Day 3 Men’s NCAAs – Pac-12 Roundup: Nolan caps consistent career with 12th top-4 finish

2015 Men’s NCAA Championships


2. California – 399
4. Southern California – 278
6. Stanford – 209
13. Arizona – 125
22. Utah – 40

Nolan’s 3rd-place finish caps a consistently top-4 career

With a 3rd-place finish in the 200 backstroke, Stanford’s David Nolan capped off an NCAA career that never strayed from the top of the league.

In 12 individual swims at the NCAA Championships, the most any swimmer can attain, Nolan never finished outside the top 4.

That’s an impressive feat of both consistency and versatility. Here’s a look at Nolan’s finishes each season:

Freshman (2012)

  • 200 IM: 3rd
  • 100 back: 2nd
  • 200 back: 2nd

Sophomore (2013)

  • 200 IM: 1st
  • 100 back: 1st
  • 200 back: 2nd

Junior (2014)

  • 200 IM: 3rd
  • 100 back: 4th
  • 200 back: 3rd

Senior (2015)

  • 200 IM: 1st
  • 100 back: 2nd
  • 200 back 3rd

Tonight’s swim was against an incredible field, with Cal’s Ryan Murphy becoming the fastest man in history at the top of the field, and 7 of the 8 finalists went 1:39 or better at some point during the day. Compare that to Nolan’s freshman year, when he and Corey Chitwood were the only two men to break that barrier.

That’s a sign of the rising tide in the event, and the Stanford Cardinal who continually stayed at the top of that tide.

Quick Hits

  • Utah’s Bence Kiraly had a huge swim out of the early heats of the mile, blasting a 14:41.86 that held up as the 4th-best time overall.
  • Cal’s Ryan Murphy was the obvious star of the night. The sophomore broke Ryan Lochte‘s American 200 back record and sewed up the NCAA Swimmer of the Meet award with his second individual win and second major record.
  • If that wasn’t enough, Murphy put up an insane 41.14 split on the 400 free relay trying to pull Cal back into contention. That was the second-best split of the entire field, even better than 100 free winner Kristian Gkolomeev of Alabama (41.19).
  • Also great on that relay was Seth Stubblefield, who had a disappointing meet as a senior, but came through when it really counted with a 41.94 split on that 3rd-place relay.
  • USC proved their relay prowess tonight, winning their second-straight relay event with a 2:47.06 in the 400 free relay. That was just over a second off the NCAA and US Open records set by a super-suited 2009 Auburn team loaded with Olympians. Southern Cal’s relay was made up of Cristian Quintero (42.39), Santo Condorelli (41.72), Ralf Tribuntsov (41.64) and Dylan Carter (41.31).
  • Also of note in that relay: Stanford’s Nolan split 41.49 in his final college swim.
  • Kevin Cordes wasn’t able to defend his 200 breaststroke title, falling to Texas’s Will Licon. But Cordes still owns the American record and put up the 5th-best swim of all-time tonight.
  • Cal’s Chuck Katis became just the 3rd man in history under 1:51 in the event, going 1:50.54, and the 4th man ever under the barrier followed him in with Nic Fink‘s 1:50.80. In fact, all four men in history to break 1:51 were in tonight’s final.
  • USC’s Quintero was a relay machine all week, and added a 3rd-place finish individually in the 100 free, going 42.18.
  • Cal’s Adam Hinshaw capped an explosive senior season with his highest finish of the meet, going 1:42.22 for 5th in the 200 fly after qualifying 8th in prelims
  • In the diving well, Arizona’s Rafael Quintero found perfection, scoring straight 10s on his final dive to earn 4th place overall.

Photo Gallery

(All photos courtesy of Tim Binning/

Murphy 2back Binning

Ryan Murphy is #1 in history in the 200 back, and also won Swimmer of the Meet.

_Murphy_ Ryan, California, Murphy, Ryan Murphy, SO_TBX_0943

Surface tension. (Ryan Murphy in prelims).

_Murphy_ Ryan, California, Murphy, Ryan Murphy, SO_TBX_0953

Ryan Murphy in prelims.

_Cordes_ Kevin, Arizona, Cordes, Kevin Cordes, SR_TBX_1277

Kevin Cordes in prelims.

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6 years ago

Is there an all-time individual scoring list for NCAA’s? I would be interested to see where Nolan lands on it. Morales/Coughlin would likely be at the top of the list for Men/Women.But after that I have no idea what the list looks like.

6 years ago

Coughlin of Cal won 11 out of her 12 individual swims 2001-2004, and placed 3rd in the other. I don’t think anyone ever went 12 for 12. I think Roy Saari of USC went 9 for 9 1963-1965, before freshmen were allowed to swim Varsity (which started in the ’67-’68 season).

6 years ago

Curious and TGregory, Thank you, because I was wondering about this question also!

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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