2018 Men’s NCAA Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


A year of speculation, storylines and game-changing swims comes to a head tonight, as the NCAA men’s champion will be crowned in Minneapolis. It’s been an explosive four days in perhaps the most exciting NCAA Championships in memory, and tonight should prove no less enthralling.

At the top: the team battle. Indiana leads by 19 after night 3, with Texas second and Cal third. All three teams earned a number of scoring chances this morning, and it looks like things could come right down to the 400 free relay.

Current scores:

  1. Indiana – 325
  2. Texas – 306
  3. California – 291.5
  4. NC State – 252
  5. Florida 246

Tonight’s finals session starts with the fastest 8 seeds in the mile, including two of the four swimmers in the incredible four-way race for last year’s title. Those two are Michigan’s Felix Auboeck and South Carolina’s Akaram Mahmoudbut the top seed is NC State’s Anton Ipsen.

Then we’ll get a wide-open 200 back, unpredictable as anything after last night’s 100 back came down to just .01. 100 back runner-up John Shebat is the top qualifier for Texas, with teammates Jonathan Roberts and Austin Katz in tow. Denver’s Anton Loncar is the 2-seed.

In the 100 free, we get to see Caeleb Dressel go after the first sub-40 swim in history, and he’s followed by the #6 and #7 swimmers of all-time in Ryan Held and Blake Pieroni.

The 200 breast features last night’s 49-second man Ian Finnerty of Indiana at the top, with Cal’s best shot at an individual title, Andrew Seliskar, sitting second. Finally, the 200 fly is topped right now by NC State’s Andreas Vazaiosbut Florida’s 200 IM champ Jan Switkowski is lurking.

The night will also feature platform diving, where defending champ David Dinsmore of Miami will go head to head with top prelims qualifier Jordan Windle of Texas.

The night ends with the 400 free relay, where NC State returns after breaking the American, NCAA and U.S. Open records this morning without even using their best lineup.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from Minneapolis. And stay tuned to @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for even more up-to-the-second coverage.

1650 FREESTYLE – Final Heat, Timed Finals

  • NCAA record: Clark Smith (Texas), 2017, 14:22.41
  • American record: Zane Grothe, 2017, 14:18.25
  • U.S. Open record: Zane Grothe, 2017, 14:18.25
  • 2017 NCAA Champion: Clark Smith (Texas), 14:22.41

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Anton Ipsen, NC State – 14:24.43
  2. Felix Auboeck, Michigan – 14:29.42
  3. Nick Norman, Cal – 14:30.82
  4. Zach Yeadon, Notre Dame – 14:35.98
  5. Marcelo Acosta, Louisville – 14:38.22
  6. PJ Ransford, Michigan – 14:38.23
  7. Ricardo Vargas, Michigan – 14:40.27
  8. True Sweetser, Stanford – 14:40.48

NC State’s Anton Ipsen went out fast, burning out the rest of the field until he was alone out front. Michigan’s Felix Auboeck fought him hard for much of the way, but eventually fell off and settled for secon din 14:29.42.

Cal’s Nick Norman came through with a massive swim to keep his Golden Bears in the hunt. Norman added more than 30 seconds last year and was almost dead last, but this year he blasted his way to bronze in 14:30.82 – almost a full minute faster than he was last season. Moving up three spots gained 3 points for Cal, who need every point to try to run down the top two teams.

Notre Dame’s Zach Yeadon closed hard to take fourth in 14:35.98, and Louisville’s Marcelo Acosta was fifth in 14:38.22. His time barely beat the top afternoon heat swimmer by .01 – that was Michigan’s PJ Ransford. Michigan has three inside the top 8, with Ricardo Vargas going 14:40.27 for seventh. Stanford’s True Sweetser took 8th, also out of the early heats.

Cal ultimately gained two more points than they were seeded to here, and now sit second, just 11.5 points behind Indiana. Texas is still 19 back of IU and 7.5 behind Cal.

Top 8 swimmers from afternoon heats:

  1. PJ Ransford, Michigan 14:38.23
  2. True Sweetser, Stanford – 14:40.48
  3. Ben Lawless, Florida 14:42.88
  4. Sean Grieshop, Cal – 14:42.97
  5. Blake Manganiello, Florida – 14:44.72
  6. Jacob Wielinski, Missouri – 14:44.75
  7. Logan Houck, Harvard 14:45.41
  8. Liam Egan, Stanford 14:46.59

PJ Ransford, 6th overall last year, swam a 14:38.23 out of the third afternoon heat to take over as the time to beat going into tonight’s final heat. That time would have taken 10th last year, but it will be 9th at worst this season, with 8 swimmers yet to swim in the timed final race tonight.

