Day 2 is the best day of the NCAA Championship schedule, and this 2013 meet will be no different in Indianapolis, Indiana at the IUPUI Natatorium where story lines run thick on Friday night.
Awards will be handed out in the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 3-meter springboard diving, and 800 free relay, in that order. The biggest things to look out for include Tom Shields of Cal trying to repeat his 100 fly/100 back double; both Shields and Arizona breaststroker Kevin Cordes gunning for American and NCAA Records; and some epic relay battles that include some of the best 200 medley and 800 free relay lineups we’ve seen in years, top-to-bottom.
As a reminder, coverage moves to ESPN3.com tonight. Click here to see all of the links you need to follow the action this weekend.
Men’s 200 Medley Relay – Final
The Michigan men continued one of the most mesmerizing and amazing seasons in college swimming history on Friday night by not only winning the 200 medley relay, but doing so in record fashion with a 1:22.27. The team of Miguel Ortiz, Bruno Ortiz, Sean Fletcher, and Zach Turk combined for the new NCAA Record swim, breaking Auburn’s old mark of 1:27.36 set by Auburn in 2009. (Read more about that record here).
When Michigan was a 1:24 at their “first chance” meet just before Big Tens, many hoped they were done. They were a 1:23 at Big Tens. Many thought they had to be done. But they took this swim down another full second at this meet. There was never really even much of a challenge on this relay. As soon as you saw sophomore Bruno Ortiz split 23.07 on his breaststroke, faster than Kevin Cordes of Arizona did, you knew that this one was in-the-bag.
Turk, just as he did for so many years for Division III power Kenyon, brought the Wolverines home with an 18.45 split to take the victory. That makes Turk both an NCAA Champion and record holder at both the Division I and Division III level.
Cal, meanwhile, was 2nd in a new American Record of 1:23.17, with Tony Cox, Trevor Hoyt, Tom Shields, and Seth Stubblefield. Stubblefield, recovering from an early-season injury, split 18.64 on the freestyle leg. Cal’s Tom Shields split 19.71, not as fast as expected: not that it would have made a difference in the final outcome.
That couldn’t have gone better for Michigan, as they collect 6 bonus points for winning the event ahead of Cal. Their grip on this team title is getting tighter-and-tighter.
Arizona, the defending champions, took 3rd in 1:23.23. That included the aforementioned Kevin Cordes in 23.08 (much like Shields, that’s about where he opened his 100 last night) and Giles Smith having the third-best fly split of the A-Final of 20.07. Auburn took 4th, leaving Marcelo Chierighini on the butterfly leg (20.22) and getting an 18.92 anchor from James Disney-May. With butterflier Arthur Mendes not swimming all-that-well at this meet (he’s only had a few months to get into a training cycle at Auburn), that was the smart play.
USC was 5th, followed by Penn State (1:25.52) and Texas (1:26.82). This was the beginning of a session for Texas where they were in many cases much slower than prelims after really pushing in the morning session. Charlie Moore took the breaststroke leg from Dax Hill tonight as Hill prepared for the 200 free individually.
Stanford DQ’ed their relay after they touched 4th; sophomore butterflier Jack Lane was early by .02 seconds. That’s the second medley that Stanford has DQ’ed at this meet.
Ohio State won the B-Final in 1:25.37, followed by Florida State in 1:25.80. Tim Phillips was a 19.97 for the Buckeyes. Missouri was 11th and Georgia finished 12th.
Florida, who is having a much better evening session than they did morning, moved up to 13th in 1:26.02.
Men’s 400 IM – Final
This was a really epic 400 IM battle. Georgia freshman Chase Kalisz, Wisconsin senior Michael Weiss, and Florida sophomore Dan Wallace all turned very close together at the halfway mark, with all three knowing that they’re all very good breaststrokers.
But Kalisz, the former Michael Phelps training partner, is unbelievably good on the back-half. He took off on his breaststroke, splitting 59.83 to open up a full second lead. As far as we can tell, that’s the first time anybody (of any significant result) has been under a minute on their breaststroke split. Arizona’s Austen Thompson was a 1:00.08 en route to his win last year.
Kalisz, even when he’s so fast on the breaststroke, doesn’t give any back on the freestyle. He was even with Wallace, and better than everyone else, on that closing 100 as he swam a 3:38.05 for the victory.
Kalisz would say after the race that he couldn’t feel his legs on the last 50, but just kept kicking as hard as he could.
