2019 Men’s NCAA Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap



We’ve got ourselves a brawl going on for the 2019 men’s NCAA team title. Cal had a huge morning and holds the top seeds in three events, but also has the most room to move down from their prelims placement. Texas is atop the other event, with Townley Haas hoping for a repeat 500 free title.

Cal leads the 200 free relay, and will be shooting tonight for an NCAA record that has stood since 2009. Cal was six tenths off that record this morning. Texas could hunt the American record, missing it by three tenths in prelims.

Haas leads the 500 free for Texas, looking to win the event for the third time. He won as a freshman and junior, and finished second as a sophomore to teammate (and NCAA record-holder) Clark Smith. Cal’s Sean Grieshop briefly led Haas in prelims, and looks to dethrone him as the second seed.

Cal’s Andrew Seliskar was the top qualifier in the 200 IM, becoming the third man under 1:40 in history. But he was also the top seed into finals last year and fell to 5th. IU’s Vini Lanza is the second seed into tonight, with last year’s runner-up Andreas Vazaios lurking in third.

Meanwhile Cal sophomore Ryan Hoffer blasted a new lifetime-best 18.58 this morning to lead the 50 free. That was his first career-best in that event since 2016, when he was a high school senior. Hoffer sits 1-2 with teammate Pawel Sendyk (18.66) in that event, with Alabama’s Robert Howard (18.84) and Minnesota’s Bowe Becker (18.88) just behind.

The 400 medley could see the most upheaval. Indiana looks to repeat as team champs, and they went 3:01.26 this morning, tenths off their winning time from last year. But Texas, NC State and California all swam potentially alternate lineups, which could have them primed to move up from 3rd, 4th and 7th, respectively, with their top lineups tonight.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event recaps of all the action from Austin. And follow @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for even more up-to-the-second highlights.

200 FREE RELAY – Finals

  • NCAA Record: Auburn (Andkjaer, Louw, Norys, Targett), 2009 – 1:14.08
  • American Record: Stanford (Coville, Staab, Allen, Wayne), 2011 – 1:15.26
  • U.S. Open Record: Auburn (Andkjaer, Louw, Norys, Targett), 2009 – 1:14.08
  • Meet Record: Auburn (Andkjaer, Louw, Norys, Targett), 2009 – 1:14.08
  • 2018 Champion: Florida (Dressel, Switkowski, Martinez-Sarpe, Szaranek) – 1:14.39

Top 8 Finishers:

  1. Cal – 1:14.46
  2. NC State – 1:14.78
  3. Texas – 1:15.11
  4. Indiana – 1:15.41
  5. Florida State – 1:15.92
  6. Alabama – 1:16.23
  7. Ohio State – 1:16.89
  8. Harvard – 1:18.06

This could be a massive night for Cal, and they started off their gauntlet of high-seed races by holding the top spot in the 200 free relay. Cal led early on an 18.84 from Pawel Sendyk, then handed off to Ryan Hoffer (18.43), Michael Jensen (18.79) and Andrew Seliskar (18.40). They briefly trailed after Jensen’s split, but Seliskar’s crisp 0.04 relay exchange and big underwater kickout pretty much sealed the win for them over NC State.

The Wolfpack had a big swim themselves. Nyls Korstanje led off in 19.03, and Justin Ress had the best individual split in the field at 18.32. Jacob Molacek got them into the lead with an 18.81, and Giovanni Izzo pushed Seliskar as well as he could with an 18.62.

Texas wound up third, swapping their order but none of their prelims swimmers. Two freshmen led off – Daniel Krueger was 19.19 and Drew Kibler 18.62 for the Longhorns. Jake Sannem was a bit off his morning split at 18.92, and Tate Jackson had an awesome anchor leg of 18.38 as Texas charged towards the two leading programs in the final 50.

Indiana got a huge leadoff from Zach Apple (19.06) and then had three splits between 18.70 and 18.87 to wind up fourth overall in 1:15.41.