The 8 swimmers listed above will be guaranteed to score tonight.

200 BACKSTROKE – Finals

  • NCAA record: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 2016, 1:35.73
  • American record: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 2016, 1:35.73
  • U.S. Open record: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 2016, 1:35.73
  • 2017 NCAA Champion: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 1:36.75

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Austin Katz, Texas – 1:37.53
  2. John Shebat, Texas – 1:37.94
  3. Patrick Mulcare, USC – 1:38.43
  4. Bryce Mefford, Cal – 1:38.48
  5. Jonathan Roberts, Texas – 1:38.64
  6. Anton Loncar, Denver – 1:39.15
  7. Dean Farris, Harvard – 1:40.37
  8. Abrahm Devine, Stanford – 1:41.99

Texas teammates went 1-2 in the 200 back, with freshman Austin Katz closing hard to finish in 1:37.53. John Shebat was out fast but had to settle for 2nd place for the fourth-consecutive backstroke race after two runner-up finishes last year and a second place last night. Shebat was 1:37.94.

USC’s Patrick Mulcare jumped up to third in 1:38.43, and Cal’s Bryce Mefford jumped up two spots in 1:38.48. That means Cal added four points from seeds in this event after jumping up two from seeds in the mile.

Texas’s Jonathan Roberts fell to fifth, but Texas still hit their exact seeded points. In the B final, Ryan Harty held his spot as well.

Denver’s Anton Loncar was the last guy under 1:40 in the A final.

The B final went to Georgia’s Javier Acevedo, who was 1:39.06. Cal’s Daniel Carr moved up again, going 1:39.29 for 10th overall.

The 3-man final brought Texas up to first place at 360 points, but they’ll struggle more in the last two races. Cal is second in 335.5, with Indiana sitting at 327. IU’s Mohamed Samy fell to 15th in the B heat, losing two points from seed.

100 FREESTYLE – Finals

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida – 39.90
  2. Ryan Held, NC State – 41.08
  3. Justin Ress, NC State – 41.49
  4. Blake Pieroni, Indiana – 41.51
  5. Jacob Molacek, NC State – 41.55
  6. Townley Haas, Texas – 41.67
  7. Tate Jackson, Texas – 41.81
  8. Santo Condorelli, USC – 42.34

Florida’s Caeleb Dressel did it one more time, breaking the 40-second barrier for the first time in history with a 39.90 to win his last individual title of a storied NCAA career. Dressel was out in 18.9 to his feet and returned in 20.9 to finish that 39-second swim.

NC State had a killer showing behind Dressel’s spectacle. Ryan Held was 41.08, dropping a hundredth from this morning’s relay split to move up and tie Nathan Adrian for #5 all-time in the event. Interestingly enough, Adrian was on hand to present the medals in this race.

Held’s teammate Justin Ress was third in 41.49 and will be the fastest returner next year. Indiana’s Blake Pieroni wound up fourth in 41.51, just touching out the last of the Wolfpack trioJacob Molacek, who was 41.55.

Texas’s two swimmers each moved up a spot, with Townley Haas taking 6th and Tate Jackson 7th. They’re looking like the top threat to NC State in tonight’s 400 free relay.

USC’s Santo Condorelli was 8th.

In the B final, Auburn’s Zach Apple blasted a 41.36 to win by a wide margin with ‘Bama’s Robert Howard 10th.

Texas has expanded its lead to 47 over Indiana heading into Texas’s worst events. Cal is 8.5 back of Indiana coming off its worst event of the session.

In terms of expected scoring, Texas has moved up two points from seed, while Cal has improved 6. Indiana has now lost 7 points from seed.


Top 8 finishers:

  1. Ian Finnerty, Indiana – 1:50.17
  2. Andrew Seliskar, Cal – 1:50.42
  3. Mark Szaranek, Florida  – 1:51.71
  4. Conner McHugh, Minnesota – 1:52.00
  5. Alex Evdokimov, Cornell – 1:52.38
  6. Connor Hoppe, Cal – 1:52.89
  7. Tommy Cope, Michigan – 1:52.84
  8. James Guest, Georgia – 1:53.75

Indiana’s Ian Finnerty went out very aggressive, opening up a lead of more than a body length early. But he faded hard in the final 50 as Cal’s Andrew Seliskar closed. But Finnerty still had enough in the tank to get home, winning in 1:50.17 to Seliskar’s 1:50.42.

Florida’s Mark Szaranek moved up to 3rd in 1:51.71, with Minnesota’s Conner McHugh rolling into fourth in 1:52.00.

