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
In our 400 free relay preview article, we noted that the Cal Bears hadn’t won a 400 free relay title since 2011. While the Bears fell short of the overall NCAA championship, they still went out in style, taking their first title in this event in a decade with a time of 2:46.60.
That’s exactly the reverse of what happened in 2019, when Cal took the team title, but Texas won the 400 free relay with one of the fastest times ever to close out the meet. This is now the 7th-straight NCAA Championships where Cal and Texas have finished in the top two spots, with Texas winning five times and Cal twice.
Cal and Texas each put at least one man into every A-final, something that’s rare enough for one school today. We’re not sure if two schools have ever done it before at the same meet, or if so, how long it’s been, but it’s safe to say it is not a regular occurrence, further testifying to just how dominant these two teams were this week.
Back to the relay — Cal’s Ryan Hoffer, the winner in the individual 100 freestyle, had the fastest relay split of the night a 40.86 on Cal’s second leg. Florida’s Kieran Smith (41.27) and Eric Friese (41.45) had the next two fastest splits, while Alabama’s Matt King had the fastest leadoff with a 41.64
- The 1650 is normally a race where you see some big differences from seed, but three men today came within 0.4s of their seed time, including champion Bobby Finke (+0.34s), Jack Walker (+0.17s) and Alfonso Mestre (-0.39s).
- The ACC has been coming around for a while now, and they put four teams into the top eight of the 400 free relay, and had 10 teams in the top 26 in the overall standings, with every school scoring except Boston College and Duke scoring.
- As of one of our commenters pointed out, Florida’s relays finished 2nd (x3), 3rd, and 4th, and did not have a single senior on a relay leg. Watch out for them to grab a relay title next year.
- In some ways, Louisville senior Nick Albiero is reminiscent of former Texas swimmer Jack Conger, at least in terms of being a fly/back guy who could also slot in on any relay. And like Conger, Albiero secured his first individual NCAA title in the last individual event of his senior year, winning the 200 fly tonight. Albiero’s win gives the ACC its 3rd-straight title in this event after NC State’s Andreas Vazaios won in 2018 and 2019.
- Speaking of the 200 fly, a whopping 8 men ended up 1:40 in the event this season, including Shaine Casas, who didn’t even swim this at NCAAs, opting instead for the 200 back. Best we can tell, that’s that highest number of 1:39s ever, with the 4 in 2018 being the previous high.
- One more note on the 200 fly, you’ve got to give Arizona senior Brooks Fail a lot of credit for gutting out a 1:41.82 in the 200 fly after placing 4th in the 1650 with a 14:31.38 earlier today.
There’s a lot more we can analyze, but it’s been a long couple weeks of racing, so check back over the next few days as we break down the results in more detail. For now, here’s all the relay splits from tonight, sorted in order:
400 Free Relay Splits
|NC State||Luke Miller||41.68|
|NC State||Hunter Tapp||41.79|
|Virginia Tech||Antani Ivanov||42.03|
|Texas A&M||Mark Theall||42.11|
|Virginia Tech||Carles Coll Marti||42.15|
|Ohio State||Paul DeLakis||42.15|
|Virginia Tech||Blake Manoff||42.22|
|Ohio State||Hunter Armstrong||42.22||Y|
|Florida State||Max McCusker||42.23|
|NC State||Kacper Stokowski||42.27|
|Ohio State||Sem Andreis||42.32|
|Virginia Tech||Youssef Ramadan||42.37||Y|
|Florida State||Peter Varjasi||42.46||Y|
|Texas A&M||Koko Bratanov||42.48||Y|
|Southern Cal||Alexei Sancov||42.71|
|NC State||Giovanni Izzo||42.73||Y|
|Southern Cal||Nikola Miljenic||42.77||Y|
|Florida State||Kuba Ksiazek||42.89|
|Georgia Tech||Baturalp Unlu||42.91||Y|
|Southern Cal||Max Saunders||43.04|
|Texas A&M||Carter Nelson||43.10|
|Florida State||Mason Herbert||43.19|
|Southern Cal||Bill Cruz||43.27|
|Georgia Tech||Caio Pumputis||43.28|
|Georgia Tech||Austin Daniel||43.49|
|Ohio State||Justin Fleagle||43.71|
|Texas A&M||Elijah Sohn||43.76|
|Georgia Tech||Justin Alderson||44.24|