Florida State topped Alabama by just 0.4 seconds. FSU had most splits just over or under 19; Will Pisani‘s 19.14 leadoff was probably the best swim, though Kanoa Kaleoaloha was 18.82 on the anchor. Alabama got an 18.93 from Robert Howard on the front end.

Ohio State was 7th behind an 18.98 from freshman Ruslan Gaziev, and Harvard rounded out the heat, with Dean Farris going second and splitting 18.52. None of the other Harvard splits were under 19.6.

Out of the B final, Missouri led wire-to-wire, going 1:16.34 to pick up 9th place overall. That was powered by the middle two legs: an 18.78 from Mikel Schreuders and an 18.93 out of freshman Danny Kovac. Tennessee got stung with a DQ – a 15-meter violation scrapped their 200 free relay out of the B final.

Wins and third-place finishes in both relays have Cal and Texas tied for the team points lead at 72. NC State is four points back, followed by Indiana a dozen points behind the leaders.

500 Freestyle – Finals

  • NCAA Record: Clark Smith, Texas (2017) – 4:08.42
  • American Record: Zane Grothe, Unattached (2017) – 4:07.25
  • U.S. Open Record: Zane Grothe, Unattached (2017) – 4:07.25
  • Meet Record: Clark Smith, Texas (2017) – 4:08.42
  • 2018 Champion: Townley Haas, Texas – 4:08.60

Top 8 Finishers:

  1. Townley Haas, Texas – 4:08.19
  2. Sean Grieshop, Cal – 4:10.29
  3. Brooks Fail, Arizona -4:10.77
  4. Ricardo Vargas, Michigan – 4:12.21
  5. Walker Higgins, Georgia – 4:12.65
  6. Fynn Minuth, South Carolina – 4:12.72
  7. Mark Theall, Texas A&M – 4:16.05
  8. Brennan Novak, Harvard – 4:21.72

Townley Haas swam perhaps the gutsiest 500 free you’ll ever see. The Texas senior went out way under American and NCAA record pace – he was a full second under pace as of the 100-mark, and held strong through at least the halfway point. (He flipped at 2:00.4 at the 250, for an insane reference).

Haas did fall off a little as his splits slipped from 24-highs to 25s with a 26.0 in the mix late. But he finished in 4:08.19, cracking the NCAA and meet record of 4:08.42 set by his former teammate Clark Smith. That Smith swim was the only 500 free Haas ever lost in the NCAA Championships – that year, Haas was second. He won the year prior and now the two years after.

Cal’s Sean Grieshop held his spot, though he had to battle back late. The sophomore finished second in 4:10.29 in what’s been a breakout season for the highly-rated recruit.

Arizona’s Brooks Fail also held his spot – he cut another eight tenths from prelims to go 4:10.77 in the final, rounding out the top three who swam away from the field a bit.

Michigan’s Ricardo Vargas was 4:12.21, a solid drop from prelims. He had a great prelims last year and struggled in finals, so a fourth-place finish is redemption for the Wolverine, who charged from an outside lane.

Georgia’s Walker Higgins went out hard, pushing Haas at the 50-mark. He wound up 5th overall in 4:12.65, fading just a tenth from his prelims swim. Only a tenth behind was South Carolina’s Fynn Minuth (4:12.72).

Texas A&M’s Mark Theall struggled to a 4:16.05 after his massive morning swim from a low seed. Harvard’s Brennan Novak was 8th, falling to 4:21.72.

Before all that, Cal made it two-for-two in heat wins, with sophomore Trenton Julian going 4:11.30 to dominate the B final. Michigan’s Patrick Callan, a freshman, was second in that heat for 10th overall.

