Video produced by Coleman Hodges.
Reported by Jared Anderson.
00 IM – FINALS
- NCAA – 3:34.50 – Chase Kalisz, Georgia – 2014
- Championship – 3:34.50 – Chase Kalisz, Georiga – 2014
- American – 3:34.50 – Chase Kalisz – 2014
- US Open – 3:34.50 – Chase Kalisz – 2014
- 2014 Champion – Chase Kalisz, Georgia – 3:34.50
Individual races kicked off with an entertaining back-and-forth in the 400 IM. Cal’s Adam Hinshaw had the early guts, leading the field through butterfly and the first half of backstroke. But in the middle of the pool, top-seeded Chase Kalisz and Will Liconstarted to track him down, officially taking the lead at the 200.
It was Kalisz ahead at that point, but Licon started to press his advantage over the breaststroke. Licon’s stroke is smooth compared to Kalisz’s bulldozing style, and you could see the Longhorn’s cool efficiency really start to pay off over the final 200 yards. He’d built a lead of .7 seconds heading into freestyle, and noticeably powered away from the reigning American record-holder early in the freestyle.
That gave Licon the national title in 3:36.37, the fourth-fastest time in history. He had the field’s best breaststroke split, astoundingly getting under a minute on that leg with a 59.80.
Kalisz could only watch as Licon took the title. He came in second in 3:39.51 – that’s well off his American record, and perhaps suggesting he’s focused a little more on this summer’s long course world championships. Kalisz did put up the fastest backstroke split of the field at 55.16.
His Georgia Bulldog teammate Gunnar Bentz was actually running him down late, and rolled into a 3rd-place finish in 3:39.87. His final 100 split of 49.68 was the best in the field on freestyle.