Cornell’s Alex Evdokimov was fifth, and behind him, Cal’s Connor Hoppe moved up to 6th – another gain of one point for the Golden Bears.

In the B final, Texas A&M’s Mauro Castillo went 1:52.00 to run away with the win. Indiana’s Levi Brock dropped to 16th, marking a loss of 6 points from seed for IU, which has struggled to hold seeds tonight.

Texas still leads at 390, with Cal taking over second at 365.5. Indiana is at 364. NC State is in solid shape for fourth at 325, with Florida rounding out the top 5.

200 BUTTERFLY – Finals

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Andreas Vazaios, NC State – 1:38.60
  2. Jan Switkowski, Florida – 1:39.55
  3. Vini Lanza, Indiana – 1:39.75
  4. Mike Thomas, Cal – 1:39.95
  5. Justin Wright, Arizona – 1:40.16
  6. Zheng Quah, Cal – 1:40.70
  7. Trenton Julian, Cal – 1:40.81
  8. Gunnar Bentz, Georgia – 1:41.45

NC State’s Andreas Vazaios trailed most of the way but used a massive final kickout to swim past Florida’s Jan Switkowski for the win. Vazaios was 1:38.60 and Switkowski 1:39.55 for second place. It’s been a huge night for NC State, with two event titles already and a shot at one more in the relay, where the team set an American record in prelims.

Indiana’s Vini Lanza also closed hard and nearly caught Switkowski, taking 3rd in 1:39.75.

Cal’s trio combined to move up by two points. Mike Thomas surged from the 5th seed to take 4th, going 1:39.95 as the last man under 1:40. Freshman Trenton Julian fell from 6th to 7th, but Zheng Quah moved up from 8th to 6th.

Arizona’s Justin Wright was fifth and Georgia’s Gunnar Bentz closed out the B final in what’s quietly been a pretty good meet for the Bulldogs.

Louisville’s Nicolas Albiero won a thrilling B final, coming from behind to go 1:40.85. Towson’s Jack Saunderson was 10th in 1:40.87 and Texas’s Sam Pomajevich took 11th overall at 1:41.39.

As expected, Cal made a big points run in that event, moving into 1st with 405.5. But Texas is only 9.5 back at 396, and should get in the ballpark of 26 points from the upcoming diving event. Indiana is third at 380, and should get roughly 14 from diving.

Cal has gained 9 points from seed so far tonight, while Texas is up one point. IU is down 12 from seeds.

Platform Diving – Final

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Colin Zeng, Tennessee – 466.35
  2. Jordan Windle, Texas – 460.45
  3. Andrew Capobianco, Indiana – 435.30
  4. David Dinsmore, Miami (FL) – 434.55
  5. Nick Yang, Minnesota – 423.55
  6. Tyler Henschel, Texas A&M – 403.65
  7. Zach Cooper, Miami (FL) – 386.85
  8. Dashiell Enos, USC – 373.20

It came down to the last dive, but Colin Zeng of Tennessee capped off his first national title with his new program, scoring 466.35 points to win the platform competition over Texas freshman Jordan WindleWindle finished six points back after qualifying first this morning.

Indiana freshman Andrew Capobianco moved up to third place, a jump of two points from his prelims qualifying spot. Defending champ David Dinsmore of Miami fell to fourth in 434.55.

Also cracking 400 points were Minnesota’s Nick Yang and Texas A&M’s Tyler Henschel.

With Windle’s 17 points and 6 points from B finalist Jacob Cornish, Texas has all but clinched its fourth-consecutive NCAA team title. They now lead by 13.5 – the only scenario now in which they lose the meet is if Cal wins the relay and Texas takes 6th or worse, or if Texas DQs their relay.

Indiana is now 23 points back of Texas and mathematically eliminated from the NCAA title hunt. Cal leads Indiana by 9.5, so IU would have to beat Cal by several places in the final relay to take second as a team.


  • NCAA record: NC State (Held, Molacek, McGlaughlin, Ress), 2018, 2:44.75
  • American record: NC State (Held, Molacek, McGlaughlin, Ress), 2018, 2:44.75
  • U.S. Open record: NC State (Held, Molacek, McGlaughlin, Ress), 2018, 2:44.75
  • 2017 NCAA Champion: Texas (Ringgold, Conger, Haas, Schooling), 2017, 2:45.39

Top 8 finishers:

  1. NC State – 2:44.31
  2. Florida – 2:45.73
  3. Cal – 2:46.54
  4. Texas – 2:47.00
  5. USC – 2:47.13
  6. Indiana – 2:47.29
  7. Auburn / Alabama – 2:49.01

NC State’s Ryan Held led off in 41.05 to stake NC State to a big lead. Justin Ress split 40.62, followed by a 41.02 from Jacob Molacek and a 41.62 from Coleman Stewart to go 2:44.31, breaking their own NCAA, U.S. Open and American records from this morning. That caps a three-win night for NC State, and launches them into 4th place as a team.

