, 41.21

So close, and yet so far.  Caeleb Dressel swam the fastest 100 free we’ve ever seen by 0.46 seconds, touching in exactly 40.00 and coming tantalizingly close to cracking that seemingly impossible barrier.

An incredible field finished behind Dressel, with all eight men once again finishing under 42 seconds.  Leading the way was Missouri senior Michael Chadwick, whose 40.95 now makes him the 4th-fastest ever in the event and was the 6th-fastest performance ever.  NC State junior Ryan Held touched in 41.21, moving up him to 7th-fastest ever in the event.

The rest of the field touched within 0.09 of each other.  USC junior Dylan Carter touched in 41.76, while teammate Santo Condorelli and Longhorn Brett Ringgold tied for 5th with 41.77.  Sam Perry of Stanford and Blake Pieroni of Indiana rounded finished in 41.80 and 41.85 respectively.

It doesn’t look like this event will get any easier next year, as seven of the eight A-finalists are juniors, with Chadwick the only senior.

Score update:

1. Texas 462
2. California 273
3. Florida 253.5
4. NC State 234.5
5. Indiana 200.5
6. Stanford 198
7. Southern Cali 189
8. Missouri 165.5
9. Univ of Georgia 152
10. Louisville 123.5


  • NCAA record: 1:48.12 Will Licon (Texas) 3-26-2016
  • American record: 1:48.12 Will Licon (Texas) 3-26-2016
  • U.S. Open record: 1:48.12 Will Licon (Texas) 3-26-2016
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: Will Licon (Texas) – 1:48.12

Top 3:

  1. Will Licon, Texas, 1:47.91
  2. Anton McKee, Alabama, 1:51.22
  3. Mauro Castillo, Texas A&M, 1:52.09

Another race, another record.  Like we said, Will Licon appeared to be on cruise control this morning and primed for a record tonight.  Sure enough, the Longhorn went out under record pace, built a body length lead by the 100, and took down his own US Open, American, and NCAA record with a 1:47.91, becoming the first man to break the 1:48.00 barrier.  Licon now has five of the ten fastest times in history in this event.  Kevin Cordes has four, while Josh Prenot has one.

Alabama senior Anton McKee held down the 2nd position from wire-to-wire, ultimately touching in 1:51.22, a time that makes him the 9th-fastest performer ever in the event.  Three men jockeyed for 3rd place behind McKee.  Virginia Tech’s Brandon Fiala was 3rd at the 50, but was overtaken by South Carolina’s Nils Wich-Glasen at the halfway point.  He himself was run down by Texas A&M junior Mauro Castillo, who held on to take 3rd in 1:52.09.  Fiala would eventually finish 4th in 1:52.71, while Wich-Glasen took 6th in 1:52.87.  Between them was Louisville’s Carlos Claverie (1:52.81), while Marat Amaltdinov of Purude and Trent Jackson of Notre Dame finished 7th and 8th in 1:53.04 and 1:55.24, respectively.


Senior Jack Conger earned his first individual title in the last individual race of his NCAA career, and he did it in record fashion, setting the fourth US Open and American Record of the evening.  Conger went out in 21.65, way ahead of record pace, built a body length lead by the 150, and ultimately touched in 1:37.35, over six-tenths faster than the previous US Open Record, set by Conger’s Texas teammate Joseph Schooling at last year’s NCAA.

California swimmer Zheng Quah and Andrew Seliskar ran 2nd and 3rd behind Conger for most of the race.  Quah held his place, touching in 1:38.83, which makes him the 3rd-fastest swimmer ever, behind only Conger and Schooling.  Georgia junior Gunnar Bentz is known for strong final 50s no matter what the event, stormed home in 25.25, almost a second faster than anyone else in the field, to pick up 3rd in 1:40.07.  Teammate Pace Clark touched in 1:40.41, followed by NC State’s Andreas Vazaois in 1:40.80.  Seliskar’s faded to 6th, finishing in 1:40.91.  Arizona’s Justin Wright took 7th in 1:40.94, while Georgia’s Chase Kalisz was disqualified for a false start.

Team Scores Including Platform

1. Texas 502
2. California 319
3. Florida 260.5
4. NC State 248.5
5. Stanford 214
6. Indiana 207.5
7. Southern Cali 205
8. Univ of Georgia 183
9. Missouri 165.5
10. Louisville 143.5

Heading into the final relay, Texas and California have secured 1st and 2nd place finishes.  Florida will be 3rd, baring a some going awfully wrong in the final relay, in which case NC State could jump ahead of them.  Spots #5-7 will come down to the relay.  If Stanford, Indiana, and USC, finish where they did in prelims, then there won’t be a change in team standings, but Stanford slipping could allow USC to pass them.  Missouri will need to win the B-final to overtake Georgia for 8th.