200 IM – Finals

  • NCAA Record: Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018) – 1:38.13
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018) – 1:38.13
  • U.S. Open Record: Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018) – 1:38.13
  • Meet Record: David Nolan, Stanford (2015) – 1:39.38
  • 2018 Champion: Jan Switkowski, Florida – 1:39.54

Top 8 Finishers:

  1. Andrew Seliskar, Cal – 1:38.14
  2. Andreas Vazaios, NC State – 1:39.35
  3. John Shebat, Texas – 1:39.63
  4. Vini Lanza, Indiana – 1:40.30
  5. Abrahm Devine, Stanford – 1:40.77
  6. Caio Pumpitis, Georgia Tech – 1:41.04
  7. Ian Finnerty, Indiana – 1:42.84
  8. Kieran Smith, Florida – 1:44.23

It was Indiana’s Vini Lanza who led early with a killer 21.1 fly split. But NC State’s Andreas Vazaios pressed his backstroke advantage with a 23.7 back split to take the lead.

That’s when Andrew Seliskar made his move. The Cal senior torched the field to the tune of a 28.0 breaststroke split, riding incredibly long, powerful underwater pullouts to a big lead. He closed in 24.0 (also the best split in the field) to go 1:38.14, breaking the NCAA meet record and coming within .01 of the absurd Caeleb Dressel NCAA/American record from SECs last year.

Vazaios wound up second for the second-straight year. he was 1:39.35 and moves to #3 all-time behind Dressel and Seliskar. Texas’s John Shebat also used a big backstroke split to vault into the top three – he moved up to third in 1:39.63.

Lanza fell off to 4h late, going 1:40.30. That’s seven hundredths off his prelims swim. Stanford’s Abrahm Devine dropped to 1:40.77 for 5th, with Georgia Tech’s Caio Pumpitis going 1:41.04 for 6th.

Indiana’s Ian Finnerty couldn’t match his breaststroke intensity from this morning and finished 7th in 1:42.84, while Florida freshman Kieran Smith was 1:44.23 and took 8th.

Out of the B final, a dead heat between about four swimmers with 50 to go ended in a 1:42.34 Mike Thomas win for Cal, keeping them undefeated in B finals so far tonight. Penn’s Mark Andrew was 1:42.36 for 10th, and Cal’s Daniel Carr took third in that heat with a 1:42.42.

50 FREESTYLE – Finals

  • NCAA Record: Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018) – 17.63
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018) – 17.63
  • U.S. Open Record: Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018) – 17.63
  • Meet Record: Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018) – 17.63
  • 2018 Champion: Caeleb Dressel, Florida – 17.63

Top 8 Finishers:

  1. Ryan Hoffer (Cal) – 18.53
  2. Pawel Sendyk (Cal) – 18.68
  3. Robert Howard (Alabama) – 18.80
  4. Bowe Becker (Minnesota) – 18.84
  5. Zach Apple (Indiana) – 18.99
  6. Dean Farris (Harvard) – 19.02
  7. Tate Jackson (Texas) – 19.03
  8. Justin Ress (NC State) – 19.15

Cal’s sprint duo held up its top two seeds, capping what has been a brilliant night for Cal individually. Ryan Hoffer went 18.63 for his first NCAA title, taking over the sprint crown from the graduated Caeleb Dressel, whose national age group records Hoffer was chasing and sometimes breaking for the past several years.

Pawel Sendyk was second in 18.68. Both were a tick off their morning swims, but still handled the field by more than a tenth.

Alabama’s Robert Howard took third in 18.80, cutting a few hundredths from his prelims time, and Minnesota’s Bowe Becker was fourth in 18.84, cutting exactly 0.04 as well.

Indiana’s Zach Apple seemed to be a rocket off the blocks and was third at the turn, but he fell off a little to 5th, going 18.99. Harvard’s Dean Farris finished just on the other side of the 19-barrier in 19.02.

Two relay heroes rounded out the heat. Texas’s Tate Jackson was 19.03 and NC State’s Justin Ress 19.10.

In the B final, a spirited Cal-Texas rivalry ended in… a tie? (Foreshadowing a deadlocked end of this meet? Or just symbolizing how close things look on night 2? You decide). Drew Kibler of Texas and Michael Jensen of Cal went 19.15 – Kibler from a middle lane, Jensen from the outside.

The entire B final was separated by just two tenths of a second.

