arena Swim of the Week: Quintin McCarty Drops Big To Win 50 Free At NC State Invite – 18.80

Swim of the Week is brought to you by arena, a SwimSwam partner.

Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Quintin McCarty has been on fire through the first three sessions of the NC State Invitational in Greensboro, highlighted by a pair of tantalizing efforts in the men’s 50 freestyle.

McCarty entered last season as a highly-touted recruit, and after a strong start to the campaign, he was sidelined with an injury and didn’t race at all during the second semester.

After a strong summer and some promising early-season swims in 2023-24, McCarty showed up at the midseason invite firing on all cylinders.

The redshirt freshman set a monstrous best time in the 50 free prelims on Thursday, clocking 18.91 to knock 44 one-hundredths off his previous PB of 19.35 set in December 2021.

He elevated his game even further in the final, blasting his way to a time of 18.80 for another best time and the victory, with the top seed from the prelims, ASU’s Jack Dolan, falling to 4th in a blistering heat that saw the top four swimmers break 19 seconds.


  • NCAA Record: 17.63 — Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 18.82
  • 2023 NCAA Invited Time: 19.21


  1. Quintin McCarty (NCS), 18.80
  2. Ilya Kharun (ASU), 18.93
  3. Youssef Ramadan (VT), 18.97
  4. Jack Dolan (ASU), 18.99
  5. Jonny Kulow (ASU), 19.00
  6. Drew Salls (NCS), 19.21
  7. Noah Henderson (NCS), 19.53
  8. Cam Peel (ASU), 19.60

McCarty’s time would’ve made the ‘A’ final at the 2023 NCAA Championships (and been 5th in the final), with 18.87 tying for 7th in the prelims.

Prior to his swim in the individual final, McCarty split 18.57 on NC State’s 200 free relay, and at the end of the session, he anchored the Wolfpack’s 400 medley relay with a 41.78 split.

That relay split is more than eight-tenths under his flat start best in the 100 free, which stands at 42.61 from March 2022.

On Friday morning, McCarty set a personal best time of 54.62 in the 100 breaststroke, qualifying for the final in 7th, and he also advanced through to the ‘A’ final in the 100 back in 47.16 (PB of 46.55).

See arena North America here.

Follow arena USA on Instagram here.

About arena

arena has revolutionized the world of aquatic sport through insightful collaboration with world class athletes and the development of cutting edge competitive swimwear since 1973. Today, this spirit of collaboration and innovation lives on through a continuous evolution of advanced materials and Italian design that improves the performance, style and expression of all those who chose arena. From leading the lanes to living in style, arena is dedicated to providing all swimmers with the tools they need to express themselves, feel confident, win and achieve more. Because in arena, you can.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Just Sayin
16 days ago

Heck yeah ! Go Q !!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »