Conger, Haas Lead Texas Longhorns To US Open Record In 800 Free Relay


Over the past two seasons, we have seen both US Open and American records fall in the 800 freestyle relay on the men’s and women’s side at the conference level, but not at the NCAA Championships. This year, however, the new NCAA championship format gave us an opportunity us to witness the top teams in the country throw down their best 800 freestyle relay, fully shaved and tapered.

The last major record to fall on the men’s side was the US Open record in 2014. The team of Anders NielsenMichael WynaldaJustin Glanda, and Connor Jaeger started off the 2014 Big Ten Championships with the first sub 6:10 800 freestyle relay in history. Wynalda was the difference maker in that relay, splitting 1:30.60 on the second leg of the race. They were faster than the American record that was set in 2009 by the Texas Longhorns at 6:10.16, but the Michigan foursome did not all represent the United States internationally. That old Texas-held American Record still stands, in fact, because each of the top three relays had at least one international swimmer on it.

This year, the top three teams managed to finish under Michigan’s US Open record time, but the Texas Longhorns were out of this world with a 6:08.03! Jack Conger led of with ninth fastest 200 freestyle in history and then handed the race off to Townley Haas who posted the fastest split in history. Haas, a freshman, bettered Wynalda’s 2014 split of 1:30.60 with his time of 1:30.52. Clark Smith and Joseph Schooling were able to close the relay in 1:33.28 and 1:32.34, respectively.

Comparative splits:

  • University of Michigan, 2014: 6:09.85
    • Nielsen – 1:33.52
    • Wynalda – 1:30.60 (Previous fastest split in history)
    • Glanda – 1:33.26
    • Jaeger – 1:32.47
  • University of Texas, 2016: 6:08.03

NC State and Florida also finished under the previous US Open Record at 6:09.58 and 6:09.84, respectively.

In This Story


  1. don says:

    Great swims by all so why do they look so meh? The only one that looked happy was Haas. And if Haas swims that 200 like he did in the relay, Texas will have a freshman NCAA champion.

    • RL says:

      That was a little strange, wasn’t it. I guess they have an “all business” mentality. The ladies looked much happier when they broke records. It’s the fastest time in history, for cripes sake. Smile!!!!

  2. z says:

    Why don’t the live results show splits for any of the teams past third place? I am not a fan of that.

    • Braden Keith says:

      z – we’ll try and get it fixed. In the short-term, you can leave “Commit mode” and see regular results with the toggle in the upper right.

  3. SamH says:

    Wow so happy right now. I am not a Texas fan per se, but I totally called this way back in the fall in the comment section somewhere, wish I remembered what article. I am also happy that Texas shuts up NC State fans- at least for now. I did not choose Cal for top 4 which I should have! I really thought all year Cal could go 6:11 but I figured it was a fantasy relay, boy I should have had more faith in them.

    Some notes:
    Haas, now the automatic favorite for 200, dare I say triple crown threat as well?
    Clark Smith, very underwhelming. But that both is and isn’t surprising (obviously his weakest event, but still… 1:33 mid?)
    Jan Switkowski now real contender for 200 top three finish.
    Seliskar was 1:32.4, previous best 34 split, and flat start. This certainly bodes well for his meet.
    Note for me specifically- I underestimated NC State’s retaper ability big time; HOWEVER, I still think they won’t win any relay. (Still hoping Florida will pull the upset in 200 free relay (I know lol right))

    • Eddie Rowe says:

      Who needs shutting up? Texas came to Raleigh and got the ultimate respect. We’re pumped for our Wolfpack and had every reason to be excited about this year’s relays.

      • asdf says:

        Clark smith 4:17 500 free. Very disappointing after what he did at the eddie reese invite. Im assuming he must be sick

  4. Derek Mead says:

    Insanely fast her of 800 free relays. Texas’ relay was out of this world, but I’m most impressed with NC State going 6:09.

    That might be the most surprising time from the meet. They’ll be extremely fast in their other relays. It’ll be fun to watch!

  5. Porkchop2244 says:

    I don’t want to take anything away from Texas as that relay was amazing. But I want to echo comments on NC state. Look at the names on Texas relay: all top 3 recruits. Now nc states guys were good recruits, but not that level, not top 3.

    I say this because we all know Eddie doesn’t have a ton of years left. While I’m sure Texas will land s phenomenal coach, there is no doubt NC state is on fire and has the momentum and staff to excel for decades and that’s very exciting, particularly for the acc.

    Could anyone say 5 years ago that no state would go under ncaa record in 8free relay? For acc fans, Could anyone say that they would beat UNC by 17 seconds!!!!!!

    • Paswim says:

      5 years ago, they were saying that with regard to Virginia too! Winds of change! I agree, very exciting to see such a high powered team surging through the ranks, taking the NCAA by storm

    • DELTA says:

      PORKCHOP2244, you wrote this comment on another article as well, literally word for word, I know you are clearly a big NC state fan, but are we going to be reading a version of this comment every time someone other than NC state wins?

  6. Ok says:

    The first day relay seems to have helped, that relay was insane, Conger and Hass went insanely fast. So did Switkowski, maybe he will upset Conger and Schooling, as he has the fastest long course time of all of them. Seliskar should be a big threat tommarow, a 1:32.4 from someone who isn’t a freestyler. He may improve on his IMs and butterfly as well.

  7. Paul says:

    The best part is that none of these guys graduate this year, and only two of them are seniors. They could put this record into the stratosphere next year if they want to.

  8. Aquajosh says:

    Florida was the right fit for Switkowski, and it looks like they made the right choice in pulling him from the 100 fly in favor of the 200 free. Their leadoff leg gets replaced by MAXIME ROONEY next year, so they can definitely improve their time. Florida came to swim!

  9. SeanSwimmer says:

    Not an American record just ncaa record. Schooling is from Singapore.

  10. Bitter Old Man says:

    Must be nice to have that be the first 200 you swim that day instead of the third.

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About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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