It’s been the best session it could be for Cal. They won a share of 6 of 8 heats overall, including 6 of the 7 they swam in. With only diving and the medley relay to go, the Bears have a 49-point lead over Texas: 178 to 129. Texas is projected to score 27 in diving – they could score as many as 37 (with a 1-2) or as little as 23 (with a 7-8 finish).

Meanwhile NC State is 23 back of Texas at 106, five above Indiana (101). IU is projected to score 17 in diving: they could score as much as 20 (with a win) or as few as 11 (with an 8th-place finish) and should pass NC State heading into the medley relay tonight.

1-Meter Diving – Finals

Top 8 Finishers:

  1. Colin Zeng, Tennessee – 405.40
  2. Hector Garcia, Penn State – 399.30
  3. Sam Thornton, Texas A&M – 390.50
  4. Jordan Windle, Texas – 387.10
  5. James Connor, Indiana – 373.50
  6. Briadam Herrera, Miami – 358.25
  7. Grayson Campbell, Texas – 340.45
  8. Nathanial Hernandez, Duke – 333.00

Tennessee’s Colin Zeng picked up the 1-meter dive title – he was 4th last year, though two of the three ahead of him didn’t return. Zeng scored 405.40 to comfortably beat the field, though Penn State’s Hector Garcia provided a surprisingly-tough charge. Garcia was just 12th last year, but surged to 2nd in his senior campaign.

Texas A&M’s Sam Thornton was third, nine points back of Garcia. That’s an improvement from his 6th-place finish a year ago.

Texas’s pair of scoring divers took 4th and 7th. Sophomore Jordan Windle took fourth and is looking like one of the best young divers in the nation on all three boards. Windle was three points back of Thornton. Grayson Campbell pulled out a big final dive to avoid a second-straight 8th-place finish – he was 7th overall. That’s a 28-point haul for Texas, a slight improvement from what they were projected to gain after this morning’s prelims, but short of the 32 they scored on this board last year. (None of their three scorers from last year graduated).

Indiana got a 5th-place finish from James Connor. That’s a bit disappointing for Connor, who was 3rd last year and the top returner. Rounding out the A final were Briadam Herrera of Miami in 6th and Duke’s Nathaniel Hernandez in 8th.

Neither Texas nor Indiana had a B finalist on 1-meter. That means with 1-meter diving included, Cal still leads by 22 over Texas. Indiana is 63 back of Cal and 9 ahead of NC State for third.

400 MEDLEY RELAY – Finals

  • NCAA Record: Texas (2018) – 2:59.22
  • American Record: Cal (2017) – 3:01.51
  • U.S. Open Record: Texas (2018) – 2:59.22
  • Meet Record: Texas (2018) – 2:59.22
  • 2018 Champion: Indiana – 3:01.07

Top 8 Finishers:

  1. Indiana – 2:59.70
  2. Cal – 3:01.56
  3. Texas – 3:01.58
  4. NC State – 3:03.25
  5. Louisville – 3:03.45
  6. USC – 3:04.25
  7. Missouri – 3:04.51
  8. Florida – 3:04.66

Indiana torched the second-fastest 400 medley relay in history, going 2:59.70 to blow out the field. Gabriel Fantoni led off in 45.25, but the real strength of the relay was Ian Finnerty‘s field-best 49.60 breaststroke leg. That’s within a tenth of the fastest 100 breast split in history, a 49.5 from Kevin Cordes.

Vini Lanza was 44.2 on fly, though his relay exchange of 0.52 added a significant chunk onto that split. And Zach Apple anchored in 40.64, the best free split in the field, even though his relay exchange was 0.31.

Cal’s great night continued to get better: sophomore anchor Ryan Hoffer ran down Texas for second place, as Cal finished in 3:03.56 and Texas 3:03.58. Daniel Carr was 45.09 for Cal, freshman Reece Whitley 51.15 on breast, Andrew Seliskar 44.32 on fly and Hoffer 41.00 on freestyle.

Texas chose not to swap out backstroker Austin Katz. He went 45.54, well off his 44.9 from this morning. Charlie Scheinfeld was a strong 50.97, and John Shebat went the field’s best fly split at 43.89. Tate Jackson was 41.18 on the anchor leg, one of the field’s best splits, though he still fell victim to Hoffer’s closing speed.

