2021 NCAA Men’s Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap


  • When: Wednesday, March 24 – Saturday, March 27, 2021
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Prelims 10 AM/ Finals 6 PM (Local Time)
  • Short course yards (SCY) format
  • Defending champion: Cal (1x) – 2019 results
  • Streaming:
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results

Cal built a lead over Texas after the first full day of competition yesterday, and today is the biggest day for individual events, with five race prelims set for this morning. Based on the psych sheets, this is Cal’s weakest of the three prelims/finals days of this meet, so we’ll keep an extra close eye on ups/downs here.

Something we’ve noticed this season is the sheer depth in the men’s breaststrokes nationally, which aligns with the talent on the women’s side in that same discipline. Minnesota’s Max McHugh will test the 50-second barrier this morning in the 100 breast, but the field is coming; Florida’s Dillon Hillis split a 50.27 on the medley relay, while Texas’s Caspar Corbeau split a 50.36 and Cal’s Reece Whitley a 50.58.

Shaine Casas will lead the 100 back prelims, and he fired off a 44.47 last night leading off the A&M medley relay, while Cal’s Ryan Hoffer blasted a 43.80 fly leg and could take that top seed in the 100 fly individually for the A-final.

Major battles will form in the 200 free between names like Florida’s Kieran Smith and Texas’s Drew Kibler, while the 400 IM will see Cal’s Hugo Gonzalez and Texas’s Carson Foster face-off in a Cal v. Texas battle, with several others hoping to drop down and challenge.



  • NCAA Record: Chase Kalisz (Georgia), 3:33.42 — 2017
  • American Record: Chase Kalisz (Georgia), 3:33.42 — 2017
  • U.S. Open Record: Chase Kalisz (Georgia), 3:33.42 — 2017
  • Meet Record: Chase Kalisz (Georgia), 3:33.42 — 2017
  • 2019 Champion: Abrahm DeVine (Stanford), 3:36.41
  • 2020 Top Performer: Hugo Gonzalez (Cal), 3:36.60

Top 8 

  1. Carson Foster (Texas) – 3:37.79
  2. Sean Grieshop (Cal) – 3:38.68
  3. Bobby Finke (Florida) – 3:39.58
  4. Jake Foster (Texas) – 3:39.69
  5. Braden Vines (Texas) – 3:40.18
  6. David Schlicht (Arizona) – 3:40.21
  7. Ian Grum (Georgia) – 3:40.64
  8. David Johnston (Texas) – 3:40.80

Carson Foster dominated the last heat, swimming to a 3:37.79 to lead the prelims. In that heat, David Schlicht of Arizona was 3:40.21 to get into the A-final, as did Texas freshman David Johnston (3:40.80). Johnston dropped three seconds, and in a tight team race, that was a massive swim, as he would’ve barely made the B-final if he held his exact seed time.

Texas’s Jake Foster scorched the fourth heat, posting a 3:39.69, though that wouldn’t eclipse what Grieshop and Finke did in the heat prior. Hugo Gonzalez of Cal missed his time by almost five seconds, going 3:41.91.

Cal’s Sean Grieshop reeled in Texas’s Braden Vines in the third heat, coming home in a 50-high to win the heat at 3:38.68. Florida’s Bobby Finke moved up to take second at 3:39.58, splitting a 50-mid to close it out ahead of Vines’ 3:40.18.

Michigan’s Will Roberts decimated the field in heat one, clocking a lifetime best 3:44.05 to drop over a second from his old best done in 2019. He was just ahead of heat two winner Sean Conway, a UVA sophomore, who hit a lifetime best 3:44.29 to win that heat.

Texas got four men into this A-final, while Gonzalez’s big miss is a serious loss for Cal, as he was expected to vie for the title but will now score no more than nine points in the B-final.


