WATCH: Texas Two-Step, Shebat & Katz #2/#3 Performers in 200 Back All-Time


In the final individual swim of his career, Texas senior John Shebat narrowed edged sophomore teammate Austin Katz in the 200 backstroke in a very entertaining 200 backstroke final, become the second and third-fastest performers in history in the process.  Shebat wasted no time off the start, rocketing to a 46.03 opening 100, under NCAA record pace of the legendary Ryan Murphy.  Katz was the only other swimmer in the field to stay within striking distance of Shebat, turning in 46.69.  After closing another two tenths over the third 50, Katz made one final push off the last wall, but ran out of room.  Shebat finished in 1:36.42, to Katz’s 1:36.45.

The duo was in a similar situation a year before: Shebat rocketing out to an early lead, only for Katz to close the gap over the final 75 yards.  Katz ended up with the upper hand last season, but tonight, Shebat had just enough to keep his fellow Longhorn at bay.  A look at the splits comparison, along with Murphy’s NCAA record:

Murphy, 2017 NCAA’s Shebat, 2019 NCAA’s Shebat, 2018 NCAA’s Katz, 2019 NCAA’s Katz, 2018 NCAA’s
22.20 22.06 22.23 22.53 23.01
46.36 (24.16) 46.03 (23.97) 46.42 (24.19) 46.69 (24.16) 47.51 (24.50)
1:10.86 (24.50) 1:10.86 (24.83) 1:11.63 (25.21) 1:11.32 (24.63) 1:12.62 (25.11)
1:35.73 (24.87) 1:36.42 (25.56) 1:37.94 (26.31) 1:36.45 (25.13) 1:37.53 (24.91)

The result got an extraordinary reaction from the Texas crowd in the stands; this is Shebat’s first NCAA title after four second place individual finishes over the course of his collegiate career.

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1 year ago

Shebat should train for the Olympic Trials. He can be a threat in 100 back and 200 IM.

Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

He’s only had a decent LCM 100 fly. Relies a lot on his underwaters, and apparently doesn’t translate to LCM for him.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

1:59 IM last summer. Definitely “decent”. You need more than underwaters to go that time.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

What are you talking about? He placed 5th in the 100 back at the last Olympic Trials. Get over your hatred dude.

1 year ago

thank god he got his title, im so happy now 😀

1 year ago

I don’t remember Shebat going a 3:19.77 200 back in 2018 😂

About Morgan Priestley

Morgan Priestley

A Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the mid-distance freestyles. While …

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