Texas Sets New NCAA, American, and U.S. Open Records in 800 Free Relay

2019 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Wednesday, March 27 – Saturday, March 30
  • Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, Austin, Texas
  • Prelims 10 AM / Finals 6 PM (Central Time)
  • Defending champion: Texas (4x) (2018 results)
  • Psych Sheet
  • Live results

Kicking off what should be a hotly-contested race for the team title at this year’s NCAAs was the home team Texas, putting together a winning 800 free relay that breaks all three big records in the books.

Drew KiblerAustin KatzJeff Newkirk, and Townley Haas combined for a 6:05.08, taking over two tenths off of the NCAA and U.S. Open records of 6:05.31 done by NC State relay at the 2018 NCAA Champs. Because that relay included one non-American, Andreas Vazaios, it wasn’t eligible for the American record, which was (until tonight) a 6:07.59 done by Texas to place 3rd in this event last year.

The 2019 Texas quartet, which swapped in the freshman Kibler for the now-graduated Jonathan Roberts, now holds all three records.

Last year, Haas led off in 1:30.41, with Newkirk 2nd at 1:32.58, Roberts 3rd at 1:32.36, and Katz anchoring at 1:32.24. This year, all three men were quicker than they were last year (albeit with Haas switched onto the anchor leg, Katz moved to the second leg, and Newkirk the third). Check out the split comparison below between these three relays.

Texas 2019 NCAAs NC State 2018 NCAAs
Texas 2018 NCAAs
Kibler 1:32.06 Vazaios 1:31.32 Haas 1:30.41
Katz 1:31.45 Held 1:31.09 Newkirk 1:32.58
Newkirk 1:31.91 Molacek 1:32.13 Roberts 1:32.36
Haas 1:29.66 Ress 1:30.77 Katz 1:32.24
6:05.08 6:05.31 6:07.59

In the second heat of this race (Texas was in the third and final heat), Dean Farris of Harvard proved that he hadn’t fully peaked at the Ivy League Champs last month, barrelling the Crimson out to a huge lead with a 1:29.15 to break the NCAA, American, and U.S. Open records — all of those had previously belonged to Haas at 1:29.50.

Farris’s 1:30.22 had previously been the fastest-ever split on a relay, however, and now Haas has flipped that and made that record his own with his 1:29.66 split to anchor Texas tonight. With Farris not swimming the individual 200 free, Haas still has two more chances this meet to challenge Farris’s new mark.

Tonight in Austin, NC State touched 2nd in 6:06.63 from the second heat, while Harvard snagged 7th.

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PINODEE
2 years ago

If only Dean was allowed to keep going and do the whole 800 this record may well have been under 6 minutes.

Mr Piano
2 years ago

I wonder if Townley holds back on the relay. His individual 200 is much faster than what his relay performances show, opposite of his long course splits.

DEAN IS GOD
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

They say he gets faster as the meet goes. Not sure if he’s touching the DEAN record but watch out for sub 1:29.5

Horninco
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

No, he doesn’t. He went 1:43.3 LC in the relay after 1;45.2 individual.

If he really gets better as the meet goes on then awesome.

He’s not breaking 1:29. Sorry

SwimIowa
2 years ago

Hook em!

Adam
2 years ago

Statement

anonymoose
Reply to  Adam
2 years ago

..from texas, as always

googoodoll
2 years ago

If Dean swam for Texas they would be faster! Too bad he settled for a third world school

Hmm...
Reply to  googoodoll
2 years ago

He did swim at Texas. That’s why he got faster…

Usausausa
Reply to  googoodoll
2 years ago

Found the Yale alum

Hmm...
2 years ago

So, basically Haas ran down 2018 Ress for the record

PsychoDad
2 years ago

There were a lot of worried faces among Texas fans after the first leg. Katz did good job but Newkirk won it – he swam better that I expected and once he closed to about 2 yards, and Townley did not DQ on the dive, everybody relaxed, because, to quote Chris Rock, “Townely just being Townley” – nobody was going to win that race but Texas. He will be faster in 200 individual becuase last 100 yards was not contest. I expect 1:28… for a new record.

wethorn
Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago

Seemed to me Haas let up a bit the last 50 when he knew he had it. But could have been my imagination.

PsychoDad
Reply to  wethorn
2 years ago

I thought so too, but maybe he only has two speeds: One – Eddie is kiling me speed, and Two – Mom, look I am flying NSAA speed.

PsychoDad
Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago

Townley is taking ethics class this Spring (with our daughter, I am not stoking him :), so he should have learned not to treat people like he did competition tonight. I am officially not worried about Townley anymore 🙂

Usausausa
Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago

“I’m not stalking him” -psychodad 🤔

george
Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago

Katz did have the faster split though

PsychoDad
Reply to  george
2 years ago

I know, and Katz’ last 50 was unbelievable – good indication he will do well in 200 back again?

Lou Sassole
Reply to  PsychoDad
2 years ago

Not to be too nit picky, but Newkirk didn’t close the gap on Cal. Just a minor detail, but still an awesome swim and definitely put Texas in the position to win.

Swimmer
2 years ago

Texas off to a good start. Last years relays were a disaster. Disappointed in IU and Cal. Apple was to replace Pieroni with no hiccup . NCS looks good. Exciting meet ahead.

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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