2021 NCAA MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- 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
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheets
- Live Results
This morning, we talked about how it was a lot easier to make the finals of the 50 free than it had been in previous years. And while those respective finals were pretty slow in the bottom half of each of tonight’s 50 free finals, we saw some scorching times both in the 200 free relay and at the top of the 50 free. In the opening event of the session, the 200 free relay, Cal and Florida combined for the fastest four relay splits of the night, with Cal getting a stunning 18.06 from Ryan Hoffer and a 18.51 from Daniel Carr, and Florida getting a 18.38 from Eric Friese and a 18.59 from Will Davis.
Cal got the night rocking with a 1:14.36, rattling the oldest yards U.S. Open Record, and shaving a tenth of a second off the Bears’ team record. But the Florida Gators were just a whisker behind at 1:14.48, swimming the Gators’ 2nd-fastest relay ever, just behind the Caeleb Dressel-led 1:14.39 from 2018. Florida can’t train sprinters, huh?
The Gators kept the momentum rolling in the individual 50 free, where freshman Adam Chaney took 3rd in 18.88, and sophomore Eric Friese won the B-final with a 18.90, which would’ve taken 4th in the A-final. Friese also scorched the 2nd-fastest relay split of the day with a 18.36, behind only Hoffer’s 18.06.
Cal, of course, finished 1-2 in the 50 free A-final, with Hoffer clocking a 18.33 to make the 2nd-fastest man ever, and Bjorn Seeliger taking 2nd in 18.71, making him the 2nd-freshman ever in the event.
There a few other less-familiar faces in the top 8 of the 200 free relay, as Georgia, Texas A&M, and Virginia, none of which have recently been known for their sprint squads, all set school records.
On the 400 medley relay, Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas had the fastest leadoff of the night with a 44.47. Florida’s Dillon Hillis had the fastest breaststroke split with a 50.27, as the top six teams all got 50-point splits on the breast leg. Hillis is seeded 5th individually with a 51.22. Hoffer continued his strong night with a 43.80 split on fly, the only man under 44, and what appears to be the 6th-fastest split ever. Texas anchor Daniel Krueger was the only freestyler under 41 tonight, clocking a 40.80 and setting up what should be a great battle against Hoffer in the 100 free on Saturday. Combined those four legs would go 2:59.34, still just off of Texas’ all-time record in the event.
- There was a lot of chatter about whether or not Drew Kibler should swim the 200 free relay before the 500 free or not. On one hand, Kibler probably could’ve split a 18.5, and replacing that split with Jake Sannem‘s 19.20 would’ve moved Texas from 6th to 3rd, and those six extra points are more than Kibler could’ve lost by swimming any slower in the 500 free. On the other hand, Sannem split 18.7 on this relay in 2019, and a similar split (really a 18.90 or better), would’ve also moved Texas to 3rd.
- This year, the top 13 teams in the 200 free relay all had at least one swimmer split 19, either on a leadoff or a flying split. In 2019, the top 12 teams did the same in finals. In 2018, the top 13 teams, plus the 15th team, had a sub-19 split.
- While there was only one freshman in the 500 free (champion Jake Magahey), there were two freshmen in the A-final of the 200 IM — Cal’s Destin Lasco and Texas’ Carson Foster. That appears to be the first time two freshman have made that A-final since 2013, when Cal’s Josh Prenot and Michigan’s Dylan Bosch finished 5th and 6th.
- When Virginia hired Todd DeSorbo as head coach in the summer of 2017, we figured we’d see the Cavaliers’ sprint group take a big step forward. And while it’s taken a few years, the Cavaliers not only cracked the top 8 in the 200 free relay tonight, they also were the highest-finishing ACC team after taking 4th at ACCs. The Cavaliers also clocked a school record with their 3:04.52, 9th-place effort in the 400 medley, knocking over two seconds off of their time from ACCs.
- We’re always told we’re sleeping on Arizona. We’ll admit it was true in Brooks Fail‘s case, as the Arizona senior took 3rd in the 500 free again tonight after also taking 3rd in 2019. Fail’s best time coming into today was a 4:10.77 from that 2019 swim, and he went 4:09.41 in prelims today before going 4:09.54 in finals.
