We roll on to day 2 of the 2013 Men’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana, and this is a make-or-break day for the Cal Golden Bears. They need to score even points for the day (in other words, be within 30 going into Saturday), to have a chance.
That won’t be easy, as Michigan has great swimmers in the 100 stroke events, as well as the 200 freestyle that’s on this second day of the meet. Cal, however, has their ace-in-the-hole Tom Shields, who by himself should pick up two event victories before all is said and done.
Most of the points should go the way of Cal and Michigan, though Arizona has an individual swim from breaststroker Kevin Cordes, who by all accounts should crush the NCAA Record, and another big medley relay to come.
The events we’ll see today:
- 200 medley relay
- 400 IM
- 100 fly
- 200 free
- 100 breast
- 100 back
- 3-meter diving
- 800 free relay
Men’s 200 Medley Relay – Prelims
A lot of teams took the prelims of this 200 medley relay with dangerous caution perhaps, however the end result was still one that you would have expected. The same top 8 teams will advance to the A-Final of this 200 medley relay, with the exception that Stanford (who was DQ’ed in prelims yesterday) takes the spot of Florida (for whom this is probably the weakest relay of the meet).
Auburn took the top seed after prelims in 1:24.43, but things are tight going into finals. They’re one of a handful of relays that probably didn’t use their A-squad; they had Marcelo Chierighini on the fly and TJ Leon on the freestyle. That will change tonight to either have James Disney-May on the anchor leg, or Chierighini anchoring and Arthur Mendes swimming butterfly. Either way, this relay probably gets half-a-second faster (though, Leon’s 19.34 split was pretty good in itself).
Kyle Owens looked sharp for the Tigers, splitting a 21.03 on the backstroke: the fastest of the field. He had a poor 200 IM prelim in his first swim of the meet, but has really heated up since then.
Michigan’s Miguel Ortiz also looked great on his backstroke, splitting 21.04. The Wolverines pretty-well hauled on this prelims relay, but were still 1.2 seconds off of seed. The difference: John Wojciechowski swam the fly leg (20.94). When they put Sean Fletcher there tonight, and he splits better than a 20, that will get them well into the 1:23 range.
Stanford took their A-lineup out this morning, and though their exchanges were still pushed a little bit, there were no DQ issues here. An 18.98 anchor from Aaron Wayne took them to the 3rd seed in 1:24.64. Arizona was 4th in 1:24.78. They have two possible changes to make tonight as well, with Carl Mickelson swimming the breaststroke this morning (23.69) and Jeffrey Amlee anchoring in 19.63. I’ll admit: we didn’t know much, if anything, about Amlee coming into this meet; he’s a local freestyler out of Tucson who swims the 50 all-the-way. Based on how well we saw Arizona do in finals yesterday when able to give guys lots of rest in the morning, you have to like the Wildcats chances to move up tonight.
USC was 5th in the morning on a 1:24.83; Vlad Morozov was an 18.47 anchor. Might he go under 18 seconds again tonight? Will we even be impressed by it this time? He looked ever-so-slightly fatigued by the end of the session on Thursday, so we’ll have to see how he’s recovered tonight.
Cal was 6th in 1:24.87. They used their A-lineup (not as much flexibility for Cal as they’ve had in the past), with a 21.30 backstroke split from Tony Cox serving them well. The Golden Bears will have to be faster through their middle legs tonight – Hoyt was 23.82, and Shields was 20.39. We know for a fact that Shields will demolish that time, because he was roughly seven-tenths of a second faster on the first-half of his 100 fly split in the longer medley. Conserving energy for him, with 7 swims today, was vital, and they weren’t even close to falling to the B-Final as there was still a big drop off to Texas (1:25.67) and Penn State (1:25.67) in 7th and 8th. Best splits there were a 23.64 breaststroke from Dax Hill and a 20.33 fly from Sean Grier.
Ohio State and Virginia Tech both had good back-halves to tie for 9th. Indiana (still no Eric Ress) is into the B-Final 13th, with Daniel Kanorr splitting 19.10 on their anchor, and Florida was 16th with the same from Brad deBorde.
