Reported by Robert Gibbs.
200 BACKSTROKE – FINALS
- NCAA record: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 2016- 1:35.73
- American record: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 2016- 1:35.73
- U.S. Open record: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 2016- 1:35.73
- 2016 NCAA Champion: Ryan Murphy (Cal)- 1:35.73
- Ryan Murphy, California, 1:36.75
- John Shebat, Texas, 1:37.24
- Patrick Mulcare, Southern California, 1:37.80
Ryan Murphy got his eight-peat, but John Shebat made Cal fans sweat a little. Shebat looked up to pop up ahead of Murphy off the start, touched first at the 50, and had roughly half a body length lead on Murphy at the 100. Shebat held that lead through the lap, but Murphy and USC’s Patrick Mulcare began closing on Shebat going into the seventh length. Murphy would take Shebat on the turn and continue to accelerate through the final length, eventually winning in 1:36.75, the 2nd-fastest swim of all time. Shebat would hold off Mulcare, 1:37.24 to 1:37.80, with both of those times cracking the top ten performances all time.
Murphy’s swim made him only the 4th man in NCAA history go eight-for-eight in NCAA victories across the 100 and 200 of any one stroke, joining all-time greats John Nabor (back), Pablo Morales (fly), and Brendan Hansen (breast).
Alabama senior Connor Oslin closed hard to take 4th ahead of Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich, 1;39.23 to 1:39.73. Carter Griffin (1:40.20), Anton Loncar (1:40.64), and Jonathan Roberts (1:41.35) rounded out the field.