- Seeliger threw down his third sub-42 relay start in the last month, anchoring Cal’s medley relay in 41.07. He didn’t break 43 individually at Pac-12s, but anyone hitting 41 on a relay split that consistently should be a lot faster than 43. Watch out for him in the individual 100 free on Saturday.
- Georgia went with an interesting lineup combination on the medley relay, opting to have Luca Urlando lead off and moving backstroker Javier Acevedo to freestyle. Urlando’s 44.9 was right in line with where Acevedo has been this season, but it is interesting that Georgia opted not to use Dillon Downing, as he went 42.25 anchoring this really at the Georgia Invite last fall after going 19.4 individually. Downing went sub-19 twice in the 50 free tonight, and you have to wonder if he could’ve been sub-42 here, especially after Urlando scratched out of possibly scoring in the 200 IM, presumably to swim all five relays.
200 Free Relay Splits
|Penn State||Will Roberson||18.78|
|Texas A&M||Mark Theall||18.79|
|NC State||Giovanni Izzo||18.79|
|Virginia Tech||Tommy Hallock||18.87|
|Texas A&M||Koko Bratanov||18.94|
|NC State||Kacper Stokowski||18.95|
|Virginia Tech||Youssef Ramadan||18.95|
|Ohio State||Semeude Andreis||18.95|
|Penn State||Jake Houck||18.96|
|Texas A&M||Shaine Casas||19.02|
|Texas A&M||Tanner Olson||19.04|
|Ohio State||Hunter Armstrong||19.04|
|NC State||Hunter Tapp||19.22|
|Florida State||Peter Varjasi||19.23|
|Florida State||Mason Herbert||19.23|
|Florida State||Kuba Ksiazek||19.27|
|NC State||Noah Henderson||19.28|
|Georgia Tech||Kyle Barone||19.31|
|Southern Cal||Max Sanders||19.31|
|Virginia Tech||David Herbert||19.33|
|Florida State||Max McCusker||19.34|
|Southern Cal||Alexei Sanov||19.34|
|Penn State||Zane Sutton||19.36|
|Georgia Tech||Baturalp Unlu||19.40|
|Ohio State||Justin Fleagle||19.52|
|Georgia Tech||Austin Daniel||19.55|
|Virginia Tech||Blake Manoff||19.57|
|Southern Cal||Nikola Miljenic||19.65|
|Georgia Tech||Christian Ferraro||19.69|
|Penn State||Gabe Castano||19.78|
|Ohio State||Colin McDermott||19.91|
400 Medley Relay Splits
|Texas A&M||Shaine Casas||44.47|
|NC State||Kacper Stokowski||45.14|
|Ohio State||Hunter Armstrong||45.67|
|Georgia Tech||Kyle Barone||46.04|
|Florida St||Mason Herbet||46.22|
|North Carolina||Tucker Burhans||46.5|
|Virginia Tech||Forest Webb||46.55|
|Ohio State||Hudson McDaniel||51.00|
|North Carolina||Valdas Abaliksta||51.27|
|Florida St||Izaak Bastian||51.31|
|Georgia Tech||Caio Pumputis||52.12|
|NC State||Rafal Kusto||52.14|
|Virginia Tech||AJ Pouch||52.66|
|Texas A&M||Andrew Puente||52.82|
|Virginia Tech||Antani Ivanov||44.20|
|Georgia Tech||Christian Ferraro||45.23|
|Florida St||Max McCusker||45.27|
|Ohio State||Sem Andreis||45.47|
|NC State||Noah Henderson||45.62|
|North Carolina||Boyd Poelke||45.73|
|Texas A&M||Jace Brown||45.85|
|NC State||Hunter Tapp||41.57|
|Ohio State||Paul Delakis||41.86|
|Virginia Tech||Blake Manoff||41.87|
|Texas A&M||Koko Bratanov||42.01|
|Florida St||Peter Varjasi||42.03|
|Georgia Tech||Baturalp Unlu||42.20|
|North Carolina||Jack Messenger||43.37|