Texas and Cal Proving to Be Class of the Field Early at Men’s NCAAs

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
  • Streaming:
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results

TEAM SCORES (THROUGH DAY ONE)

  1. Texas 40
  2. California 34
  3. Texas A&M 32
  4. Florida 30
  5. NC State 28
  6. Georgia 26
  7. Stanford 24
  8. Louisville 22
  9. Indiana 18
  10. Virginia Tech 14
  11. Michigan 12
  12. Arizona 10
  13. Virginia 8
  14. Ohio St 6
  15. Missouri 4
  16. 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).

QUICK HITS

  • 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

SCHOOL SWIMMER SPLIT LEAD-OFF?
Florida Smith 1:29.66 Y
Texas A&M Casas 1:30.59 Y
Texas Kibler 1:30.65 Y
Cal Julian 1:31.41 Y
Texas A&M Theall 1:31.46
Texas Foster 1:31.55
USC Sancov 1:31.82 Y
Ohio State Delakis 1:31.93 Y
Cal Mefford 1:32.00
Texas Sannem 1:32.03
Cal Lasco 1:32.13
Georgia Urlando 1:32.17
Georgia Tech Unlu 1:32.27 Y
Louisville Albiero 1:32.31 Y
NC State Tapp 1:32.44
NC State Miller 1:32.55 Y
Stanford Forst 1:32.59
Michigan Callan 1:32.63 Y
Stanford Shoults 1:32.67
Virginia Tech Ivanov 1:32.67
Louisville Paulson 1:32.77
Arizona Fail 1:32.84
Florida Freeman 1:32.88
Indiana Frankel 1:32.98 Y
Texas Katz 1:33.02
Indiana Burns 1:33.08
NC State Knowles 1:33.10
Cal Carr 1:33.14
Virginia Brownstead 1:33.16 Y
Georgia Magahey 1:33.17 Y
Virginia Tech Coll 1:33.30
Texas A&M Bratanov 1:33.31
Stanford Maurer 1:33.34 Y
UNC Sungalia 1:33.36 Y
Georgia Hils 1:33.37
Ohio State Armstrong 1:33.42
Michigan Mitchell 1:33.52
Notre Dame Hoagland 1:33.58 Y
Notre Dame McKeen 1:33.58
Georgia Dunham 1:33.63
Louisville Eastman 1:33.71
Virginia Wright 1:33.74
Mizzou Dahlgren 1:33.78 Y
Florida Mestre 1:33.79
Wisconsin Newmark 1:33.89 Y
NC State Gezmis 1:33.97
Mizzou Dubois 1:33.99
Arizona Namir 1:34.03 Y
Virginia Schilling 1:34.11
Virginia Tech Manoff 1:34.28 Y
Indiana Franzman 1:34.30
Indiana Mathias 1:34.32
Navy Wallace 1:34.32
Arizona Maric 1:34.35
Stanford Gonzalez 1:34.42
Notre Dame Wilburn 1:34.57
Florida Finke 1:34.58
Michigan Davis 1:34.61
Michigan Berlitz 1:34.78
Wisconsin Dannhauser 1:34.79
Navy Waters 1:34.83 Y
Wisconsin Benson 1:34.84
Mizzou Reed 1:34.89
Louisville Worrell 1:34.93
Virginia Tech Tornqvist 1:34.94
Tennessee Bailey 1:34.99 Y
Arizona Ingram 1:35.12
Mizzou Rindshoej 1:35.31
Tennessee Jackson 1:35.40
Texas A&M Bobo 1:35.43
Virginia Grender 1:35.43
Ohio State Satterfield 1:35.47
Georgia Tech Pumputis 1:35.57
Georgia Tech Wakeland 1:35.65
UNC Koenigsperger 1:35.72
Ohio State Watkins 1:35.81
Wisconsin Aman 1:35.82
Navy McGovern 1:35.83
USC Margarino 1:35.94
USC Homans 1:35.94
UNC Hussey 1:35.95
Navy Cook 1:35.98
USC Saunders 1:36.21
Tennessee Chambers 1:36.24
Notre Dame Delong 1:36.31
Georgia Tech Kertesz 1:36.93
Tennessee Briggs 1:37.06
UNC Poelke 1:38.34

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Nicco Velasquez fan account
6 months ago

Coby Carrozza should’ve been on relay instead of Katz. Coby is hot

Joel Lin
6 months ago

Does Cal get a visit tomorrow from the first of the three ghosts from NCAAs past?

(Will diving steer the results yet again this time?)

ACT Test Writer
Reply to  Joel Lin
6 months ago

There’s no need to say “this time” when you’ve already said “yet again.”

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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