Florida took second, largely thanks to a 40.25 from Caeleb Dressel that stands up as one of the fastest relay splits in history, a tenth off his 40.15 from this morning. Khader Baqlah was 42.28, Jan Switkowski 41.25 and Mark Szaranek 41.95 as Florida went 2:45.73.

Cal put up a huge fight, hoping for a miracle to run down Texas for the team win, and they ultimately took 3rd. Justin Lynch led off in 41.97, much better than he was individually this morning. Andrew Seliskar was 41.84, Ryan Hoffer 41.19 and Michael Jensen 41.54.

Texas was 2:47.00 for fourth, getting 41.1 from Townley Haas, 41.5 from anchor Tate Jackson and a 41.7 from leadoff man Brett Ringgold, though Joseph Schooling was only 42.5 on his split, a second and a half slower than last year.

USC nearly took Texas, with a 41.8 leadoff from Santo Condorelli and a 41.6 from Dylan Carter early. Ralf Tribuntsov was 41.7 and Robert Glinta for a very consistent Trojan attack.

Indiana only gained a tenth from this morning but fell from 2nd to 6th, thanks mostly to other teams changing their lineups. Mohamed Samy got under 42 on his leadoff, but while Blake Pieroni was a wicked 40.77, the other two splits dipped above 42.

SEC rivals Auburn and Alabama tied for 7th place (picture 8 men sharing one podium spot) in 2:49.01. Auburn had a 41.7 leadoff from Zach Apple while Alabama got a 41.5 split from Robert Howard.

A spirited B final was tight the entire way, with five teams coming to the touch together. Florida State wound up taking it in 2:49.70 with five teams separated by just four tenths of a second. Will Pisani split 41.9 for that FSU team.

Final Team Scores

Texas held off a tough Cal charge to win its fourth-straight NCAA title – this one far, far closer than any of the previous three. Cal was second by just 11.5 points, with Indiana third, 27 back of Texas.

1. Texas                             449   2. California                      437.5
  3. Indiana                           422   4. NC State                          385
  5. Florida                           347   6. Southern California               253
  7. Stanford                          205   8. Michigan                        168.5
  9. Louisville                        156  10. Georgia                           129
 11. Tennessee                         123  12. Auburn                           98.5
 13. Alabama                            95  14. Texas A&M                          75
 15. Minnesota                          67  16. Arizona                            64
 17. South Carolina                     60  18. Harvard                            58
 19. Purdue                             54  20. Arizona St                         45
 21. Florida St                         42  22. Denver                             31
 23. Missouri                           29  23. Notre Dame                         29
 23. Lsu                                29  23. Cornell                            29
 27. Miami                              27  28. Ohio State                         25
 29. Virginia                           19  30. Penn State                         14
 31. Towson                             11  32. Utah                               10
 33. Duke                                9  33. Virginia Tech                       9
 35. Grand Canyon                        7  36. UNC                                 6
 36. Hawaii                              6  38. West Virginia                     2.5
 39. Iowa                                2  40. Wyoming                             1
 40. Southern Methodist University       1

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4 years ago

Interestingly with the Cal won the Swimming Championship, Texas won the Swimming and Diving Championship, and NC State won the NCAA Champions (titles) commentary, Indiana is sorta being left out in the discussion. What they did was nothing short of amazing. From a barrier busting 200 free to a barrier busting 100 breast to great swims up and down the roster, they were in it until the very end. In the recent past they underperformed at NCAAs but not this time. They way overperformed. I may be wrong about this but I think they only had 8 swimmers at the meet. If so, the production they got from who was there was amazing. Not an Indiana fanboy, actually a big… Read more »

Reply to  Teamwiess
4 years ago

Here we go again with the Cal whiners creating an imaginary championship to sooth their butt-hurt. You say you’re a big fan of Texas so please don’t stir the pot. You’ll only make the Cal fans whine even louder – it’s so unbecoming. One would think that Cal would be used to their second place by now. It’s their habit to lose to Texas. Four years and counting….

