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

2017 MEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

The final day of the 2017 NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships starts this morning at 10am with four individual events and a relay, plus timed finals of the 1650 beginning mid-afternoon.

While the Texas Longhorns have a nearly insurmountable lead at this point, other teams will be jockeying for the remaining places, and this morning will go a long way in determining where teams will end up.

Each of the first four events this morning features the reigning NCAA champion and US Open record holder.  Things will kick off in the 200 back, where California senior Ryan Murphy is the favorite and should finish his college career going eight-for-eight in the two backstroke events.  This morning Murphy will swim in heat 5, where he’ll be right next to Texas sophomore John Shebat, who has been looking very sharp in the shorter backstroke distances, and now ranks #3 all-time in the 100 back.

From there we’ll see the heats of the 100 free.  The Longhorns have some strong entries in this field including two-time 200 free champion Townley Haas, another Texas sophomore, who is getting a chance to see what he can do here after scoring in the mile last year.  Yet, the big players in this event figure to three other Olympic gold medalists: NC State junior Ryan Held, Indiana junior Blake Pieroni, and Florida junior Caeleb Dressel.  The latter is, of course, the fastest man ever in this event, we could see the first sub-40 swim in this event today.

Texas senior Will Licon will be going for his third win of the meet and his third-straight title in the 200 breast beginning this morning.  As in the first two events, it’s hard to imagine anyone seriously challenging for the win here, although fellow seniors Anton McKee of Alabama, Fabian Schwingenschlogl of Missouri, and Brandon Fiala of Virginia Tech hope to stay with Licon, and they could push him to the first sub 1:48 swim ever.

Individual events will wrap up this morning with the 200 fly.  Texas junior Joseph Schooling is looking for his third-straight title, and his first title of the week after being upset by Dressel last night in a thrilling 100 fly battle.  Fellow Longhorn, senior Jack Conger, took 3rd in that event, and he is still looking for his first individual NCAA title.  It should be Conger versus Schooling tonight, but California sophomore Andrew Seliskar could push way into the top two.  He finished third last year, and took 2nd in the 400 IM yesterday with a swim that put him ahead of Michael Phelps in the all-time list in that event.

Last this morning will be the heats of the 400 free relay.  A big question here will be just who ends up on this relay as we approach the end of a grueling week of swimming.  Surely Texas would love to rest Conger and Schooling, but when they did that last year, they nearly missed the A-final, sneaking in with an 8th-place finish in prelims.  Assuming there are no big misses out of prelims, tonight we should see a tight three-way battle between Florida, NC State, and Texas.

200 BACKSTROKE

Like every other event, we’ve seen the time it takes to make finals drop by some pretty large chunks, and that was evident this morning as swimmers stepped on the gas early.  Swimming in heat one, Harvard freshman Dean Farris blasted a 1:39.99 out of the very first heat to set the pace early on.  Heat two featured a duel between Georgia senior Taylor Dale and Stanford sophomore Abrahm DeVine, with Dale winning the heat 1:40.03 to 1:40.54.  Patrick Mulcare, the USC sophomore, dropped the 2nd sub-1:40 swim of the morning, leading heat three with a 1:38.56.  Virginia Tech senior Robert Owen put down the third 1:40-point swim of the morning in the same heat.

Louisville senior Grigory Tarasevich took the fourth heat with a 1:38.74, with Texas junior Jonathan Roberts and Alabama senior Connor Oslin both touching in 1:39s.  In the final heat, Texas sophomore John Shebat shot out to an early lead, but both Anton Loncar of Denver and Ryan Murphy of California closed on him as the race continued.  Murphy would eventually pass Shebat, touching in 1:38.22, with Shebat finishing in 1:38.67 and Loncar in 1:39.29.

Last year’s 3rd-place finisher in this event, Hennessey Stuart of NC State, finished 21st this morning and will not making it back.

