Ryan Held (in Ice Bath) on National Title: “Just another day at the office” (Video)

Reported by Jared Anderson.


  • NCAA record: NC State (Held, Vazaios, Ress, Dahl), 2017, 6:06.53
  • American record: Texas (Conger, Newkirk, Smith, Haas), 2017, 6:08.61
  • U.S. Open record: NC State (Held, Vazaios, Ress, Dahl), 2017, 6:06.53
  • 2017 NCAA Champion: NC State (Held, Vazaios, Ress, Dahl), 6:06.53

Running Top Teams:

  1. NC State – 6:05.31
  2. Indiana – 6:06.01
  3. Texas – 6:07.59
  4. Florida – 6:09.52
  5. Georgia – 6:12.75
  6. California – 6:13.38
  7. Louisville – 6:13.49
  8. Stanford – 6:14.75

Indiana’s Blake Pieroni led off against reigning American record-holder Townley Haasfinishing with the two fastest 200 frees in history along with the first-ever swim under 1:30 – relay start or flat start. Pieroni went 1:29.63 to crush the field, blowing almost a full second off of Haas’s old American record. Haas was 1:30.41 to just sneak under his old national record of 1:30.46 set last year.

But while those two staked their teams to big leads, it was NC State that had the guns left at the end, overtaking IU for the win in the final leg.

That was courtesy of a blazing 1:30.77 from Justin Ress on the anchor leg. Andeas Vazaios led off in 1:31.32, Ryan Held was 1:31.09 and Jacob Molacek 1:32.13 as NC State defended its event title from last year and broke their own NCAA and U.S. Open records with a 6:05.31.

Indiana was also under the old NCAA and U.S. Open records, going 6:06.01, getting a 1:31.9 from Mohamed Samy and a pair of 1:32.2s from Vini Lanza and Ian Finnerty.

Texas, meanwhile, broke the American record – the top two teams each had international swimmers – in 6:07.59. That came courtesy of Haas, Jeff Newkirk (1:32.58), Jonathan Roberts (1:32.36) and Austin Katz (1:32.24).

Florida elected not to use Caeleb Dressel, settling for fourth in 6:09.52 with a 1:31.98 leadoff from Jan Switkowski. Khader Baqlah was also 1:31.64 on his leg.

A few other notable splits from the event:

  • Cal’s Andrew Seliskar: 1:31.28 leadoff
  • Harvard’s Dean Farris: 1:30.55
  • Arizona State’s Cameron Craig: 1:32.76 leadoff
  • Auburn’s Zach Apple: 1:30.74
  • Michigan’s Felix Auboeck: 1:31.90

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running start to touch backstroke flags

Blake Pieroni: “just another day beating everyone else in the office…”


where is the office ? lol


4 scrubs thrown together… Right….

Becky D

Can someone explain the tattoos? Reminds me of Star Trek.


They’re not tattoos, they are Sharpie. And only the men on the team know the meaning.

Becky D

Fair enough. For now I’ll assume that the meaning is “Our moms would kill us if we got real tattoos.”

Steve Nolan

Which means we should definitely start wildly speculating!

Held won $10,000 from a conference rival with a 4 of diamonds on the turn card in poker.


I know someone on the team and asked. All he would reveal was that the different colored diamonds have different meanings.


Yes, Star Trek! When they wear the red one on their chest that means they will swim out of this world! ?

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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