Men’s 400 IM – Prelims
With an infusion of freshman talent, this men’s 400 IM field is about the fastest it’s ever been. With four rookies in the top eight finishers out of the morning heats, Michigan’s Dylan Bosch was a 3:42.42 for the 8th seed. That’s three-seconds better than it took to take the top 8 last year.
And that cutoff would have been even lower, had it not been for a DQ of Florida’s Sebastien Rousseau, who had his 3:40.36 wiped off of the board after officials called him for having his shoulders past vertical on the back-to-breast turn. Georgia’s Ty Stewart was called for the same thing in the same heat.
As things were, Georgia freshman Chase Kalisz (3:40.09) and Wisconsin’s Michael Weiss (3:40.59), who were the top two seeds coming in, held those spots (in reverse order) in the morning. There’s a lot of great breaststrokers in this field, but of the two Weiss is a little faster on his first 200 yards.
Florida’s Dan Wallace, who is having a great sophomore year, was 3rd in 3:40.80, and Texas’ Austin Surhoff dropped 5-seconds from his season best and broke Bryan Collins’ Texas school record in the race.
Cal’s Josh Prenot is the best breaststroker, in terms of the IM leg breaststroke, and was a 1:00.68 on that split en route to a 3:41.06 for the 5th seed. The breaststrokers always seem to fare much better in this 400 IM than in the shorter 200 IM: look at the winner Austen Thompson from Arizona last year. He was a 1:00.0 on his breaststroke split, and won the race by two seconds.
Indiana’s Stephen Schmuhl is starting to creep into a great meet, and is 6th into the final in 3:41.98. He should lead after the butterfly leg in tonight’s final.Arizona’s Michael Meyer had to come out of the slow heats (he was 2nd-to-last seed in this event) again, but his 3:42.21 earned him an A-Final berth. He was fast in the 200 IM prelims early as well, though he missed the top-16 in that race. Both he and Bosch (7th-8th) are freshmen from South Africa.
Guys who would have made the A-Final last year, but are in the B this year: Cal’s Adam Hinshaw, Michigan’s Kyle Whitaker, Stanford’s Drew Cosgarea, UNC’s Tom Luchsinger, Florida’s Connor Signorin, and Ohio State’s Tamas Gercsak. Indiana’s Sam Trahin (15th seed) and Stanford’s Matt Thompson (16th seed) both would have missed by fewer than four-tenths of a second. That’s fast.
Men’s 100 Fly – Prelims
Tom Shields showed off his dominance in the 100 fly by coasting to a top seed in the 100 fly in 45.27, despite clearly putting little effort into the race. Even with the slowest reaction time in the field (which is pretty standard for him), he was four-tenths up on Arizona’s Giles Smith, who swam a 45.68 for the 2nd seed and a lifetime best. His front-half speed has really taken a huge leap from last year, thanks in part to a great start, so he may keep close to Shields at the halfway mark.
That is the same order the final is supposed to go tonight, and how it went last year. With five guys under 46 seconds, though, Smith will have a large group hoping to knock him off of that second-place spot. That includes Michigan’s Miguel Ortiz, who continued a spectacular weekend of swimming by knocking 1.1 seconds off of his previous lifetime best.
This final holds much more experience than the race we saw before it. Of the 16 swimmers who made it back for an evening swim, there is one sophomore (Stanford’s Jack Lane – 14th), 6 juniors, and 9 seniors.
(Looking way ahead – there’s relatively way more youth in the 100 back next year, so my guess is that Jack Conger will start his career as a 100 butterflier individually)
Ohio State’s Tim Phillips was 5th in 45.99, followed by Florida’s Marcin Cieslak (46.04) and Michigan’s Sean Fletcher (46.05). The Wolverines will want Fletcher to jump up a few spots in finals, but with both them and Cal getting two up after how most of this morning went, I think both teams will be happy with that.
North Carolina State’s Barrett Miesfeld has carried over his ACC taper the best at this meet of the Woldpack swimmers so far, and continued that by finishing 8th in this prelim in 46.16.
Men’s 200 Free – Prelims
Don’t sleep on outside smoke in tonight’s men’s 200 freestyle final. Coming as the top two finishers in a relatively slow final heat, Joao de Lucca from Louisville (1:33.85) and the defending champion Dax Hill from Texas (1:33.88) will occupy lanes 1 and 8 in tonight’s final, despite most observers picking them as the two favorites in this race.