  • NCAA record: 2:46.03, Auburn, 02-21-2009
  • American record: 2:47.02, Texas, 03-28-2009
  • U.S. Open record:2:46.03, Auburn, 02-21-2009
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: NC State (2:46.81)

Top 3:

  1. Texas, 2:45.39
  2. Florida, 2:46.21
  3. Southern California, 2:47.33

Wow.  The Longhorns have been rolling all week, and they wrapped up things nicely with a new US Open record.  Joseph Schooling was reportedly sick this week, and missed the 200 fly final, but managed to throw down a 41.02 split to overcome the Florida Gators and touch in 2:45.39, the fastest swim ever.  Since Schooling represents Singapore internationally, the American Record of 2:47.02 still stands.

The Gators led off with Caeleb Dressel, whose 40.48 ranks as the 3rd-fastest swim ever, and put Florida in the lead through the 300, despite the next two Longhorns outsplitting the 2nd and 3rd Gator legs.  Ultimately, Florida touched in 2:46.21, just off the US Open record themselves

It was a Pac 12 show from places 3 through 6.  Third pace went to a Southern Cal team that has been red hot this week, with three of four legs going under 42 to touch in 2:47.33.  The Golden Bears took 4th, with a 41.73 split by Ryan Murphy leading the way on his last NCAA swim ever.  Stanford’s Sam Perry led off with a 41.77, the second time today he hit the mark, with another two swims today at 41.71 and 41.80, as the Cardinal took 5th in 2:48.80.

Arizona State dropped some time from this morning, finishing 6th in 2:49.00, thanks to a 42.29 leadoff by Cameron Craig and a 41.80 anchor by Richard Bohus.  The Sun Devils beat out a Wolfpack squad renowned for its sprinting, as NC State was just 42 split short, despite Ryan Held‘s 41.36 lead off time.  ASU finished in 2:49.00, NC State in 2:49.09  Indiana closed things out with a 2:49.53, led by a 41.91 split by Blake Pieroni.

Final Scores

1. Texas 542
2. California 349
3. Florida 294.5
4. NC State 272.5
5. Stanford 242
6. Southern Cali 237
7. Indiana 229.5
8. Univ of Georgia 183
9. Missouri 179.5
10. Alabama 153.5
11. Louisville 143.5
12. Auburn 127.5
13. Purdue 106.5
14. Arizona State 100
15. South Carolina 99
16. Texas A&M 87
17. Michigan 82
18. Wisconsin 63
19. Ohio St 58.5
20. Tennessee 55
21. University of Miami 51
22. Virginia Tech 48
23. Minnesota 43
24. Arizona 36.5
25. Notre Dame 29
26. Lsu 28
27. Harvard 24
28. Penn St 23
28. Northwestern 23
30. Denver 19
31. Florida State 16 32. Duke 12
33. George Washington 9 34. Pittsburgh 8
35. Cornell 7 36. UNC 6
37. Kentucky 4
38. University of Wyoming 3
39. Hawaii 2
39. Penn 2
39. Missouri State 2
42. Towson 1
42. Yale 1

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4 years ago

Good luck today, senpais!
(P.S. plz take a look at my waifu wall and give suggestions!!! Arigato-desu!) (´・ω・`)

Reply to  Onii-chan
4 years ago

Imgur link bcuz SwimSwam is a baka website!

Reply to  Onii-chan
4 years ago

40.00… Dressel-senpai. Do you ever think God stays in heaven because he too, fears what he has created?

outside smoke
Reply to  Onii-chan
4 years ago

love this one

Reply to  Onii-chan
4 years ago

God there is nothing better than reading your comments.
Also Kurumi deserves better than adrian san

4 years ago

I am literally posting this only to ensure that “Hook Em” is not the first comment. KAPOOYA KAPOOYA

Reply to  Meistro
4 years ago

Dang I forgot.

Hook Em

4 years ago

Let’s go King CONG. It’s time. Hook Em!

Attila the Runt
Reply to  Bobthebuilderrocks
4 years ago

Yeah, break the record on the way out the door. Would be a nice finish.

4 years ago

Alright bby, let’s see some magic

4 years ago

Is there a timeline anywhere?

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
4 years ago


Wild Bill
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
4 years ago


4 years ago

Any steaming of ESP3 online without cable login?

Reply to  PsychoDad
4 years ago

I never had to log in, so i dont think you need cable?

Reply to  Meistro
4 years ago

Meistro – I believe that many services have gotten better at detecting when you’re on your home internet linked to an approved cable account. I know I don’t have to log in anymore, it recognizes my AT&T account because it’s tied to my cable account.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

That’s how mine works. It recognizes my home internet and logs me in automatically. You do need cable subscription or sling TV to have access to ESPN3.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

I don’t have cable either, so not sure how i was able to watch it on my computer.

4 years ago

NC State is the kind of team that asks what your best time is in the ready room

4 years ago

NC State is the kind of team that pushes off two seconds after you instead of 5