Day 1 Men’s NCAAs – Pac-12 Roundup: Nolan matches Missy, smashes 1:40-barrier

2015 Men’s NCAA Championships


2. California – 119
6. Southern California – 77
7. Stanford – 75
10. Arizona – 54
19. Utah – 12

Stanford’s Nolan destroys the 1:40-barrier with American record 200 IM

For the second time in a week, a Pac-12 athlete has become the first swimmer ever under 1:40 in an event by a huge margin.

Last week it was Cal women’s Olympian Missy Franklin who did it with a 1:39.10 in the 200 free, and this week it was David Nolan. The Stanford senior burst past the 1:40-wall with flying colors in the 200 IM, going 1:39.38 to cut over six tenths off his own American record.

The swim was a thing of beauty. Nolan played perfectly to his strengths – smashing his way to a big lead on backstroke and closing with an uncatchable free split – while minimizing his weaknesses, taking over the lead from the first wall and never letting anyone come close.

Every one of Nolan’s stroke splits is outstanding in its own right. He was 21.67 on fly (tied for the best in the field), 24.32 on back (the best in the field by a longshot, even better than Cal’s backstroking NCAA record-holder Ryan Murphy), 29.21 on breast (second-best of the field) and 24.18 on free (the fastest free split of the event).

Nolan is now the fastest man in history by over .7 seconds. The second-fastest swimmer in history was in this field, and Nolan put him to shame – that was Texas sophomore Will Licon, who went 1:40.09.

That win has Stanford running 6th currently, and breathing down the neck of USC, who won the Pac-12 conference meet and was a potential national title challenger coming into this meet.

Quick Hits:

  •  Cal’s Ryan Murphy rattled off a huge 44.17 leading off the Golden Bear 400 medley relay, breaking an NCAA record held by Olympian Ryan Lochte. Murphy is just about a tenth of a second off the American record, and will get a chance to swim the race individually twice tomorrow.
  • In that same event, Cal took home an American record despite finishing second. Texas broke the US Open record, but had Singaporean national Joe Schooling on their squad. With Cal also going under the American record, it’s the Bears that get to keep the American mark. That relay was 3:01.60 and was made up of Murphy, Chuck Katis (50.12!), Justin Lynch (45.47) and Seth Stubblefield (41.84).
  • Let’s talk about Katis for a moment. The senior had the best breaststroke split in the entire NCAA, even outdoing American record-holder Kevin Cordes of Arizona. With Cordes not swimming his best during the regular season, and Katis coming on strong in his first full season competing with highly-respected coach Dave Durden, tomorrow’s 100 breaststroke could be a lot more up in the air than we’d originally suspected.
  • It wasn’t necessarily the best of days for Arizona, though the Wildcats still sit just inside the top 10. Brad Tandy missed a defense of his 50 free title, winding up tied for 3rd in 18.91.
  • Another 2014 champ missed a defense of his title: USC’s Cristian Quintero was just 5th in the 500 free. He was passed up by his own teammate, Reed Malone, who took 3rd in 4:11.94.
  • Cal’s Josh Prenot was the other 3rd-place finisher of the night for the Pac-12. He went 1:42.34 for that spot in the 200 IM.
  • Texas is leading Cal in the team points, and a big reason is that Cal’s sprinters didn’t come through quite like expected. Seth Stubblefield, 18.9 and an All-American a year ago, was just 15th this year. Tyler Messerschmidt dropped about a tenth from last year and went 19.07 in prelims, but faded to 19.19 and 6th in the final.
  • Stanford’s Kristian Ipsen put up a 3rd-place finish on 1-meter diving.
  • Cal’s Murphy was also 5th in the 200 IM. Considering that’s Murphy’s weakest of his three races, that’s a pretty good sign for his potential the next two days.

Photo Gallery

_Nolan_ David, David Nolan, Nolan, SR, Stanford_TBX_8004

David Nolan after his American record-breaking swim.

Charles Katis (courtesy of Tim Binning,

Chuck Katis (courtesy of Tim Binning,

David Nolan (courtesy of Tim Binning,

David Nolan (courtesy of Tim Binning,

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samuel huntington

while 1:39 is remarkable, I am pretty confident Phelps and Lochte could go 1:38. Remember Lochte was 1:40.0 in 2007 and got much faster in the years since.


That is quite possible, however I don’t see either competing fully tapered for a yards meet again…ever (but it would be fun to see!). The only real test now to find the best IMer is Nolan vs Lochte and Phelps in LCM or Nolan vs Lochte in SCM.

You cant deny that this was an epic IM by Nolan…very near the level of Lochte’s 1.49 in 2012!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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