2018 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 21 – Saturday, March 24
- Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center – Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Prelims 10 AM / Finals 6 PM (Central Time)
- Defending champion: Texas (3x) (results)
- Psych Sheet
- Championship Central
- Event-by-Event Previews
- Team Power Rankings: Final Edition
- Saturday finals heat sheets
- Live Stream
- Live Results
We speculated this morning, after NC State swam the fastest 400 free relay ever in prelims, that the Wolpack was likely to break their own record tonight. Sure enough, NC State capped off an exhilarating night of racing with the fastest swim ever for the second time in the same day.
By the time the 400 free relay began tonight, the team battle was essentially over, but NC State still swam like a team on a mission, touching in 2:44.31 to win by almost a second and a half over Caeleb Dressel and the Florida Gators.
Just like this morning, Ryan Held led off, and again this time he was just a hair faster than he was in the individual 100 free. From there, the Wolfpack reverted to the relay lineup they used at ACCs last month when they set the American Record, with Justin Ress going 2nd in 40.62, Jacob Molacek almost perfectly matching this morning’s split with a 41.02, and Coleman Stewart anchored in 41.62, almost the exact same time as his split from ACCs.
This marks the 2nd-straight year where the U.S. Open and NCAA Records went down on the final night of NCAAs. The Texas Longhorns set the previous U.S. Open & NCAA Records in the finals of last year’s NCAA championships, where they became the first team to break the 2:46 mark. Meanwhile, NC State put that record on notice when they broke the American Record and swam the 2nd-fastest time ever at last month’s ACC championships.
Here’s a comparison of NC State’s splits from this night to their swims from this morning, Texas’s U.S. Open Record from last year’s NCAAs, and NC State’s American Record from ACCs:
|Finals, 3/24/18||Prelims, 3/24/18||Texas 3/2017||NC State 2/2018|
All said, NC State took more than a second off the record that Texas set last year. They’ll lose Held to graduation, but return Ress, Molacek, and Stewart, and with the sprint culture the coaching staff there has developed, you have to think that they’ll be gunning to break the 2:44 barrier next year.