  • NCAA Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 42.80 – 2018
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 42.80 – 2018
  • U.S. Open Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 42.80 – 2018
  • Meet Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 42.80 – 2018
  • 2019 Champion: Vini Lanza (Indiana), 44.37
  • 2020 Top Performer: Maxime Rooney (Texas)/Nicolas Albiero (Louisville), 44.83

Top 8

  1. Ryan Hoffer (Cal) – 44.24
  2. Antani Ivanov (Virginia Tech) – 44.54
  3. Camden Murphy (Georgia) – 44.69
  4. Nicolas Albiero (Louisville) – 44.82
  5. Alvin Jiang (Texas) – 44.85
  6. Eric Friese (Florida) – 44.98
  7. Danny Kovac (Mizzou) – 45.00
  8. Luca Urlando (Georgia) – 45.10

Danny Kovac took the final heat at 45.00, after six swimmers had already broken 45 seconds in earlier heats. Virginia Tech freshman and top seed Youssef Ramadan added over a second in the final heat, before ultimately being called for a false start and DQing.

Virginia Tech’s Antani Ivanov was the top finisher in heat five, posting a 44.54.

Ryan Hoffer of Cal shot to the wall at 44.24 in heat four, a big swim, and an expected one after his 43.80 fly leg on the medley relay last night.

Georgia got two up into this A-final, the only team to do so. Camden Murphy was 44.69 and Luca Urlando 45.10.

Noah Henderson of NC State had a strong heat two swim, winning it in a 45.83.


  • NCAA Record: Dean Farris, Harvard (2019) – 1:29.15
  • American Record: Dean Farris, Harvard (2019) – 1:29.15
  • U.S. Open Record: Dean Farris, Harvard (2019) – 1:29.15
  • Meet Record: Dean Farris, Harvard (2019) – 1:29.15
  • 2019 Champion: Andrew Seliskar, Cal – 1:30.14
  • 2020 Top Performer: Kieran Smith, Florida – 1:30.11

Top 8

  1. Drew Kibler (Texas) – 1:30.87
  2. Kieran Smith (Florida) – 1:31.69
  3. Trenton Julian (Cal) – 1:31.95
  4. Peter Larson (Texas) – 1:32.53
  5. Alexei Sancov (USC)/Brooks Curry (LSU) – 1:32.55 *TIE*
  6. Paul Delakis (Ohio State) – 1:32.59
  7. Jake Sannem (Texas) – 1:32.68

Florida’s Kieran Smith won the final heat easily in 1:31.69, but it wasn’t enough to get past Kibler’s time from the heat prior. Texas, meanwhile, put three swimmers into this A-final, another big push for the Longhorns.

Alexei Sancov of USC was second in the final heat, tying for fifth in a big swim for him to get into this A-final.

Drew Kibler sped things up in a hurry in heat five, going out hard and closing hard to win in 1:30.87. Cal’s Trenton Julian was second in 1:31.95, his first time under 1:32, while Texas sophomore Peter Larson was 1:32.53 to edge LSU’s Brooks Curry (1:32.55).

In heat four, Paul Delakis of Ohio State won in the final stretch at 1:32.59, edging out Texas’s Jake Sannem (1:32.68) and Coby Carrozza (1:32.70), along with Georgia Tech’s Batur Unlu (1:32.80). Carrozza and Unlu are freshmen.

Tomas Sungalia of UNC dropped a 1:33.48 to take heat three, the first sub-1:34 of the morning.

Auburn freshman Mikkel Gadgaard swam to the heat two win at 1:34.21, a new best by a half-second.


