2021 NCAA MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Wednesday, March 24 – Saturday, March 27, 2021
- Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
- Prelims 10 AM/ Finals 6 PM (Local Time)
- Short course yards (SCY) format
- Defending champion: Cal (1x) – 2019 results
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheets
- Live Results
TEAM SCORES (THROUGH DAY ONE)
- Texas 40
- California 34
- Texas A&M 32
- Florida 30
- NC State 28
- Georgia 26
- Stanford 24
- Louisville 22
- Indiana 18
- Virginia Tech 14
- Michigan 12
- Arizona 10
- Virginia 8
- Ohio St 6
- Missouri 4
- Notre Dame 2
As we predicted in our 800 free relay preview, the night one win went to the Texas Longhorns, with Cal over a second behind for the runner-up finish.
It wasn’t the most electric first night, like we saw at the women’s meet, with half of the teams racing here adding from seed and Kieran Smith‘s second-best performance ever (1:29.66) the fastest time of the session. But what we saw up top with Texas and Cal continues the kind of dominance the two teams have had at this meet since Michigan’s NCAA title in 2013– only the Longhorns and Bears have finished top two at NCAAs for six meets running, and this is projected to be the seventh.
For Texas, they were more or less right on their seed, with Drew Kibler going a quick 1:30.59 to start off and then getting a 1:31.55 split from freshman Carson Foster. Cal, meanwhile, stocked up their backstroke group to follow Trenton Julian‘s 1:31.41 lead-off, and without having many primary 200 freestylers on the roster, still managed to beat the rest of the NCAA by over two seconds.
While the rest of the relays are likely to be much closer contests, this kind of performance from Texas and Cal is almost certainly going to persist on a team-level. Who will be the team to catch-up? And how soon? (Probably NC State and their monster incoming class, but let’s take this one season at a time).
- Katz was over a second slower this year than in 2019, going from 1:31.45 on the second leg then to 1:33.02 on the second leg now. It’s not like Texas needed him to be faster; he could’ve been a 1:34.0 and they still would’ve won. But if he’s that far off where he was in 2019 in his backstrokes, that could have implications in the team race.
- Shaine Casas became the #8 performer ever leading off Texas A&M, going 1:30.59.
- Stanford sprung up from 15th in 2019 to seventh this year, with Grant Shoults anchoring in a 1:32.67. That’s right on his lifetime best from high school in the 200 free if you add a half-second for the flying start, and after his shoulder surgery last year, he looks great.
- Kyle Worrell had never made the Louisville ACC roster until this year, and now he’s an All-American in his first NCAA race ever. Worrell was 1:34.93 anchoring the Cardinals to an eighth-place finish, out-performing based on his 1:36.08 lifetime best.
- There were several big freshman swims, including Batur Unlu‘s 1:32.27 lead-off for Georgia Tech, which was the best flat-start swim tonight for a rookie (and #2 all season). Foster looked strong for Texas and Destin Lasco for Cal, Preston Forst had the quickest split for Stanford and Matt Brownstead dropped three seconds to lead-off UVA in 1:33.16, impressive range that bodes well for his 100 free.
- Virginia using Brownstead was interesting, as he wasn’t on this relay at ACCs and hadn’t been under 1:36 until today, and we’ve been told he’s swimming all five relays to go along with the 50 and 100 free.
- Blake Manoff added two seconds in his lead-off for Virginia Tech, but Carles Coll dropped a second and their other two legs stayed about the same. VT placed 10th, a solid first swim as they try to build off their big ACC showing and the Hokie women doing well last week.
- After a string of off swims at Pac-12s in 2019 and 2020, Alexei Sancov looked phenomenal leading off USC tonight in 1:31.82. The Trojans need reinforcements, though, as no other leg broke 1:35.
- Michigan gained two seconds and placed 11th, but that’s actually a three-spot improvement from 2019.
- Luca Urlando was 1:34-plus leading off at SECs but a 1:32-low anchoring Georgia tonight.
800 FREE RELAY SPLITS