2021 NCAA Men’s Championships: Day 4 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

It’s the final day of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Championships, with Texas leading the way as Cal tries to make the most of a strong day four on paper.

Ryan Hoffer of Cal and Shaine Casas of Texas A&M are seeking their third titles of the meet today, starting with prelims of the 100 free and 200 back, respectively. The 200 back and 200 breast will be the key races; Cal has five men seeded top 12 in the 200 back, so getting anything less than three into the A-final and two into the B will be a loss they might not be able to afford.

Meanwhile, after Hugo Gonzalez‘s miss in the 400 IM, he could help swing a bunch of points back in Cal’s favor if he goes from his non-scoring seed to make the 200 breast finals.

Texas has at least two men that look good to score in each event this prelims session, while Jake Foster could surprise for some points in the 200 breast, as on paper (the psychs), he is seeded at 37th with a time that is nearly two seconds off of his best. Austin Katz is also someone who has looked off this weekend, but it would be huge if he makes the A-final in the 200 back here, which is his best event and the race he won the 2018 NCAA title in.

Saturday Prelims Heat Sheet


  • NCAA Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (Cal) – 2016
  • American Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (Cal) – 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (Cal) – 2016
  • Meet Record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (Cal) – 2016
  • 2019 Champion: John Shebat (Texas), 1:36.42
  • 2020 Top Performer: Shaine Casas (Texas A&M), 1:37.20

Top 8

  1. Destin Lasco (Cal) – 1:37.19
  2. Shaine Casas (Texas A&M) – 1:37.23
  3. Carson Foster (Texas) – 1:38.41
  4. Bryce Mefford (Cal) – 1:38.55
  5. Daniel Carr (Cal) – 1:38.63
  6. Austin Katz (Texas) – 1:39.55
  7. Javi Acevedo (Georgia) – 1:39.60
  8. Justin Grender (UVA)/Clark Beach (Florida) – 1:40.20

Swim-off results: Clark Beach of Florida won in 1:40.02 ahead of Justin Grender’s 1:40.96. Beach will swim in the A-final tonight and Grender will have lane four in the B.

Shaine Casas of Texas A&M took control of the final heat, doing enough to win at 1:37.23, which will be good for second tonight. Carson Foster of Texas was second in 1:38.41, just ahead of Cal’s Bryce Mefford (1:38.55).

Cal freshman Destin Lasco ran away with heat four, going 1:37.19 to break the pool record and hit the top time of the morning, becoming the #6 performer in history with a .94 drop from his old best. Texas’s Austin Katz was second in 1:39.55, touching out Georgia’s Javi Acevedo (1:39.60).

In the first circle-seeded heat, Cal’s Daniel Carr shot out to the lead and held strong, winning it in 1:38.63. Clark Beach of Florida and Justin Grender of Virginia tied for second there at 1:40.20 as Grender sliced .01 off of the school record. Beach and Grender are tied for the eight spot in the A-final, so a swim-off should decide which one gets in.

Cal gets three up into the A-final, while Colby Mefford hung on to snag 16th and the last spot in the B-final. Texas has two up, while Peter Larson was a couple tenths off of 16th, settling for the first alternate spot.

Missouri’s Jack Dahlgren and Indiana’s Jacob Steele tied for the heat two win at 1:40.49, both breaking 1:41 for the first time this season. For Steele, it’s his first time under 1:41 ever.

In heat one, Virginia’s Sean Conway won in 1:41.43, dropping a few tenths from seed.


  • NCAA Record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) – 2018
  • American Record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) – 2018
  • U.S. Open Record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) – 2018
  • Meet Record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) – 2018
  • 2019 Champion: Dean Farris (Harvard), 40.80
  • 2020 Top Performer: Daniel Krueger (Texas), 41.26

Top 8

  1. Ryan Hoffer (Cal) – 40.90
  2. Drew Kibler (Texas) – 41.45
  3. Daniel Krueger (Texas) – 41.48
  4. Bjorn Seeliger (Cal) – 41.65
  5. Brooks Curry (LSU) – 41.77
  6. Kieran Smith (Florida) – 41.79
  7. Nikola Acin (Purdue) – 41.81
  8. Matt King (Alabama) – 41.83

Cal’s Ryan Hoffer dropped a big 40.90, finally beating his lifetime best from high school, a 41.23 done in 2015. He’s now the #5 all-time performer, and has a chance to move to #2 if he can drop to 40.76, which belongs to Vladimir Morozov.

The last heat went to Daniel Krueger of Texas at 41.48, ahead of LSU’s Brooks Curry (41.77) and Florida’s Kieran Smith (41.79). Purdue’s Nikola Acin dropped almost a half-second, going 41.81 to get a spot in the A-final.

The first circle-seeded heat went to Drew Kibler of Texas, clocking a 41.45 to edge out Alabama’s Matt King (41.83). King was DQ’d in the 50 free for a false start, so this was a good comeback for him as he squeaks into the A-final.

In heat three, Cal freshman Bjorn Seeliger rocketed out to the lead in lane one, going out in 19.6. He touched in 41.65, winning the heat by over a second. Seeliger did not suit-up at Pac-12s in this race, so a big drop was imminent; he took 1.3 seconds off of his seed and makes the A-final at fourth.

Cal and Texas each got two into the A-final, taking up the top four spots, while Texas also got a B-finalist with Chris Staka (42.37).

Mark Theall of Texas A&M dropped a 42.43 to claim heat two, just ahead of Texas’s Jake Sannem (42.50) as both men dropped about three-quarters of a second. Eric Friese of Florida had a nice early heat win, claiming heat four in 42.45 and dropping two-tenths.


  • NCAA Record: Will Licon (Texas), 2017 – 1:47.91
  • American Record: Will Licon (Texas), 2017 – 1:47.91
  • U.S. Open Record: Will Licon (Texas), 2017 – 1:47.91
  • Meet Record: Will Licon (Texas), 2017 – 1:47.91
  • 2019 Champion: Andrew Seliskar (Cal) – 1:48.70
  • 2020 Top Performer: Reece Whitley (Cal) – 1:49.85

Top 8

  1. Reece Whitley (Cal) – 1:49.87
  2. Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 1:50.88
  3. Daniel Roy (Stanford) – 1:51.76
  4. Caspar Corbeau (Texas) – 1:52.01
  5. Carles Coll Marti (Virginia Tech) – 1:52.23
  6. Caio Pumputis (Georgia Tech)/Hugo Gonzalez (Cal) – 1:52.26 *TIE*
  7. Keefer Barnum (UVA) – 1:52.30

In the last heat, Cal’s Reece Whitley looked effortless with a 1:49.87, about 1.3 seconds off of his season and lifetime best. Texas’s Braden Vines and Jake Foster were sitting fifth and sixth going into the last heat at 1:52.51 and 1:52.85, respectively. But Whitley and three other men touched ahead to get into the A-final, knocking Vines and Foster down to ninth and tenth.

One of those swimmers was their teammate Caspar Corbeau at 1:52.01, while Virginia Tech freshman Carles Coll Marti hit a 1:52.26. Coll Marti tied with another Spaniard, Hugo Gonzalez, at sixth in the A-final. Not seeded to score, this was a big swing for Gonzalez and Cal.

Last night’s 100 breast champion, Max McHugh of Minnesota, looked like he was swimming downhill in heat five. McHugh hit a 1:50.88, safely into the A-final with the second spot.

Heat four went to Stanford’s Daniel Roy at 1:51.76, breaking through in the final 50 ahead of Georgia Tech’s Caio Pumputis (1:52.23) and Virginia’s Keefer Barnum (1:52.30).

The electronic starter malfunctioned on heat three’s start, so the whole heat dove in before the officials called them back to re-start. After a few minutes, they were off again, and SMU’s Caleb Rhodenbaugh was 1:53.80 to take the heat.

Texas sophomore Jake Foster swam to the heat two win, hitting a quick 1:52.85 and a lifetime best by a few tenths.

Notably, top-eight seed Evgenii Somov of Louisville scratched the rest of this meet to travel and prepare for the Russian Olympic Trials.


  • NCAA Record: Jack Conger (Texas), 2017 – 1:37.37
  • American Record: Jack Conger (Texas), 2017 – 1:37.37
  • U.S. Open Record: Jack Conger (Texas), 2017 – 1:37.37
  • Meet Record: Jack Conger (Texas), 2017 – 1:37.37
  • 2019 Champion: Andreas Vazaios (NC State) – 1:38.57
  • 2020 Top Performer: Nicolas Albiero (Louisville) – 1:38.65

Top 8

  1. Nicolas Albiero (Louisville) – 1:39.61
  2. Trenton Julian (Cal) – 1:39.66
  3. Antani Ivanov (Virginia Tech) – 1:40.07
  4. Luca Urlando (Georgia) – 1:40.41
  5. Sam Pomajevich (Texas) – 1:40.77
  6. Brendan Burns (Indiana) – 1:40.83
  7. Brooks Fail (Arizona) – 1:41.17
  8. Camden Murphy (Georgia) – 1:41.33

In the last heat, Cal’s Trenton Julian powered to the win, just missing the top time of the morning with a 1:39.66. Second in the heat went to Georgia freshman Luca Urlando, who went a lifetime best 1:40.41, dropping a quarter second from his old best. Urlando is one of two Bulldogs into the A-final, with senior Camden Murphy going 1:41.33 for eighth.

