After running away with the 400 medley relay in the first evening session on Thursday, the SwimMAC men’s quartet of Nick Thoman, Eric Knight, Tim Phillips, and Cullen Jones smashed the field with an American record performance tonight in the men’s 200 medley relay.
Their final time of 1:23.02 narrowly clipped the previous standard of 1:23.17 set by the Cal men at last year’s NCAA Championships, and was nearly three seconds faster than a second place New York Athletic Club team that included Olympic medalist Arkady Vyatchanin, NCAA champion Adam Brown, and U.S. National Team member Josh Schneider (1:25.92).
Here’s a split-by-split comparison between the former and new records:
Tony Cox: 21.24
Trevor Hoyt: 23.58 (44.82)
Tom Shields: 19.71 (1:04.53)
Seth Stubblefield: 18.64 (1:23.17)
Knight: 23.83 (44.52)
Phillips: 20.02 (1:04.54)
Jones: 18.48 (1:23.02)
- That Cal record included a 19.71 split from Shields, one of the fastest splits on record without a supersuit.
- Even though we don’t have an official 50 yard backstroke standard, that leadoff leg from Thoman is a new unofficial American record, bettering Eugene Godsoe’s 20.78 from last December. It’s just over a tenth off, however, of the 20.53 put up by Albert Subirats back in 2007. Consider where he was less than a year ago (in his own words, “getting really fat”), that’s a great sign for Thoman, as he looks to again qualify for a U.S. World Championship team this summer.
- There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and a fast 50 fly from Tim Phillips. The sprint specialist will be returning to Columbus to complete his eligibility with Ohio State during the spring semester. We saw the Buckeyes make some great strides a their hosted invitational last week, and with the return of Phillips, they will be able to put together some pretty strong relays.