Texas Takes Number Ten on Final Day of NCAA Champs

Live results on NCAA.com

(Note: This was originally written and posted  as the events happened) Coming into the final day of the Men’s NCAA Championships, the Cal Golden Bears had a small lead over the Texas Longhorns. The meet was still up in the air, as both teams have many strong performances to count on in the final day.

1650 freestyle

The 1650, which is swum as a timed final, kicked off the final day. Stanford’s Chad La Tourette blew away the field to win in 14:42.87. Martin Grodzki finsihed second, well back in 14:48.15. Jackson Wilcox of Texas scored major points for the Longhorns by grabbing third place in 14:49.47. The rest of the top 8 were Michael McBroom of Minnesota, Stefan Sigrist of Ohio State, Joe Kinderwater of North Carolina, Troy Prinsloo also of Georgia, and Mark Randall of Alabama.

Texas scored 16 points in this event, to none for Cal, to make the teams virtually even headed into the rest of the meet (Cal has a 2.5 point lead). Stanford’s huge showing in the event brought them closer to a top four finish, where they have resided for the last 28 straight NCAA Championships.

This meet just got VERY interesting.

200 backstroke

The Arizona Wildcats had 3 top-8 finalists, and one NCAA Champion in this event. Cory Chitwood pulled off a minor upset by dropping over a second from prelims to grab the win in 1:39.29. Although Chitwood is one of the best backstrokers in the nation, the impressive part is that he beat Tyler Clary of Michigan, who is the defending NCAA Champion and NCAA record-holder in the event. Clary’s final time was 1:39.89. Eugene Godsoe of Stanford, who won the 100 backstroke handily on day 2, finished 3rd in 1:40.07.

Omar Pinzon of Florida finished fourth, Jake Tapp or Arizona finished fifth, Texas’ Austin Surhoff was sixth, Bryan O’connor also of Arizona was seventh, and Marco Loughran was eighth.

Although Texas pulled ahead of California in the standings (365-353.5), they could have done better. The Longhorns had three in the B-final to Cal’s 1, but those three finish in the last three spots to muster only 6 additional points. Arizona sits in third with 315, Florida in fourth with 294, and Stanford in fifth with 272.

100 freestyle

Cal’s Nathan Adrian came up huge for the Golden Bears in the 100 freestyle by taking the win in 41.50 seconds for 20 big points. What’s even more important is that he held off Texas’ Jimmy Feigen, who was second in 41.96. Swapping first and second results in a 6 point swing in the standings. Auburn had the next two finishers in Gideon Louw and Adam Brown, at 42.06 and 42.36 respectively. David Dunford of Stanford was fifth, and Josh Schneider from Cinicinnati, who won the 50 was sixth. At the back of the 100 freestyle A-final, there was another very important battle in the team race between Texas’ Dave Walters and Cal’s Graeme Moore. The two swimmers were back-and-forth the whole race, but Moore was able to just outreach Walters, 42.90-42.96.

As evidence of just how closely matched these two squads are, Texas’s Scott Jostes and Cal’s Josh Daniels tied for the consolation championship in 42.82. Texas’ Ben Vanroekel finished 13th overall.

Cal was able to barely slice into Texas’ lead in this event, with the Longhorns now leading 404-393.5. The rest of the top 5 also stayed relatively the same, with Arizona in third (315), Florida in fourth (301), and Cal in fifth (290).

200 breaststroke

Texas’ Scott Spann was only .02 seconds away from possibly sealing the meet up for the Longhorns, but Arizona’s Clark Burkle had a great back-half charge to overtake the Olympian and win in 1:53.19. Spann’s time was 1:53.21. George Klein of Auburn, who had a solid lead at the 150 mark, faded to finish third in 1:43.34.

Cal’s Martti Aljand finished fourth to keep Cal hanging on by a thread in the team race. Carlos Almeida of Louisville was fifth, followed by Curtis Lovelace of Stanford, Eric Friedland of Texas picking up 12 more big points, and Jack Brown also of Arizona.

The Wildcats’ impressive breaststroke crew also had 3 finishers in the B-final, and all but locked up a 3rd place finish. Stanford moved into 4th ahead of Florida, who didn’t have a scorer in the event. Texas’ lead was extended to 24.5 points, at 433-408.5. With only 3 events left, it appears that the top 6 is  locked up aside from the battle between Florida and Stanford for 4th. Auburn is solidly in sixth place.

With Texas having two A-finalists in the platform diving, guaranteeing them at least a 23 point pick-up on Cal, the Longhorns will be the 2010 NCAA Champions barring a DQ in the relay. This is despite Cal having the top seed, Tom Shields, in the upcoming 200 butterfly.