Louisville’s Nicolas Albiero got it done in heat five, holding off Virginia Tech’s Antani Ivanov, 1:39.61 to 1:40.07.

In heat four, Texas’s Sam Pomajevich won in 1:40.77, ahead of Georgia’s Camden Murphy at 1:41.43.

Tomer Frankel, the Indiana freshman, dropped two seconds on the dot to claim heat two in a strong 1:41.73.

Texas has Pomajevich into the A and Alvin Jiang in the B at 1:42.46, while Cal sits #2 in the A-final and #16 in the B-final with Dare Rose.

Arizona’s Brooks Fail dropped 1.2 seconds to get into the A-final with a 1:41.17, and he’ll also have the mile later on. Fail is in heat four of five, though, so he’ll get a lot more rest before his 200 fly final than he would if he were in the heat that swims with finals.

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5 months ago


5 months ago

Cal has to match their seeds in the two bsck or do better if they want this meet

Reply to  Swimmer2
5 months ago

How can they do better!?!?!?

Reply to  JigglyPuff
5 months ago

Placing 5 guys in A-final. Also I can totally see Lasco beat Casas. Hope he doesn’t.

5 months ago

Assuming no disqualifications afterward we should pretty much know who wins after the 2 back

5 months ago

Did anyone else see Rowdy going at it with the Zach Harting on Twitter last night?

Reply to  Shaddy419
5 months ago

Rightfully so, they have so much time in between races to update on team race and talk about the line ups.

Go Blue
Reply to  Swimmer2
5 months ago

I also saw the response that was a screen recording of Rowdy saying “but this is 100% about Louisville, the story is Louisville…” and generally ranting and raving about Louisville.

Everyone who’s been on a college team knows how this works. One swimmer gets a bee in their bonnet, and because everyone’s favorite hobby is “being a victim,” they all jump in full-bore on it. Nobody’s going to check that swimmer and tell them to focus on the positive/be positive. We see it here in the comments all the time – it’s so easy to spiral with your teammates, especially when it’s Rowdy (because you feel the support of so many in your bashing).

Rowdy has been rough this week,… Read more »

Reply to  Go Blue
5 months ago

For once, I’m not actually bashing. I noticed it happened and figured I might as well point out that it happened

Reply to  Shaddy419
5 months ago

Zach has a point. Race videos are something to be treasured. I have a YouTube link of my last race from years ago- what makes it so special is the cheer of the crowd and the announcer’s calls. Now that there are no crowds cheering, the announcer calls are all the audio that remains. Rowdy needs to treat every call like it will be re-watched and re-heard over and over for years to come. If it doesn’t need to be said (sorry, “nice families”) don’t say it.

Reply to  Anonymous
5 months ago

This might be the worst take I’ve ever seen.

This is why swimming is never going to grow. They insist that the only stakeholders of the sport are the atheltes in the races and their parents and their wants and needs. Everyone else gets what they get and is demanded to like it.

Athletes – if you want “pro swimming” to be a thing, or even “revenue for college swimming so they stop cutting your programs,” buck up and stop being so self-centered. You’re the product, not the customer.

Reply to  fertilecrescent
5 months ago

I don’t think our points are mutually exclusive. A non-swimming audience would be just as pumped as the main swimming stakeholders if Rowdy had properly called Louisville as a lurking threat to the TX/CA dominance. Everyone loves a dark horse.

Reply to  Shaddy419
5 months ago

As a texas fan, that’s the problem with there being only two dominant team with swimmers that fill up the heats, it becomes the story everyone who is a causal observer fixates on

They know why most people are tuning in an they address that

In the commentators defense, they go through the finishes quickly and then spend the most time talking about Louisville

This is the problem with Twitter and social media, people look for reasons to be offended so they can publicly attack someone who just giving an honest effort at their job

Cant please everyone

Reply to  Shaddy419
5 months ago

Thank you Zach

Northern Swim Parent
5 months ago

delete me

Last edited 5 months ago by Northern Swim Parent
5 months ago

Hey it says 100 back instead of 100 free

Cal fan
5 months ago

Let’s go bears!!!

5 months ago

Anyone think hoffer will go a PB in prelims? Or even break 41 this morning?

Grant Drukker
Reply to  PFA
5 months ago

Breaks 41 tonight for the win.

Reply to  Grant Drukker
5 months ago

Nah, I think Krueger takes it in the 40.8 range. Kibler looks solid for third.

Reply to  PFA
5 months ago

40.90, if you said yes you’d be correct

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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