Reported by Jared Anderson.
500 FREESTYLE – FINALS
- NCAA Record: 4:08.42, Clark Smith (Texas), 2017
- American Record: 4:07.25, Zane Grothe, 2017
- U.S. Open Record: 4:07.25, Zane Grothe, 2017
- 2017 NCAA Champion: Clark Smith (Texas)
Top 8 finishers:
- Townley Haas, Texas – 4:08.60
- Felix Auboeck, Michigan – 4:09.03
- Anton Ipsen, NC State – 4:09.13
- Grant Shoults, Stanford – 4:10.02
- Akaram Mahmoud, South Carolina – 4:12.14
- Sam Pomajevich, Texas – 4:12.83
- Liam Egan, Stanford – 4:14.49
- Ricardo Vargas, Michigan – 4:17.23
Texas’s Townley Haas led the entire way, but things started to look bleak with about 150 to go. The field started to charge on Haas – first Michigan’s Felix Auboeck, then NC State’s Anton Ipsen, then Stanford’s Grant Shoults. But Haas suddenly surged home in 23.94 to hang on for the win, his second NCAA 500 free title in three years.
Auboeck finished second in 4:09.03, closing hard and holding off NC State’s Ipsen, who was 23.8 over the final 50 yards. Shoults looked like the hard-charger through the last couple hundreds, but just ran out of pool, finishing fourth in 4:10.02.
South Carolina’s Akaram Mahmoud was 4:12.14 from an outside lane, taking 5th. Texas freshman Sam Pomajevich surged out front early, but couldn’t hold his early speed the way Haas could, fading to 6th in 4:12.83. Liam Egan of Stanford and Ricardo Vargas of Michigan rounded out the A final.
The B final went to Louisville’s Marcelo Acosta in 4:11.61, winning his heat by more than two seconds.
Texas’s big event of the day pushed them to the points lead with 95, but NC State is just 5 back. Stanford rockets up to third at 75, with Florida sitting fourth, Michigan fifth and Cal sixth. The top seven teams have been extremely volatile in place so far – it’s still very early, but things are setting up to be a multi-team barnburner for at least a few days.