200 butterfly

Cal’s Tom Shields, as  mentioned above, came into this race as the top overall seed in this event, and through 150 yards it looked as though he would hold this spot ahead of Florida’s Shaune Fraser. However, in the final lap of the race, Fraser threw down an amazing last 50 split of 26.49 to Shields’ 27.19, and pulled off the win in 1:41.45 to Shields’ 1:41.52.

Although this was a great battle between the two swimmers, on first watch it appeared as though it was a battle for second place. Georgia’s Mark Dylla, who touched the wall fist in 1:41.14, was DQ’ed for a brutal one-handed touch.

Bobby Bollier of Stanford also had a great last split of 26.38 in an effort to chase down Shields for the silver, but just ran out of room to finish in 1:41.54. He was followed by teammate David Mosko in fourth, Michigan’s Dan Medwed in fifth, Florida’s Sebastian Rousseau in sixth, and Wisconsin’ Daniel Lester in seventh.

Texas, whose only scorer was from a 12th place finish by Ricky Berens, saw their lead sliced to only 8.5 points, 438-429.5. This lead is deceivingly close, as Texas will have at least a 31 point lead going into the final relay, and likely much more than that. As I said after the last event, unless the Texas relay DQ’s they will be the 2010 National Champions.

Stanford’s lead in the battle for fourth palce slipped to 3 points over Florida. This will be the most exciting team battle in the 400 free relay, as the two relays are seeded fifth (Stanford) and sixth (Florida), respectively. Florida will need to beat Stanford by at least two places to overtake them end end the Cardinal’s run.

Platform Diving

With a great showing from divers Matt Cooper (3rd) and Drew Livingston (7th), Texas gave themselves a hefty margin of error going into the final relay. There lead  of 36.5 points means that even if Texas’ relay were to DQ, Cal would have to win the relay over a very fast Auburn squad to take the meet. This gives the Longhorns the freedom to go after fast relay starts and try and win the race to put a solid finish to a great meet.

Duke’s Nick McCrory won the event with a monster score of 534 points, which is an NCAA meet record. Riley Mccormick was second with 469.50 points. This means McCrory almost could’ve failed a dive and still won the event, which shows exactly how amazing his score was. Purdue’s David Boudia, who previously held the record and is the defending NCAA Champ, finished in 6th, nearly 80 points off of his preliminary score.

400 free relay

The Auburn Tigers, who were the top seed after prelims, had their event championship hopes dashed before they even started, thanks to a DQ by their leadoff swimmer, Chris Fox. This left Cal and Texas to duke it out for the crown, although Texas had the team championship all but sealed up at this point. Texas swam their two studs, Dave Walters and Jimmy Feigen, as the first and second legs of the relay, but Cal was able to keep it surprisingly close. The Golden Bears’ Josh Daniels was able to match Feigen’s 42.01 split in the second leg, to keep Cal within a second headed into the fsecond half of the race. Cal’s Tom Shields and Texas’ Scott Jostes were fairly even, which threw Nathan Adrian into a race against Ricky Berens, in a battle of stars.

Adrian is clearly the better sprinter, but Berens had a .89 second lead to work with. The two seniors gave a fitting end to a very exciting meet, but in the end, Adrian swam an out-of-this-world split of 40.98 seconds, to Berens’ 43.21, but Berens clearly had a bigger motive in this swim. His comically-slow reaction time of .61 seconds made it obvious that his goal was to be safe and ensure his team the 2010 National Championship.

Cal won the relay in 2:48.78, ahead of Texas in 2:49.90. Stanford finished third, but was never really in the race. That third place finish, however, was enough to guarantee Texas a 29th straight top-4 finish at the NCAA Championships. They were followed by Florida in fourth, Kentucky in fifth, Arizona in sixth, and Minnesota in seventh.

Overall

With the final race, the Texas Longhorns were officially crowned as the 2010 NCAA Champions with exactly 500 points. This gives Eddie Reese (and Texas) his 10th national championship, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time career titles Division-1 list, behind only Ohio State’s Mike Peppe, who won 11 titles with host Ohio State in the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Texas also moves into second place all-time for team titles won, behind only Peppe’s Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines.

Cal finished in second place, followed by Arizona, who had a magnificent taper to move up the ranks, and Stanford, who as we mentioned was in the top 4 for the 29th straight year. The Florida Gators were fifth, and the Auburn Tigers, who were last year’s champions, finished sixth.

Final Standings

  1. Texas- 500
  2. California-469.5
  3. Arizona 387
  4. Stanford 369
  5. Florida 364
  6. Auburn 277.5
  7. Michigan 204
  8. Georgia 143
  9. Ohio State 136.5
  10. Virginia 123

Stay tuned over the next few days as we will take a look back at the meet and give out some awards to the top performers!

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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