Did we mention he’s just a freshman? The only guys in history who have been faster than Kalisz you may have heard of: Tyler Clary, Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, and Gal Nevo. None of them were faster as freshmen. (For those wondering, Kalisz turned 19 three weeks ago, so no National Age Group Records are in danger at this meet).
Weiss finished 2nd in 3:39.61, missing his school record from Big Tens by half-a-second.
Wallace ended up taking 3rd in 3:39.87, cutting another second off of his lifetime best in prelims. Even with his teammate Sebastien Rousseau DQ’ing in prelims, the sophomore continued on the great Florida tradition in this event.
Cal’s Josh Prenot was 4th in 3:40.49. He was the second-fastest breaststroke split in the race, going 1:00.35. Indiana sophomore Stephen Schmuhl was the fastest after the butterfly leg, but he wasn’t out as fast as the morning and that made the difference in his time. He was 5th in 3:42.41: half-a-second slower than he was in the morning. Arizona freshmen Michael Meyer (3:42.54) and Michigan freshman Dylan Bosch (3:42.95), both freshmen from South Africa, went 6th and 7th, respectively.
Texas’ Austin Surhoff looked wiped-out after setting a school record in prelims, and had to settle for 8th here in 3:44.27.
Michigan’s Kyle Whitaker had great underwaters on his freestyle (that’s a specialty of his) and won the B-Final in 4:43.28. That’s big as Cal’s Adam Hinshaw dropped to a 3:43.28 for 10th overall.
Men’s 100 Fly – Finals
Tom Shields successfully navigated the first half of his 100 fly/100 back double with a 44.59, which is .17 seconds faster than he was at last year’s meet. Shields looked very good through this 100 fly, showing no apparent signs of fatigue that would hit him perhaps a little later in the session.
One of our correspondents, Tony Carroll, said to me right before the race started that he thought Shields and Marcin Cieslak from Florida both looked very relaxed before the race. He called that dead-on: the two swimmers were the fastest on the back-half, and the fastest overall, as Cieslak finished 2nd in 45.35.
Michigan’s Sean Flecther took 3rd in 45.54: another move up for the Wolverines after he was 7th in the morning. That was balanced out by Miguel Ortiz moving down to 4th place in 45.79.
Cal’s Marcin Tarczynski made more positive strides for the Golden Bears with a 45.97 for 5th. Arizona’s Giles Smith, who was the runner-up last year, was crazy-fast off the blocks, but couldn’t really get going when he hit the water. He was 6th in 46.11, followed by North Carolina State’s Barrett Miesfeld (46.14) and Ohio State’s Tim Phillips (46.19).
Stanford’s Aaron Wayne won the B-Final in 46.09, followed by Michigan State’s bJacob Jarzen in 46.25.
Men’s 200 Free – Final
Louisville’s Joao de Lucca was the fastest in-season 200 freestyler in the country this year. Still, he felt like a little bit of an underdog, coming into the final in an outside lane after gambling with an easy morning swim.
He thrived in that role, however, and went out hard in 44.30 on the first 100 yards. Even though he was already a full second up on the field at that point, he continued to pull further-and-further ahead of the second-place swimmer: USC’s Dimitri Colupaev.
Though he ran out of steam a little on his last 50, he was rewarded for his early pacing with a 1:31.51 victory: the third fastest swim of all-time (behind only Simon Burnett’s NCAA record and Ricky Berens’ American Record). De Lucca, in true Brazilian fashion, had a celebration after the race that was almost as spectacular as his swim. It turns out that when he talked about “feeling easy” in the prelims this morning, he wasn’t blowing smoke. De Lucca legitimately had a lot to give. He could be the start of a Brazilian revolution toward the 800 free relay: one where they’ve never been as good as in the sprint relays.
Stanford’s Tom Kremer, the lone freshman in the A-final, took 3rd in 1:33.07: breaking the National Age Group Record for 17-18’s in the event. (Read more about his record here). He had a great closing 50 yards to hold-off USC’s Cristian Quintero for a top-3 finish (Quintero was 4th in 1:33.24). Both of the USC swimmers Colupaev and Quintero had a clear strategy in this race, which was to get a little speed on the first 50, cruise through the middle, and try to bring the race home.
