Ray Looze on Pieroni: “He was cramping up pretty bad during the 50”

Reported by Jared Anderson.


  • NCAA record: 2:59.22, Texas, 2017
  • American record: 3:01.51, California, 2017
  • U.S. Open record: 2:59.22, Texas, 2017
  • 2017 NCAA Champion: Texas (2:59.22)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Indiana – 3:01.07
  2. NC State – 3:01.76
  3. USC – 3:01.83
  4. Cal – 3:02.83
  5. Florida – 3:03.16
  6. Stanford – 3:04.16
  7. Louisville – 3:04.37
  8. Georgia – 3:04.50

Indiana defended its top spot, going 3:01.07 for the NCAA title in a blowout win. Gabiel Fantoni was 45.59 on back, keeping IU in the hunt. Ian Finnerty came off a rough 200 IM to uncork a 50.33 breaststroke split that beat everyone else in the field, including American record-holder Caeleb Dresselwho swam breast for Florida.

Vini Lanza was 44.53 on fly and Blake Pieroni anchored in a field-best 40.62, holding off a stiff charge from NC State’s Justin Ress (40.82) to cap the win.

NC State ended up second, getting the field’s best splits in the two strokes IU didn’t. Coleman Stewart switched to back after swimming fly this morning. He went 44.74 to earn the early lead for the Wolfpack. Jacob Molacek was 52.32 on breast – actually slower than the 52.08 from Daniel Graber this morning. NC State did use all-star sprinters Ryan Held and Ress on the relay, getting a field-best 43.88 fly leg out of Held and that 40.82 from Ress on free. NC State was 3:01.76, but will now have to leave those two off of one of the two remaining relays – likely the 200 medley tomorrow.

USC took third, challenging for the lead during fly with a 44.71 split from Dylan Carter. Santo Condorelli went out in 18.9 to his feet on the free leg, but fell off to a 41.2 split as the Trojans finished in 3:01.83. Carsten Vissering was 50.90 on breast and Ralf Tribuntsov led off in 45.01, a hundredth slower than Robert Glinta was this morning.

Cal finished fourth overall, getting a 50.87 from Connor Hoppe and a 41.4 anchor from freshman Ryan Hoffer. Behind them, Florida shook up its order to get a 50.62 breaststroke from Dressel and a 44.1 fly from Jan Switkowski to go 3:03.16.

Stanford took 6th (Andrew Liang was 44.8 on fly and Sam Perry 41.6 on free), Louisville seventh and Georgia eighth.

In the B final, Texas held onto its 9th place spot, going 3:03.56 by swapping out backstroker John Shebat for Austin Katz. The freshman Katz was 45.1, a half-second faster than Shebat was this morning. Flyer Joseph Schooling was 44.3 on his split.

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Cramping up in the 50? Why is it that every time an elite swimmer has not an absolutely stellar performance there’s some half ass excuse nowadays. Just say he had a bad swim, it happens even to people of his caliber


I have no problem with a coach answering questions honestly


Actually cramping happens, have you ever tried to exercise?


Maybe Ray said he was cramping….because he was cramping? Also, it was not a bad swim. He went his second-best ever 50 at night after dipping below 19 for the first time in the morning. He was seeded 39th and got 8th.

I am not an IU homer in the slightest but I have never had the sense this gang is the excuse-making type.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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