Jay ryan
Reply to  Teamwiess
4 years ago

Indeed Texas has a good incoming freshman class but let’s be real. Very few of those freshman are good enough to impact this meet with their current HS times. Sure Drew Kibler could score now in the 200 free but that’s about it. They will need to improve to significantly affect the meet otherwise. Again it comes down to coaching the incoming freshman. Improvements under the college coach are what really makes it. From that standpoint, Cal is Ok, look at Mefford, Carr and Julian this year. Texas has been very good with that Cadre of “under the radar guys with unmemorable last names” (Smith, Glass, Jackson, Roberts) as well as those who were high profile HS recruits (Haas, Schooling,… Read more »

Reply to  Jay ryan
4 years ago

Good points! IU and NCSU are definitely ones to watch for reasons you mentioned. IU especially, seemed they just came out of nowhere! They really have something special going on over there. I like watching Cody Miller’s vlog – he really likes training there, seems like an awesome program

Reply to  swimfan
4 years ago

his Vlogs are great , well done , precise , instructive , full of authentic & instructive informations .

4 years ago

I have just read this entire comments section and it was magical.

4 years ago

To make sure that everyone feels the gravity of this achievement from Cal (I know I know, this was stated so many times), I want to point out that they won the swimming portion (probably gonna get some hate here for that) of the NCAAs without winning a single event and a considerably fresh diving program (which unfortunately, for this championship they couldn’t final in any event). Some close 2nds including the 200 medley relay, 200 IM, and a close third for 200 free relay. They’re honestly lacking in depth in the freestyle department (the best they placed was 3rd (1650y free) in all individual freestyle events, 2nd for relay/no 100 free finalists both A and B) and, now, backstroke… Read more »

Blake’s Beard
4 years ago

There is absolutely no logic in trying to say one team won the “swimming meet” as opposed to what this championship is, a swimming and diving meet. If there was no diving, Texas would be able to recruit more high level swimmers and put all of their emphasis on swimming, rather than the mix that they seem to do currently. I’m no huge Texas or Indiana fan but
Diving is a huge part of this championship and neglecting that is just the same as a coach not chooising to recruit or develop talent of a particular stroke. Every team knows the scoring opportunities and should recruit and train to make the most of them.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Blake’s Beard
4 years ago

Pretty sure if the shoe were reversed, Texas fans would be crying about the diving points.

Reply to  Blake’s Beard
4 years ago

The logic is that CAL is self medicating by point out how well their swimmers did. They did. Ribbons are on order for delivery.

4 years ago

Clearly the most entertaining outcome is what actually happened. Texas won and Cal lost (again). This time the butt-hurt Cal sore losers separately calculate an alternative universe where they won the meet, arbitrarily taking out an event in which they did not score any points. Lose with grace and get over it. After all Cal should be used to 2nd place by now, it’s their fourth in a row – each time bringing up the rear behind Texas. Go Bears, there’s always next year. But unfortunately for Cal they have fewer returning points than Texas. Oh well..

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  swimfan
4 years ago

They actually lost three events —- diving. Cal won the swim meet.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

Nope. Cal is still second place. No matter how you try to spin it, include or exclude different events, the record books will always show that Cal is second place. This was the meet that everyone competed in, not some subset of picking and choosing events. Quit whining and accept the results. Where is your sportsmanship?

4 years ago

Gee.. schooling almost 1.5 seconds slower on his relay split than last year.. really curious what the hell happened

Reply to  Dru151
4 years ago

I wonder if he is training for NCAA or his August Asian games.

Reply to  Buona
4 years ago

ahah…ahahahahahahaha…….is that gonna be your next desperate narrative?

Reply to  pvdh
4 years ago

I don’t understand why the hate?

Reply to  Buona
4 years ago

Because this is another entry in an endless list of your ridiculous, nonsensical, and biased excuses for Schooling.

Drama King
Reply to  Buona
4 years ago

You two make this over exaggerated.

4 years ago

Caeleb Dressel just said in an interview after tonight’s meet that he has trained focusing on LCM IM all year. A LCM IM should be coming to a TYR Pro Series Meet this summer. I can’t wait. ?

Reply to  E+Gamble
4 years ago

he said he didnt train sprint free until taper :0

4 years ago

While NC State came in 4th, I think they are big winners here going forward. There was a lot of pressure to show they could still deliver with DeSorbo leaving and I think they proved that over the course of these championships. Had they not performed well, I think it would have left a lot of questions with recruits going forward.

Damn Autocorrect
Reply to  FLWolfpack
4 years ago

They, along with Florida are in throuble next year… Florida moreso with only 16 individual points returning!

Reply to  FLWolfpack
4 years ago

NC State has acquitted themselves well. There is the logic the success brings more success. In this case I think they have a very strong recruiting case to make, particularly having done so well after Desoto left. They will have to make up the loss in points but they are going to get even more top talent than they had before.

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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