Michigan’s Michael Wynalda held his seed from the morning by finishing 5th in 1:33.38, following the Michigan pattern on day 2 of improving off of even his lofty Big Ten results. Wynalda’s teammate Connor Jaeger didn’t fare as well, and as one of only two swimmers to add time in this final, he fell to 8th in 1:33.85. That’s significant, as Cal sophomore Will Hamilton, who just snuck into the B-Final, moved all the way up to 10th. That sort of thing has become something he’s really good at.
IN between were the two Texas Longhorns: Clay Youngquist and Dax Hill. Hill, the defending champion, tried to go our hard as well, but he just couldn’t find his second 100 yards.
Georgia’s Matias Koski won the B-Final in 1:33.84: another lifetime best for him as well. Alabama’s BJ Hornikel led that consolation heat through 150 yards, but he split 24.75 on the last 50 (slowest of either final) to place 11th overall.
Also of note, Wyoming’s Adam Kalms was 16th in this race to represent the mid-major contingent at this meet.
Men’s 100 Breast – Final
Arizona’s Kevin Cordes didn’t quite match the 49 he swam on a relay on Thursday night going off of the flat-start here; he did come home, however, almost as well to win in a new U.S. Open, NCAA, and American Record of 50.74 seconds (meaning the fastest time in history). That broke the 2009 suited record of three-time NCAA Champion Damir Dugonjic that had stood at 50.86 until tonight.
It wasn’t the sub-50 second time that many fans were hoping for, but Arizona won’t be too disappointed: The Wildcats took 1-2 in this race with junior Kevin Steel placing 2nd in 51.69. That’s his lifetime best by half-a-second, and almost a full second better than he’d been coming into this meet. Carl Mickelson had the 4th-best time overall with a 51.93 to win the B-Final.
The Arizona breaststroke group has been growing and building for a few years, but they’re now hitting full-stride in their second year under the guidance of Eric Hansen, Rick Demont, and the rest of this Arizona staff. They could only get better this year after the Wildcats made a late hiring of assistant Brandy Collins from LSU – she headed the Tigers’ breaststroke group previously to great success including the likes of Jane Trepp, a former SEC Champion and conference record holder in the 100.
As for the rest of the A-final, Michigan’s Richard Funk was 3rd in 51.84, clearing his best time from Big Tens. That put him .01 ahead of Georgia’s Nic Fink as three of the top four were just sophomores.
USC’s Vlad Morozov improved his prelims time and USC school record down to a 52.01, but the rest of the field caught up and he was 5th in the A-final. Cal’s Trevor Hoyt was 6th in 52.35, and Missouri’s Sam Tierney took 7th in 52.65.
Cody Miller from Indiana was DQ’ed for doing too many dolphin kicks; that cost him a 6th-place position. He was called for the same thing at Big Tens on the Indiana 400 medley relay.
Notable swims out of the B-Final included Minnesota’s Jared Anderson breaking the school record in 52.90 for 10th, and the lone freshman finalist Morten Klarskov from USC taking 11th in 43.00. Michigan’s Bruno Ortiz ended up in 16th in 55.15, but appeared after the race to be having some issues with cramping. His pectoral muscle could be seen visibly cramping from a good 100 yards away. His slide, though, would cost Michigan some big points in the team battle.
Men’s 100 Backstroke – Final
As a freshman, Stanford’s David Nolan took three top-3 finishes individually at NCAA’s and won three Pac-12 championships, and some cried foul about his progress. At Pac-12’s this year, he won two individual titles, and yet some bemoaned him not being as fast as the year before. On day 1 of this meet, he was a best time and a National Champion in the 200 IM, and yet some cried “transfer.”
On Friday, he won his second NCAA championship of the meet, beating the defending champion Tom Shields, and became just the 7th man in history under 45 seconds: and the dissenters rested. David Nolan is the real deal, winning the 2013 national title in the 100 back in 44.99.
He went out extremely fast in this race, something that Shields didn’t match. Though the Cal bear rocketed off of his final wall to make a big charge, he fell short of his rival from Stanford in 45.21.
Indiana’s Eric Ress recovered from a challenging first three sessions at this meet to tkae 3rd in 45.31, and Michigan’s Miguel Ortiz just missed breaking his own school record for the 4th time of the meet when he went a 45.49 (.01 off of his prelims swim). For the elder Ortiz brother, that’s a trio of 4th-place finishes individually, and he just looks better-and-better each time he gets in the water at this meet. He overcame Auburn’s Kyle Owens on the last 25 for that spot, as Owens was 6th in 46.26.
Cal freshman Jacob Pebley, the only finalist in this deep race, was 7th in 46.54, and Indiana’s James Wells took 8th in 47.09.
