Watch: NC State Downs 400 Free Relay Record, Dressel’s Final NCAA Swim

by Robert Gibbs 19

March 25th, 2018 News


The final swim of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship was one to remember.  Not only did NC State break the U.S. Open, NCAA, and American Records in the 400 free relay, finishing in 2:44.31, but the team battle between Cal and Texas wasn’t over until both teams touched the wall.  As if that weren’t enough, this race also featured Caeleb Dressel‘s very last college swim ever, as he split a 40.25 swimming 3rd for the Florida Gators to help them earn 2nd in the race.

In the video below, courtesy of YouTube user Anthony Preda, lane 1 is at the bottom of the screen, and lane 8 is at the top.  Of the aforementioned teams, Cal is in lane 2, Texas in lane 3, NC State in lane 4, and Florida in lane 6.

Courtesy of Anthony Preda

Live recap originally reported by Jared Anderson


  • NCAA record: NC State (Held, Molacek, McGlaughlin, Ress), 2018, 2:44.75
  • American record: NC State (Held, Molacek, McGlaughlin, Ress), 2018, 2:44.75
  • U.S. Open record: NC State (Held, Molacek, McGlaughlin, Ress), 2018, 2:44.75
  • 2017 NCAA Champion: Texas (Ringgold, Conger, Haas, Schooling), 2017, 2:45.39

Top 8 finishers:

  1. NC State – 2:44.31
  2. Florida – 2:45.73
  3. Cal – 2:46.54
  4. Texas – 2:47.00
  5. USC – 2:47.13
  6. Indiana – 2:47.29
  7. Auburn / Alabama – 2:49.01

NC State’s Ryan Held led off in 41.05 to stake NC State to a big lead. Justin Ress split 40.62, followed by a 41.02 from Jacob Molacek and a 41.62 from Coleman Stewart to go 2:44.31, breaking their own NCAA, U.S. Open and American records from this morning. That caps a three-win night for NC State, and launches them into 4th place as a team.

Florida took second, largely thanks to a 40.25 from Caeleb Dressel that stands up as one of the fastest relay splits in history, a tenth off his 40.15 from this morning. Khader Baqlah was 42.28, Jan Switkowski 41.25 and Mark Szaranek 41.95 as Florida went 2:45.73.

Cal put up a huge fight, hoping for a miracle to run down Texas for the team win, and they ultimately took 3rd. Justin Lynch led off in 41.97, much better than he was individually this morning. Andrew Seliskar was 41.84, Ryan Hoffer 41.19 and Michael Jensen 41.54.

Texas was 2:47.00 for fourth, getting 41.1 from Townley Haas, 41.5 from anchor Tate Jackson and a 41.7 from leadoff man Brett Ringgold, though Joseph Schooling was only 42.5 on his split, a second and a half slower than last year.

USC nearly took Texas, with a 41.8 leadoff from Santo Condorelli and a 41.6 from Dylan Carter early. Ralf Tribuntsov was 41.7 and Robert Glinta for a very consistent Trojan attack.

Indiana only gained a tenth from this morning but fell from 2nd to 6th, thanks mostly to other teams changing their lineups. Mohamed Samy got under 42 on his leadoff, but while Blake Pieroni was a wicked 40.77, the other two splits dipped above 42.

SEC rivals Auburn and Alabama tied for 7th place (picture 8 men sharing one podium spot) in 2:49.01. Auburn had a 41.7 leadoff from Zach Apple while Alabama got a 41.5 split from Robert Howard.

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Tea rex
5 years ago

Top relay points:
1. NC State 170 (1-1-2-2-8)
2. Florida 164 (1-2-3-4-5)
3. Cal 152 (2-3-3-4-6)
4. Indiana 148 (1-2-4-6-9)
5. Texas and USC 138

And fun fact:
NC State used the same swimmers for the 400 free AND medley relays (and the 200 free relay). If they stacked all their relays, it would be those same 4, plus Vazaios and maybe Graber.

Tea rex
5 years ago

I can’t see where the 15m marker is, but Coleman Stewart definitely took every inch of it.

Tea rex
Reply to  Tea rex
5 years ago

Stroke count: 6 6 6 8

5 years ago

Molachek, a transfer from Auburn, was quite impressive for NCST! (Similar trajectory as Grothe after leaving Auburn). Molachek was on both their winning relays, breast on long medley and fly on long medley. All around stud for the Wolfpack. His talent finally came to fruition!

Reply to  Hangry
5 years ago

he did have success at auburn, and even after he left before he joined ncst, he swam an awesome sectional meet, not sure who he was training under for it though

5 years ago

Sprint Capitol of the NCAA

5 years ago


Silent Majority
Reply to  #STATEment
5 years ago


5 years ago

Dressel is well on his way to 2nd best sprinter in American history. Lezak 46.05 for president

Reply to  Ragnar
5 years ago

Fake fan alert! 46.06 sorry buddy. And when Dressel goes 45.8 for the come behind anchor win it was me who said he’d do it.

Reply to  PACFAN
5 years ago

He leads off the FRR and will probably do Fly on the MDR, USA doesn’t usually go in behind on either relay, and Dressel doesn’t usually drop a ton of time on his relay splits. It’s possible but unlikely that Dressel will ever split a 45.8 as the anchor.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
5 years ago

wait and see , wait and see – we never know ……

Reply to  PACFAN
5 years ago

Actually it was a 46.00 in Bejing for Lezak

Bearly Breathing
5 years ago

Wow. 4 x :41 legs in this relay and yet Cal got no points in the 100 Fr. Brutal and spelled the difference between 2nd and 1st.

5 years ago

what happened to schooling?

Reply to  fred
5 years ago

None of us really know … far . An Off year most probably .

5 years ago

Haha every year since 2016 has been an off year for him

Reply to  Hswimmer
5 years ago


Reply to  fred
5 years ago

Too busy getting the sponsors lined up apparently.

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