The Michigan men swooped in right behind an impressive NC State relay with a second “did you see that” moment of the night as the second round of NCAA Division I major conference championship meets kicked off on Wednesday.
The Wolverines swam a 6:09.85 in the 800 free relay to break the Big Ten, NCAA, and U.S. Open Records in the event, with a team of Anders Nielsen, Michael Wynalda, Justin Glanda, and Connor Jaeger.
The splits (take note of Wynalda’s second leg – that’s a real split, and the exchange of .30 wasn’t even perfect):
- Nielsen – 1:33.52
- Wynalda – 1:30.60
- Glanda – 1:33.26
- Jaeger – 1:32.47
The old NCAA Record of 6:10.16 was set by the University of Texas back in 2009, with the team of Dave Walters (1:31.72), Ricky Berens (1:32.15), Scott Jostes (1:33.20), and Michael Klueh (1:33.09). That Texas relay was a little deeper than Michigan’s maybe, but didn’t have any one leg to compare to Wynalda’s.
Remember that last year, Michigan went into NCAA’s with the top seed in this relay only to get upended by the Florida Gators. This year, Michigan should again enter the meet with the top seed, but their gap will be significantly bigger – and remember that of their five relays, this was the only one that wasn’t very, very close to, or better, than seed at NCAA’s.
While Michigan swam the fastest 800 free relay ever, their lead-off leg Nielsen is Danish, so Texas’ relay will still stand as the American Record.
Note that Wynalda’s swim, as far as we can tell, was the fastest “through the water” (taking out reaction time) in history in the distance. The American Record on a flat-start is 1:31.31, and if Wynalda is as fast through the water on his individual race as he was in this relay, that record could be toast as well.