29TH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES (SUMMER UNIVERSIADE 2017)
- Sunday, August 20-Sunday, August 20, 2017
- 50-Meter Course
- Taipei, Taiwan
- National Taiwan Sport University Arena
- Meet Info
- Webcast schedule
Swimming in finals of the 400 free relay on Sunday evening at the 2017 World University Games, there were two members of the North Carolina State Wolfpack varsity team who were on the American squad.
American 400 free relay with splits:
- Maxime Rooney, 49,02 (University of Florida)
- Ryan Held, 48.25 (NC State)
- Justin Ress, 48.07 (NC State)
- Justin Lynch, 48.67 (Cal)
It’s no great revelation that NC State, under the coaching tandem of Braden Holloway and Todd DeSorbo, has become one of the great centers of swim sprinting in the United States. Now that those two coaches have split up, with DeSorbo taking over as head coach of ACC rival Virginia, there are new questions about whether the two will be able to capture the same magic separately as they did together (and if they can, that would be great for American sprinting).
But there is revelation in the 48.0 split of Ress, which was actually better than that by his teammate Held at 48.2.
Held is the more known of the two as a sprint freestyler – he was on the finals 400 free relay that won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Ress was the only of the two who earned a spot on this summer’s World Championships team, though it was in the 50 backstroke (he placed 5th).
For Ress to out-split Held on this relay (.09 of that came from a faster relay start), is less significantly about Held and more significantly about Ress – who in less than a year, has gone from internationally anonymous to internationally a future cog in the American machine. At the NCAA Championships, in yards, Ress was out-split by Held by 7-tenths of a second, which becomes over a second over-water if one factors in that Held was the leadoff leg.
But this morning, the buzz was all about Ress and his 48.0. And that’s why these World University Games are so valuable – Ress got a chance to show his quality in an event where he couldn’t crack the Worlds lineup (though his 48.07 wound up being slightly faster than Blake Pieroni’s 48.09 in finals at Worlds). And now we have one more star to be excited about for the upcoming NCAA after the graduation of the likes of Jack Conger and Ryan Murphy.
Ress’ improvements still probably aren’t enough alone to close the gap to Texas, who will enter the seasons as NCAA favorites again, but having multiple undergrads who are the stars of international competitions is the next big step in the process of putting the Wolfpack in the stratosphere with the 3 teams ahead of them, Florida, Cal, and Texas, in the top tier of collegiate competition.