Dennis Pursley on rising Crimson Tide (Video)

Produced by Coleman Hodges.

Reported by Jared Anderson. 


  • NCAA Record: 1:22.27, Michigan, 2013
  • American Record: 1:22.40, California, 2015
  • U.S. Open Record: 1:22.27, Michigan, 2013
  • Pool Record: 1:23.50, California, 2016
  • 2015 Champion: 1:22.74, California

Top 3:

  1. Alabama – 1:22.28
  2. California – 1:22.49
  3. Texas – 1:22.75

Though Texas had gone undefeated in relays up to this point, it was Alabama that threw down for the 200 medley title, going 1:22.28 to come within .01 of the NCAA and U.S. Open records. That was powered by Kristian Gkolomeev’s insane 18.00 split on the freestyle – the second-best freestyle split of all-time and just off of the second 17-second split in history.

Connor Oslin had a great 20.86 on the leadoff leg, with Pavel Romanov (23.40) and Luke Kaliszak (20.02) filling out the other two legs.

Cal (1:22.49) was second and Texas (1:22.75) third, each getting a record-breaking split. Ryan Murphy led off for Cal in 20.20, the fastest 50 back in history, while Texas got a 19.36 on fly from Joseph Schooling for the fastest fly split of all-time.

Back in 4th place, Florida elected to let Caeleb Dressel loose on freestyle. The sprint champ had been swimming breaststroke on the medleys this year to cover Florida’s biggest weakness, but it was certainly worth taking a rough breaststroke leg to let Dressel pop an 18.00 on free, tying Gkolomeev for the second-best split of all-time.

Louisville was fifth in 1:24.08, getting a 20.20 from flyer Josh Quallen, while Tennessee rattled yet another all-time split record from sixth place. Peter Stevens was 22.69 on the breaststroke, coming within .05 of the best split all-time, done by Cal’s Chuck Katis a year ago.

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6 years ago

Bama is on the rise, they’ll be in contention for 2nd next year, and looking at a win sometime in the next 5 years. The improvements have been enormous, and their next recruiting class is outstanding already, with 2 already on the brink of NCAA qualifying times (converted from LCM so you never know for sure what they can do in SCY). They also lose no points at NCAA level next year to graduation.

Reply to  RammaBamma
6 years ago

Actually they lose Gholomeev, who has exhausted his eligibility as he did not have 4 years of eligibility to use.

Reply to  swim3057
6 years ago

Idk about the whole eligibility thing, but rumor has it that he is definitely going pro.Does anyone know if they have anyone replacing him thats even remotely near his splits? I did some math with their alternate in the free relays with his best splits and their second best freestyler in their medleys. They would have been down about 62 points this year which would have dropped them all the way from 6th to 12th. Again, just a hypothetical, but wow.

6 years ago

I thought that Alabama’s first relay win was the 4×100 F.R. in 1975 or 76 with Babashoff,
McDonald, Currington and the great Jonty Skinner. First college team under 3:00. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

Reply to  nealnan8
6 years ago

No, Indiana won in 75 in 2:58.42 and Southern Cal won in 76 in 2:57.54.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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