That slow last heat worked to the advantage of Michigan, with Michael Wynalda (1:33.71) and Connor Jaeger (1:33.81) holding on to the 5th-and-6th seeds, when it looked like they were teetering on the edge of being knocked out. With 9th place being Florida’s Pawel Werner in 1:33.90, they were still both on the brink.
The top seed will be USC’s Cristian Quintero, shaving .05 off of his Pac-12 winning time with a 1:33.16. He’s followed closely by his teammate Dimitri Colupaev, last year’s runner-up, who was a 1:33.42. Stanford freshman Tom Kremer was the only to make the A-Final, and did so in 1:33.44. As a great 100 butterflier as well, Kremer will always have to choose between this 200 free and the 100 fly – even a double seems nearly impossible as the events are back-to-back.. Texas’ Clay Youngquist was the last finalist, finishing 4th in 1:33.63.
Cal’s only scorer in the event tonight will be Will Hamilton, who was 16th in prelims with a 1:34.66. That’s not great for Cal, but with Michigan’s Hasan Abdel-Khalik (1:34.68 – 17th), Peter Brumm (1:34.94 – 20th), Anders Nielsen (1:34.95 – 21st), and Justin Glanda (1:35.15 – 22nd) all in the first few guys out, the Wolverines missed on some scoring opportunities as well.
Men’s 100 Breast – Prelims
Arizona’s Kevin Cordes and USC’s Vlad Morozov have been the stars of this meet so far, and they’ll get a chance to go head-to-head, side-by-side in tonight’s final in this 100 breaststroke. Cordes took the top seed in a new American Record of 50.93 (read more about that record here), with Morozov re-breaking his own USC Record (by .01 seconds) with a 52.05.
I don’t expect anybody to be able to challenge Cordes tonight, but look for Morozov to get a bit quicker tonight based on how much of a drop we saw from his three day one swims.
Michigan, on a day where they lost a lot of spots, stemmed the bleeding a little bit thanks to a 52.11 3rd-seeded breaststroke from Richard Funk. Arizona’s Kevin Steel gave the Wildcats a second swimmer into the A-Final with a 52.27. Carl Mickelson, who’s been swimming really well, fell into the B as the 9th seed in 52.73.
Georgia’s Nic Fink, the two-time defending SEC champion in the race, is the 5th seed in 52.54: his first career A-Final.
Cal’s Trevor Hoyt (52.65) was 6th, followed by Indiana’s Cody Miller and Missouri’s Sam Tierney tying for 7th in 52.66. Those are two guys that a lot of people picked into the top three, so it would’ve been rough had they not made it back for the championship heat.
Men’s 100 Back – Prelims
Another swim, another big result for Michigan’s Miguel Ortiz. He was a 45.48 in this 100 backstroke to break his own School Record for the third time this meet and take the top seed into finals. That put him a tenth ahead of Arizona’s Mitchell Friedemann (45.58) and the group that everyone expected to be at the top of this pile.
Auburn’s Kyle Owens continues to be out of his funk with a 45.79 for the 3rd seed, followed by Stanford’s David Nolan (45.92) and Cal’s Tom Shields (46.01).
That’s another energy-conserving swim for the defending champ Shields, though he cut this one really close (.12 from being in the B-Final).
Indiana’s Eric Ress, in only the second race we’ve seen from him, was a 46.03 for the 6th seed, followed by Cal’s Jacob Pebley (46.11), and Indiana’s James Wells (46.14). Indiana and Cal both got two in the A-Final; Michigan just got one in the A-Final, but if Ortiz can hold a top three spot (Michigan’s backstrokes are their weakest events), that will still be a big positive for them.
Texas’ Kip Darmody was 9th in 46.15, which just misses his relay leadoff from yesterday as a best time, and Wisconsin’s Drew Teduits is 10th in 46.25. Note that Teduits is a much better 200 backstroker than 100 backstroker; he enters the longer race as the 2nd seed, and after this big time drop, has a real shot at winning on Saturday.
Penn State’s Nate Savoy won a swimoff against USC’s Luca Spinazzola for the 16th spot in this race. Savoy saved his best swim for that swim-off, going a 46.18. Both swimmers were faster than their first shot.