Schooling wins Battle vs. Conger with 44.7 100 Fly at Texas Invite

2017 TEXAS INVITATIONAL

The 2017 Texas Invitational continued on Friday night with the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 200 medley relay. There were 3 new individual NCAA ‘A’ cuts on the women’s side in tonight’s finals, while 2 more men met the automatic NCAA qualifying standard.

MEN’S HIGHLIGHTS:

Swimming fans got to witness another butterfly battle between Joseph Schooling and Jack Conger in Friday night’s 100 fly final. Schooling jumped out to the early lead, outsplitting Conger 20.84 to 21.11 at the halfway point. He held steady through the back half, never letting Conger run him down as he won in an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 44.78 over Conger’s 45.32. Swimming under the 2017 NCAA invite time to round out the top 5 were Arizona State’s Andrew Porter (45.75), Stanford’s Andrew Liang (45.87), and USC’s Dylan Carter (45.99). Just hundredths shy of that mark was Stanford’s Brad Zdroik (46.13).

Teammate Townley Haas took on his signature 200 free, commanding the race from start to finish. Haas flipped in 44.46 en route to his NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 1:32.40. Behind him, Harvard standout Dean Farris ran down Arizona State star Cameron Craig on the back half to out-touch Craig 1:33.27 to 1:33.29. Stanford’s Grant Shoults (1:33.51) and Arizona State’s Grant House (1:33.69) were well under the 2017 NCAA invite time. Texas’ Jeff Newkirk dipped under the mark by a few hundredths in 1:34.15.

Arizona’s Nick Thorne dropped over half a second from his best time to dominate the 400 IM in 3:41.47. Both Thorne and Texas’ Sam Stewart (3:43.44) were well under what it took to make NCAAs last season. Stanford’s Abrahm DeVine (3:44.75) was a couple of tenths below that mark tonight, but even if he were on the bubble here he would be safely qualified thanks to his 200 IM yesterday. Freshman teammate Alex Liang is now within a few tenths of last season’s national invite time after he dropped over a second today to finish 4th in 3:45.32.

Texas postgrads Andrew Wilson and Will Licon battled it out in the 100 breast. Wilson edged out Licon with his front half speed, holding off Licon into the finish to win in 52.03 to Licon’s 52.20. Stanford’s Matt Anderson was the only other man to break 53 seconds. Anderson’s 52.92 was just a few tenths shy of the 2017 NCAA invite time.

Another postgrad win came in the 100 back, where Arizona-based Matt Grevers, an Olympic backstroke champion, blasted a 44.92 for the win. A tight battle for 2nd saw Arizona State’s Zachary Poti and Texas freshman standout Austin Katz tied in 21.93 at the halfway point, but Poti was abe to clip Katz at the finish in 45.43 to Katz’s 45.48. Today was Poti’s first time breaking 46 seconds, and he dropped nearly a second off his best time before the meet. Both Poti and Katz should safely make NCAAs. USC’s Carter was under the 2017 NCAA invite time with his 46.05, while Harvard’s Farris was just hundredths shy of the mark in 46.32. Both men were on the back end of a double.

The Longhorns brought home an NCAA ‘A’ cut in the 200 medley relay to close the session, winning in 1:24.28. John Shebat got the ball rolling with a 21.78 back split before Schooling dove in for the breast leg and split a quick 23.54. Tate Jackson took control of the fly leg in 20.53, while Brett Ringgold closed in a blistering 18.43 to secure the win. Notably, Katz was a bit faster on the back split than Shebat, leading off the B relay in 21.44. The Sun Devils were just shy of joining Texas with an NCAA ‘A’ cut as they came within a few tenths of the mark in 1:25.09. Poti gave them the fastest back split of the field with his 21.26 leadoff.

WOMEN’S HIGHLIGHTS:

A pair of USC All-Americans, Louise Hansson and Riley Scott, secured NCAA ‘A’ cuts in their individual races tonight. Hansson threw down a 50.41 in the 100 fly, finishing just 2 hundredths shy of her best time and dominating the field. Also likely qualifying for NCAAs there was Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson (51.88), Arizona’s Mackenzie Rumrill (51.96), and UCLA’s Katie Grover (52.10). Texas’ Remedy Rule (52.25) also clipped the 2017 NCAA invite time.

Scott rolled to a personal best 58.64 to win the 100 breast over Texas postgrad swimmer Madisyn Cox (59.22). USC’s Maggie Aroesty (1:00.02) was a few tenths under the 2017 NCAA invite mark for 3rd place. Texas’ Kennedy Lohman (1:00.41) and Arizona’s Mallory Korenwinder (1:00.54) were both narrowly shy of the mark.

Cox won the 400 IM with ease, topping the field by 6 seconds in 4:02.95. Behind her, Texas freshman Evie Pfeifer earned a likely NCAA qualification with her 4:08.87 for 2nd place. Also under the 2017 NCAA invite time was Arizona’s Daniela Georges, who cleared the mark by a couple of tenths in 4:10.64. In addition to Cox’s 400 IM victory, the Horns got another win from Quinn Carrozza (1:44.15) in the 200 free. Carrozza and teammate Joanna Evans (1:44.75) were well under what it took to make NCAAs last season, while USC’s Tatum Wade (1:45.57) was just a tenth shy of the mark.

Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson had a big swim in the 100 back. Before today, she hadn’t swum her best time since 2014. She first lowered it in prelims, but dropped nearly a second off her former best when she turned in an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 50.79 in the final. Likely qualifying for NCAAs alongside her tonight based on last season’s invite time was Texas’ Claire Adams (51.61). USC’s Hannah Weiss (52.84) and Wisconsin’s Jess Unicomb (52.97) were within a few tenths of the mark.

The Trojans were the only team to achieve the NCAA ‘A’ cut in the 200 medley relay, winning in 1:36.89, but Wisconsin (1:37.14) was narrowly shy of the mark. Despite trailing after the backstroke leg, USC came back with Scott’s blistering 27.06 breast leg and Hansson’s 22.81 fly leg. Weiss took on the back leg in 25.14, while freshman Marta Ciesla brought it home in 21.88.

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j pine

Joseph’s breastroke split was the fastest of the field. I still think he should swim the fly come March, because his fly split always proves to be the decisive factor in Texas’ medley relays

ATXswimfan

It’s absolutely true that his fly has been decisive the last couple years, but this year the dropoff from Licon on breast is so drastic that having Joe swim it instead makes sense. Tate Jackson is within a second of Joe on the fly leg, but Joe’s breaststroke was well over a second faster than the next best option. Don’t sleep on Safa Anya, a former state champ who broke his personal best twice today and was the fastest Longhorn in the 100 breast. If he or Melzer could get down to 24.0/52.xx, it would let Schooling swim fly. It’d be great if Temple could hit 52 again, but that looks dubious.

ems

Fastest Texas swimmer in the 50 breast, 50 fly, and 50 free. Makes me wanna see what kind of times he can throw down in the back. Especially after his 46.29 in the 100 back in September

Caleb

Meltzer split 52.5 Wednesday night.

Buona

He is a versatile swimmer. I feel he can take up this challenge of swimming the breast leg in 200 medley in NCAA. Will Licon split was 22.91 in NCAA 2017. If Schooling can drop some time by then, it will be ideal for the team. I am more confident of his butterfly leg but i trust Eddie’s decision.

Klorn8d

Why’d you say Louise Hanson will be the only one from the 100 fly final to make ncaas? Beata nelsons time would’ve scored last year and others were under the invite time.

ems

Very impressive swims from Schooling. Looking forward to that 200 Fly tomorrow

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently a coach at Loggerhead Aquatics …

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