Top Eight:

  1. Ryan Murphy, California, 1:38.22
  2. Patrick Mulcare, Southern California, 1:38.56
  3. John Shebat, Texas, 1:38.67
  4. Grigory Tarasevich, Louisville, 1:38.74
  5. Jonathan Roberts, Texas, 1:39.05
  6. Anton Loncar, Denver, 1:39.29
  7. Carter Griffin, Missouri, 1:39.46
  8. Connor Oslin, Alabama, 1:39.83

100 FREESTYLE

The USC Trojans are looking like they could now be towards the top of the list for favorites in the 400 free relay after putting two men in the top eight, and picking up another B-finalist this morning.  Junior Ralf Tribuntsov won heat three with a 42.33, a time that would hold up through the next three heats to finish 12th overall.  But it was the very next heat where teammate Santo Condorelli showed that he was ready to get things moving after a pretty quiet meet for him so far.  The Trojan junior blasted a 19.66 going out, en route to a very strong 41.92.

Heat five featured a battle between two NC State swimmers and two Texas swimmers, with junior Ryan Held of the Wolfpack prevailing in 41.34, but Stanford junior Sam Perry (41.77) and Texas junior Brett Ringgold (41.96) also advanced to the A-final, with Townley Haas (Texas) and Justin Ress (NC State) both making the B-final as well.

Blake Pieroni of the Indiana Hoosiers took heat six in 41.89, while Caeleb Dressel surprised no one to take the morning’s top time with a 41.00 to win heat seven.  Missouri senior Michael Chadwick and USC junior Dylan Carter also made the A-final with swims of 41.58 and 41.73 in that heat, respectively.

Top Eight:

  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida, 41.00
  2. Ryan Held, NC State, 41.34
  3. Michael Chadwick, Missouri, 41.58
  4. Dylan Carter, Southern California, 41.73
  5. Sam Perry, Stanford, 41.77
  6. Blake Pieroni, Indiana, 41.89
  7. Santo Condorelli, Southern California, 41.92
  8. Brett Ringgold, Texas, 41.96

200 BREASTSTROKE

  • 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

Other than a few disqualifications in heats two and three, things were a little sleepy in this event until Virginia Tech senior Brandon Fiala and Texas A&M junior Mauro Castillo dueled it out in heat four, with Castillo storming down the stretch to win the heat, 52.01 to 52.52.  Both of those times would easily make the A-final.

Heat five featured Alabama senior Anton McKee winning in 1:51.99, with no one too close to him.  There was some other drama, though, as Georgia Tech junior Moises Loschi taking a long pause after the third 50, possibly thinking that the race was over, and Fabian Schwingenschlogl touching in 1:57.53, well off his seed time.  The Missouri senior looked to be in a lot of pain after the race, taking a while to exit the pool.

Texas senior Will Licon looks ready to to demolish his own US Open this evening.  He didn’t appear to take a hard stroke this morning, cruising to a 1:49.80.

Tonight’s A-final will continue a trend we’ve noticed over the past few years, as this event will feature more less swimmers from the very top tier of schools than is usual.  Marat Amaltidov of Purdue, Nils Wich-Glasen of South Carolina both made the A-final alongside Licon in heat six, and Trent Jackson of Notre Dame made the top eight swimming out of heat five.

Top Eight:

  1. Will Licon, Texas, 1:49.80
  2. Anton McKee, Alabama, 1:51.99
  3. Mauro Castillo, Texas A&M, 1:52.01
  4. Brandon Fiala, Virginia Tech, 1:52.52
  5. Marat Amaltidov, Purdue, 1:52.79
  6. Nils Wich-Glasen, South Carolina, 1:53.04
  7. Carlos Claverie, Louisville, 1:53.45
  8. Trent Jackson, Notre Dame, 1:53.58

200 YARD BUTTERFLY

Georgia junior Gunnar Bentz propelled himself to an A-final spot with a 1:40.61 in heat three.  He had to hold South Carolina distance star Fynn Minuth, who actually started more as a butterflier, and Towson sophomore Jack Saunderson, who gave Bentz a tight race for most of the distance, with Saunderson touching 2nd in 1:41.84 and Minuth in 1:42.10.