  • NCAA Record: Ian Finnerty, Indiana (2018) – 49.69
  • American Record: Ian Finnerty, Indiana (2018) – 49.69
  • U.S. Open Record: Ian Finnerty, Indiana (2018) – 49.69
  • Meet Record: Ian Finnerty, Indiana (2018) – 49.69
  • 2019 Champion: Ian Finnerty, Indiana – 49.85
  • 2020 Top Performer: Max McHughMinnesota – 50.67

Top 8

  1. Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 50.87
  2. Keefer Barnum (Virginia) – 51.09
  3. Dillon Hillis (Florida) – 51.27
  4. Reece Whitley (Cal) – 51.38
  5. Zane Backes (Indiana) – 51.53
  6. Evgenii Somov (Louisville) – 51.58
  7. Caspar Corbeau (Texas) – 51.62
  8. Cooper Van Der Laan (Pitt) – 51.73

This was a slower morning for the 100 breast field, with only Max McHugh breaking 51 at 50.87.  The swim of the morning has to be Virginia’s Keefer Barnum, who takes the school record down and drops over .6 from seed to go 51.09 for second this morning. Barnum was the only one of the top 28 finishers to beat his seed time.

Dillon Hillis of Florida held of Cal’s Reece Whitley in heat four, going 51.27 to Whitley’s 51.38.

Cal’s Whitley, and Texas’s Caspar Corbeau (51.62), are the sole representatives from their respective teams in this finals tonight. Both are in the A-final.

Evgenii Somov of Louisville led four other men under 52 seconds in the third heat, going 51.58 ahead of Northwestern sophomore Kevin Houseman (51.75).


  • NCAA Record: Ryan Murphy, Cal (2016) – 43.49
  • American Record: Ryan Murphy, Cal (2016) – 43.49
  • U.S. Open Record: Ryan Murphy, Cal (2016) – 43.49
  • Meet Record: Ryan Murphy, Cal (2016) – 43.49
  • 2019 Champion: Dean Farris, Harvard – 43.66
  • 2020 Top Performer: Coleman Stewart, NC State – 44.04

Top 8

  1. Shaine Casas (Texas A&M) – 44.41
  2. Destin Lasco (Cal) – 44.55
  3. Kacper Stokowski (NC State) – 44.70
  4. Nicolas Albiero (Louisville) – 44.85
  5. Brendan Burns (Indiana) – 44.87
  6. Javi Acevedo (Georgia) – 44.95
  7. Alvin Jiang (Texas) – 44.97
  8. Bryce Mefford (Cal) – 45.04

Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas took the last heat at 44.41, ahead of NC State’s Kacper Stokowski (44.70).

Cal freshman Destin Lasco went out hard, a new race strategy after he’s typically cruised the first 50 then gunned it the second. Lasco was 44.55, which holds up as the #2 time going into the A-final in his first swim under 45.

In heat three, Nicolas Albiero of Louisville was 44.85, just ahead of Cal’s Bryce Mefford (45.04).

Texas’s Austin Katz won heat two in 45.27, dropping over a second from seed.

Brendan Burns of Indiana dropped a huge 44.87 to win heat two, staking his place in the A-final early on.

Cal got two up into the A-final thanks to Lasco and Mefford going lifetime bests, but Daniel Carr almost missed scoring, adding time and touching 16th. He and Mefford are last in their respective finals, though, with room to move up. Texas’s Jiang dropped time to make it into the A-final at seventh, also with room to move up, while Katz and Chris Staka are in the middle of the B-final.


  1. Cal 230
  2. Texas 203
  3. Florida 161
  4. Georgia 116
  5. Texas A&M 88
  6. NC State 87
  7. Indiana 84
  8. Louisville 64
  9. Michigan 63
  10. Virginia 56
  11. Arizona 51
  12. Stanford/Mizzou 42
  13. (tie)
  14. Virginia Tech 39
  15. Alabama 38
  16. Ohio State/Purdue 28
  17. (tie)
  18. LSU 23
  19. Miami 19
  20. Florida State 18.5
  21. Georgia Tech 14
  22. Pittsburgh 12
  23. Kentucky/Notre Dame 9
  24. (tie)
  25. Penn State 8
  26. Tennessee 6
  27. Wisconsin 5
  28. UNC 4
  29. Utah 2.5

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5 months ago

I hope Rowdy can once again weigh in on each swimmer’s chance of success today based on their class year.

Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
5 months ago

I got paper and pencil. Ready to take notes how many seniors on each team and each heat. Better not be more than one per relay. and two per heat TOPS. I am so excited about that. Swimming itself is not important.

Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
5 months ago

The way he talks about swimming, if I didn’t know who he was I wouldn’t be surprised if he had never swam a day in his life.

Reply to  Tranquil
5 months ago

I heard him on an interview say that he commentates like he’s explaining swimming to an uncle who never has watched swimming before and that makes a lot of sense.

Mr Piano
Reply to  ACC
5 months ago

And it’s not like most people watching NCAA swimming aren’t swimmers lol. Let’s be honest here.

Reply to  ACC
5 months ago

Then you’d explain anything at all about the sport besides “getting under the wave”. He doesn’t give any information that’s not on the heat sheet in front of him

Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
5 months ago

Or who is the weakest link on each team.

Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
5 months ago

that’s rowdy for ya

Last edited 5 months ago by swimmerswammer
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
5 months ago

Or telling us why a person/relay isn’t going to win a full 100 before the race is over.

Coach Chackett
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
5 months ago

He’s breathing to the right side, can’t see anyone else!

Reply to  Coach Chackett
5 months ago

Before I got contacts, it was me.

tea rex
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
5 months ago

I thought he was alright yesterday. Actually made a salient point about Kieran just waiting too long to hit the gas. Kieran swam scared.

Reply to  tea rex
5 months ago

I think it was a mistake individually for Kieran to swim relay before 500 but for the team, it got more points!

Reply to  Ghost
5 months ago

McGahey was on the GA relay too.

Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
5 months ago

Didn’t someone get lapped in the mile one year and he didn’t realize the race had ended? I may be misremembering but if not LOL. He seems like a nice enough guy and was obv an amazing swimmer in his own right, but he absolutely sucks at this.

Reply to  JRKay
5 months ago

I think you may be remembering the 2016 NCAAs mile. Chris Swanson passed Mahmoud at the end of the mile (splitting 24.2 to Mahmoud’s 27.2) and Rowdy thought he was getting lapped for at least a few seconds.

Reply to  N P
5 months ago

Classic Rowdy.

5 months ago

Texas takes lead today and tomorrow Windle on platform and 400 free relay close the deal. Hook’em.

Reply to  PsychoDad
5 months ago

the empire strikes back!

Reply to  25Backstroke
5 months ago

Would “empire strikes back” not imply that Cal is going to take it away on day 3?

I do agree tho. Texas is going to score big today, the problem is Cal has a big line-up tomorrow. If Texas is going to have a chance, Casas must beat Lasco, and Foster and Katz need to show up in the 200 back. Furthermore Krueger and Kibler need to dominate the 100 free. I don’t really see how Texas could really outscore Cal otherwise.

Reply to  Waader
5 months ago

There is a sequel to the Empire Strikes Back. Didn’t your mom let you see all of the movies?

5 months ago

It’s my favorite event today! Let’s go 4 IMers!!!!!

5 months ago

I think ASU makes their move today!

Right Dude Here
Reply to  Ghost
5 months ago

Asu has lost the fewest number of races this meet.

Reply to  Ghost
5 months ago

But the most respect.

Reply to  MarkB
5 months ago

Because they were to proud to change their mind and get back in the meet earlier in year? They now missed two ncaas in a row when that was their original reason to sit out. Bad decision!

5 months ago

Upvote if you think the NCAA record in the 1breast is going down today downvote if you think not LETS GO MAX MCHUGH

Reply to  NCAA 21
5 months ago


5 months ago

Sam’s style of commentary clears my skin

Ol' Longhorn
5 months ago

100 breast is going to be insane.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
5 months ago

yes! got some speed at the front with multiple guys… will be close and fun to watch

5 months ago

Don’t count out big ten champion Michael Daly in the 4Im. Definitely a threat to make the final

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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