Cal did very well in the B-Final as well when Tony Cox won it in 45.46. Wisconsin’s Drew Teduits became the first Badger under 46 seconds as an undergrad with a 45.99 for 10th.
Of note, Iowa’s Grant Betulius was 13th overall in 46.34. He’s a highschool teammate and classmate of Kevin Cordes’.
Men’s 3-Meter Diving – Final
This men’s 3-meter diving final had little impact on the national championship race (though there were some top-5 implications), but if ever there were a diving battle to get excited about: it’s Stanford’s Kristian Ipsen versus Duke’s Nick McCrory at this meet.
In the 4th round, both Ipsen and McCrory had huge, 90+ point dives. McCrory’s Reverse 3 1/2 Somersault Tuck was especially impressive: it was his hardest dive of the round, and he hit 9.0’s and 9.5’s for 98 points – his highest ever score on that dive. Ipsen answered back, though.
After that 4th round, McCrory looked like he was in control of this competition. He missed on his entry, though, scoring just 61 points, which opened the door for Ipsen, who was after him the dive order. Ipsen, inexplciably, missed even worse for 42 points.
Headed into the final round, the pressure was on. McCrory just needed to avoid disaster to seal the win, but sometimes those are the hardest to hit. On sort of an average-difficulty dive (for him), McCrory scored 3.5’s-4.5’s on a Forward 2 1/2 Somersault 2 Twist Pike. Ipsen, however, nailed his final dive for 85 points to seal the victory 450.60-440.40.
There was an opportunity for a few guys to jump into that top two, but everybody missed on a dive or two in a very strange competition. As it was, though, Stanford’s Ipsen completed a springboard sweep as the divers move up to the platform on Saturday. McCrory had a much more difficult dive list, but Ipsen’s execution on that final dive got him the win.
Indiana’s Darian Schmidt finished 3rd, followed by Greg Ferrucci, Harrison Jones, Ryan Hawkins, Shane Miskiel, and David Bonuchi.
(Note that Harrison Jones is a former All-American for USC, almost signed on to dive with Cal, and now ended up at Arizona State. Imagine the team scoring implications had he ended up at either USC or Cal this year.)
Men’s 800 Free Relay – Final
The Florida Gators put their freshman Pawel Werner on center-stage, leading-off, and he did masterfully, getting them out in 1:33.62. That put him second only to USC’s Dimitri Colupaev (1:33.23) after the first leg.
Next, the Gators passed off to Sebastien Rousseau, while Michigan tried to fight back with their best Connor Jaeger. USC fell off, but it was Rousseau, with maybe a little more rest than he’s used to, put up a marvelous 1:33.13 to pull the Gators way out into the lead.
That’s a lead that they would not relinquish. Marcin Cieslak was a 1:32.86 on their next leg, and Dan Wallace was a clutch 1:33.66 anchor to give the Gators a full body-length victory in 6:13.27.
Michigan was unable to capture the magic they had in the 200 medley as they finished 2nd in 6:15.54 – almost two seconds slower than they were in prelims.
USC fell pretty well off of the pace in the final heat, but with a 1:32.40 anchor from Cristian Quintero they were able to overcome Cal (and a good 1:33.38 split from Will Hamilton) for 3rd. That was big for Michigan, as they were +4 points on this event against Cal, even though the Golden Bears used Tom Shields on the leadoff leg.
Texas was 5th in 6:17.84; Arizona was 6th in 6:19.28; Tennessee was 7th in 6:21.87 with a 1:33.95 leadoff from Sam Rairden; and Texas A&M took 8th in 6:22.46. For the historically sprint-minded Aggies, that’s the first time the Aggies have been in the top 8 in this relay.
Louisville took 14th with a 1:34.20 second leg from 200 free individual champion Joao de Lucca. Had he swum more similarly to how he did in his individual, then Louisville could have pushed into the top 8.
Team Standings After Day 2
More analysis will come after the meet, but Michigan, thanks to the 800 free relay, won the day by 5 points for an overall 34.5 point advantage overall. Cal is in a good position headed into the final day, but those numbers tend to lean toward the Wolverines being slight favorites to win this meet.
1. Michigan 336
2. California 301.5
3. Arizona 234.5
4. Southern Cali 212
5. Florida 196.5
6. Texas 192
7. Stanford 169
8. Auburn 167.5
9. Indiana 151
10. Georgia 106