The Texas Longhorns have swum the fastest time in history in the men’s 400 yard medley relay to finish day 1 of the 2015 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.
The Longhorns posted a 3:01.23 in finals to take the title and the record, beating the 3:01.39 done by the legendary 2009 Auburn Tigers relay. The four Texas record-breakers were senior Kip Darmody, sophomore Will Licon, freshman Joseph Schooling, and sophomore Jack Conger.
Because butterflier Joseph Schooling isn’t American, the runner-up Cal Golden Bears got the American Record with a 3:01.60 for 2nd place.
Texas got a strong front-half to this relay (by most standards, it would be an all-time great front-half, but that bar has raised significantly). Their closing 200 yards, though, were pure magic.
The comparative splits:
|Texas ’15||Auburn ’09|
|Back||Darmody – 45.39||Wollach – 45.32|
|Breast||Licon – 50.93||Klein – 51.01|
|Fly||Schooling – 43.95||McGill – 43.99|
|Free||Conger – 40.96||Targett – 41.07|
Conger’s total 40.96 split was impressive, but even more impressive is the fact that he was 18.94 on the first 50 yards, despite finishing it with a turn rather than a hand finish.
What’s even bigger news for the Longhorns is that of the four swimmers, only Darmody is graduating. The other three legs have at least two years of eligibility left. The Longhorns have John Shebat coming in next fall (46.7 in high school), plus Ryan Harty (46.2 in December), and they always have the option to shift Conger to the backstroke leg in future years and insert another anchor leg (like incoming freshman Townley Haas, or any number of other sprinters in this program). This Texas 400 medley relay should be good for a very long time.