Katz and Wright Post NCAA-Leading Times on Day 4 of Texas Invite

2017 TEXAS INVITATIONAL

The 2017 Texas Invitational finished on Saturday night with the 1650, 200 back, 200 breast, 100 free, 200 fly, and 400 free relay. There were two new individual NCAA ‘A’ cuts on the women’s side in tonight’s finals, while eight more men met the automatic NCAA qualifying standard, including two times that now stand as the fastest in NCAA swimming this season.

MEN’S HIGHLIGHTS:

Kicking off the evening, Standford’s Grant Shoults earned his second win of the meet with a 14:39.59 in the fastest heat of the mile.  Shoults previously won the 500 on Thursday, and the Cardinal sophomore earned NCAA ‘A’ cuts with both of those swims.  Close behind him was teammate True Sweetser, as Stanford went 1-2 here just like they did in the 500.

While Stanford’s been setting the pace in the distance events this week, the Texas backstroke crew has been having a great meet in their home pool.  Tonight in the 200 back, freshman Austin Katz set the pace with a 1:38.49 that’s almost two seconds faster than the fastest time in the country heading into this round of invites.  Teammates Ryan Harty and Jonathan Roberts took third and fifth, while Patrick Mulcare (USC), Zachary Poti (ASU), and Abrahm DeVine (Stanford) all also had times that were well under last year’s NCAA invite time.

Fast times weren’t limited to the A-final, as Texas sophomore Josh Artmann, teammate and last year’s NCAA runner-up John Shebat, and Stanford’s Ben Ho all finished under 1:42.  The upshot is that Texas looks set to have at least five swimmers in the 200 back at NCAAs, with three of those five being previous A-finalists in the event, and a fourth having the fastest time in the nation so far this season.

The 100 free, the fastest race of the evening, was also the tightest.  USC’s Santo Condorelli and Texas’s Brett Ringgold flipped within 0.02s of each other at the 50, but Condorelli outsplit Ringgold by just 0.05s to take the win, 42.10 to 42.13.  Just behind the two college stars was pro swimmer Matt Grevers, who touched in 42.19.  Stanford’s Sam Perry was also under last year’s invite time with a 42.54.

In the 200 breaststroke, Texas alum Will Licon was the only man under 1:53.5 in the entire field, taking first in 1:51.99.  ASU’s Christian Lorenz ran down another post grade, Andrew Wilson, over the final lap to take 2nd in 1:53.54, well under what it took last year to make it to NCAAs.  While it’s still half a second off of an ‘A’ cut, Lorenz’s time would be the fastest in NCAA swimming this year had not Louisville’s Carlos Claverie swam a 1:53.10 earlier this evening at Winter Nationals, and it would have earned him a spot in the A-final at last year’s NCAA championships.

Arizona’s Justin Wright may not have won the 200 fly — postgrad Jack Conger touched first in 1:39.56 — but he now has the fastest time among active college swimmers this year.  Wright used a strong back half to storm past Longhorns Joe Schooling and Sam Pomajevich in a great race.  Wright touched in 1:40.57, Schooling in 1:40.72, and Pomajevich in 1:40.82.  All three of those times are faster than the 1:41.07 by NC State’s Andreas Vazaios that was the fastest time in the country heading into this week.

The Texas men topped off their home invite with a 2:49.80 in the 400 free relay, good for 2nd in the country this year behind NC State’s mark of 2:48.75.  Ringgold led off with 42.06, faster than both his own and Condorelli’s times from earlier this session.  The Longhorns went with the hot hand, somewhat unexpectedly throwing Katz on the relay, and he, Schooling, and Townley Haas all threw down sub-43 splits.  USC placed 2nd in 2:50.64, now the 4th-fastest time in the country this year.  Stanford’s 3rd-place relay was highlighted by  a 42.73 by DeVine, who’s normally known more as an IMer than a sprint freestyler.

WOMEN’S HIGHLIGHTS:

The evening began in record-breaking fashion, thanks to Joanna Evans.  The Texas junior broke a 32 year-old Longhorn record, and secured an NCAA “A” cut, with her time of 15:51.74 in the 1650.

Next, Beata Nelson of Wisconsin 1:51.21 in the 200 back to sweep the backstroke events.  That time is just shy of a ‘A’ cut, but is still well below what it took to qualify last year.  Longhorn Quinn Carozza was the only woman to dip under last year’s qualifying mark, touching in 1:53.24.

USC Post-grad Anika Apostalon of USC took the 100 free with of 47.49.  A pair of Texas women, Claire Adams and Rebecca Millard, were the next two finishers, and both ladies were under last year’s invite time.

Former Texas star Madisyn Cox set the pace in the 200 breast, winning in 2:06.17, but the next three finishers were all California girls.  Maggie Aroesty (USC), Riley Scott (USC), and Emma Schanz (UCLA) all registered times under the 2:10 it took to earn an invite in 2017.

Individual competition wrapped up with USC’s Louisse Hansson earning her second ‘A’ time of the meet.  She went out over a second faster than anyone else in the field over the first 100, then stayed strong the second half to finish in 1:52.66 and complete her sweep of the fly events this meet.

Three women’s teams met the NCAA qualifying standard in the 400 free relay to end the evening.  The Longhorns led the way with a time of 3:12.84, highlighted by a 47.39 split by Adams.  Wisconsin’s Emmy Sehmann ran down USC’s Marta Ciesla on the final leg as the Badgers touched out the Trojans 3:15.38 to 3:15.40.

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Uberfan

Wow Katz is fast

Los Gatos

So is Justin wright. Super impressive for a guy that’s like 4’8 max

Justin Wright

I’M 5’8 SOMETIMES.

j pine

200 Fly battle at NCAAs between Quah, Schooling, Seliskar and Wright? Although I do think Schooling edges it with Quah just behind

Buona

200 fly will be competitive in NCAA 2018. Schooling 1:40 at this point of time looks fine. Maybe we will see a few clocking sub 1:38 next year. Not sure if Schooling will aim for 1:36 high. This time looks sick.

j pine

I think he might go for it. Missed the chance to be the first under 44 in the 100, I think he would wanna be the first under 1:37 for the 200

Swammer

Well he waa the first under 1:38…

Uberfan

Well yeah I would assume he is going to try his best to be the fastest ever

Buona

Yes, i still recalled him being mad about his time when he clocked 44.01 100 fly in 2016.

Los Gatos

Wright tops them all

Swimmer

Don’t sleep on Vazaios

Bobthebuilderrocks

Replace Seliskar with Pomajevich.

Eggnog

Pomajevich and Katz are looking really good. I could see a 1-2 for Texas in both the 2 back and 2 fly combing them with Shebat (if he gets back to form from last year) and Schooling.

Kenneth

Texas 200 back crew looking really strong this season, with Harty, Artmann and Roberts in the mix as well

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