NC State took fourth, getting a 44.07 fly split from Coleman Stewart. Like Texas’s decision, that was a double-edged sword: Stewart was 44.3 this morning on backstroke and would’ve staked NC State to a huge lead of seven tenths. His fly split was spectacular, though, and NC State still did have the backstroke lead when Andreas Vazaios went 45.00 – it just wasn’t as big a lead as Stewart would’ve built with his prelims time. NC State did hold Justin Ress off this relay, meaning he can swim both remaining relays.

Louisville fell from 2nd to 5th, even though they really didn’t add much time. That’s a result of lineup changes from the top four teams. Zach Harting was 44.4 on fly for the Cardinals.

USC got a 49.91 breaststroke split from Carsten Vissering to take 6th in 3:04.25. Meanwhile Missouri was 7th in 3:04.51, with Mikel Schreuders going 41.7 on free, and Florida took 8th in 3:04.66. Flyer Maxime Rooney was 44.73.

In the B final, Robert Howard split a blistering 40.89 to bring back Alabama to the win. ‘Bama was 3:04.55, with Minnesota (3:04.70) and Virginia (3:04.72) close behind.

The field was littered with notable splits. Here are the top splits in each stroke among the 16 finals relays:


  1. Andreas Vazaios, NC State – 45.00
  2. Daniel Carr, Cal – 45.09
  3. Nicolas Albiero, Louisville – 45.26


  1. Ian Finnerty, Indiana – 49.60
  2. Carsten Vissering, USC – 49.91
  3. Max McHugh, Minnesota – 49.97


  1. John Shebat, Texas – 43.89
  2. Coleman Stewart, NC State – 44.07
  3. Vini Lanza, Indiana – 44.21


  1. Zach Apple, Indiana – 40.64
  2. Robert Howard, Alabama – 40.89
  3. Ryan Hoffer, Cal – 41.00

Team Scores (Through Night 2)

  1. Cal – 212
  2. Texas – 188
  3. Indiana – 155
  4. NC State – 136
  5. Florida – 76
  6. Louisville – 71
  7. Harvard – 70
  8. Alabama / Missouri – 60
  9. Texas A&M – 54

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peter Davis
2 years ago

Go Bears

Reply to  Peter Davis
2 years ago

It is highly likely we will see an upset in the 500 freestyle this evening – Cal/Sean wants it more…

Reply to  Manifolds
2 years ago

Really, did you see the morning pre-lim swim or read the review? Haas was passed up by Sean, then he hit it to another gear and won the heat. I am not saying Haas can’t lose, but he does not like it and something to be said about his history of winning.

Florida G8tor
Reply to  Jeff
2 years ago

Boom Hook em

Reply to  Manifolds
2 years ago

Ha!! Wants it more?! That’s hysterical! Townley anihilated the field. Watching Townley swim WAY out in front was great fun to watch in front of so many that foolishly thought he could lose that race. But hey, the world needs dreamers.

2 years ago

Are we in store for a treat of a session or what? So many great races ahead!

Mr Piano
2 years ago

Dean Farris 16.9

Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

Maybe from a push with a dragsuit…

Don Megerle
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

This idiocy stopped being funny 10000 stupid comments ago.

Reply to  Don Megerle
2 years ago

I agree Don!

Reply to  Sccoach
2 years ago

The downvotes disagree

Reply to  Sccoach
2 years ago

Guys this is SWIMSWAM! We must be serious at ALL TIMES! We cannot have ANY fun!

No memes! No jokes!

I don’t want to hear about what Joseph Schooling did at practice! I don’t want to hear about Our Lord and Savior Dean’s drag suited times!


Reply to  PVSFree
2 years ago

This is a NO FUN ZONE

Reply to  Oldbay
2 years ago


A$AP Pocky
Reply to  Don Megerle
2 years ago

Super Weenie Hut Jrs

Reply to  Don Megerle
2 years ago

this is why no one likes tufts swimming

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 …

Read More »