Chase Kalisz gave the Bulldogs two heats in a row, as he held off NC State’s Andreas Vazaios to touch in almost the exact same time as Bentz, a 1:41.62 in this case.  Vazaios made his third A-final for the Wolfpack, touching in 1:40.77.

Heat five featured a loaded field, but the most shocking thing was that Texas junior Joseph Schooling, the fastest man ever in this event, will not make either final.  Schooling appeared behind from the start, and at first it looked like it might have merely been saving energy, but when he still a couple body lengths behind at the 150 mark, it was clear that something was up.  No word yet on what might have happened there.  Instead, the heat went to Cal’s Zheng Quah, who won with a 1:40.44 over Pace Clark of Georgia (1:40.98).

Schooling’s miss may open the door tonight for teammate Jack Conger, who took the top seed of the morning with a 1:39.88 out of heat six.  Finishing 2nd in the heat was Cal sophomore Andrew Seliskar, touching in 1:41.16.  Arizona junior Justin Wright will also advance to the A-final after touching in 1:41.38.

Top Eight:

  1. Jack Conger, Texas, 1:39.88
  2. Zheng Quah, California, 1:40.44
  3. Gunnar Bentz, Georgia, 1:40.61
  4. Chase Kalisz, Georgia, 1:40.62
  5. Andreas Vazaois, NC State, 1:40.77
  6. Pace Clark, Georgia, 1:40.98
  7. Andrew Seliskar, California, 1:41.16
  8. Justin Wright, Arizona, 1:41.38

400 YARD FREESTYLE RELEAY

  • 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)

There was plenty of excitement in the final race of the morning.  We’ll start with the final heat, where the Longhorns bucked the trend of swimming your top four guys in prelims, and rested both Jack Conger and Joseph Schooling, which probably was the plan even before Schooling’s performance in the 200 fly.  Texas was in 8th after the first 100, and for a few seconds it looked like the presumptive team champions might be on the verge of missing the A-final.  But the Longhorns quickly closed the gap and took the win in 3:47.78, thanks to a trio of 41-something splits by Brett Ringgold, Tate Jackson, and Townley Haas.  Throw in Jack Conger tonight instead of Nichols, and the ‘Horns could be challenging both the American and NCAA championship records, even without Schooling.

There were 41 splits everywhere this morning.  Caeleb Dressel anchored Florida’s relay in 40.67 against Haas, and the Gator’s had the 2nd-fastest time of the morning in 2:47.90.  Stanford also advanced to the championship final out of the same heat, thanks largely to a 41.71 leadoff by Sam Perry.

The third heat had featured a three-way battle between NC State, California, and Arizona State.  Ryan Held scorched a 41.01 split against Ryan Murphy‘s 41.40, as the Wolfpack just touched out the Golden Bears 2:49.34 to 2:49.58.  The Sun Devils also will swim in the championship final tonight, their first relay A-final of the week.

USC looks really good after going two up, one down, in the 100 free this morning, and throwing down a 2:48.17, thanks to a great leadoff by Condorelli and a pair of 41s by Tribuntsov and Carter.  Indiana also made the A-final, finishing 2nd to USC in heat two with a 2:49.62.

 

1650 YARD FREESTYLE

  • 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

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Louisiana swimmer

Hook em

Huh?

Yup

Pvdh

Don’t think Schooling is gonna let the 200 fly go after losing the 100. Sorry conger…

Kaez

sorry,
schooling didnt even make finals

Dawgpaddle

Sad unless he is sick….looks like he quit.

SwimSwim13

LOL, think his 1:45 will make the race close??

ORRDU1

He didn’t crack Top 30?!

Wahooswimfan

Looks like he has been enjoying his million $ plus in Singapore prize money for the Olympic gold a bit too much.

taa

too much golf and not enough swim

bobo gigi

Last chance for Conger.
And the 100 free. It’s gonna be explosive.

AvidSwimFan

Conger was always gonna have to fight for it. Let’s see if he has it in him.

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