2018 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 21 – Saturday, March 24
- Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center – Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Defending champion: Texas (3x) (results)
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Courtesy of Anthony Preda
Originally reported by Jared Anderson
800 FREESTYLE RELAY
NCAA record: NC State (Held, Vazaios, Ress, Dahl), 2017, 6:06.53 American record: Texas (Conger, Newkirk, Smith, Haas), 2017, 6:08.61 U.S. Open record: NC State (Held, Vazaios, Ress, Dahl), 2017, 6:06.53
- 2017 NCAA Champion: NC State (Held, Vazaios, Ress, Dahl), 6:06.53
Indiana’s Blake Pieroni led off against reigning American record-holder Townley Haas, finishing with the two fastest 200 frees in history along with the first-ever swim under 1:30 – relay start or flat start. Pieroni went 1:29.63 to crush the field, blowing almost a full second off of Haas’s old American record. Haas was 1:30.41 to just sneak under his old national record of 1:30.46 set last year.
But while those two staked their teams to big leads, it was NC State that had the guns left at the end, overtaking IU for the win in the final leg.
That was courtesy of a blazing 1:30.77 from Justin Ress on the anchor leg. Andeas Vazaios led off in 1:31.32, Ryan Held was 1:31.09 and Jacob Molacek 1:32.13 as NC State defended its event title from last year and broke their own NCAA and U.S. Open records with a 6:05.31.
Indiana was also under the old NCAA and U.S. Open records, going 6:06.01, getting a 1:31.9 from Mohamed Samy and a pair of 1:32.2s from Vini Lanza and Ian Finnerty.
Texas, meanwhile, broke the American record – the top two teams each had international swimmers – in 6:07.59. That came courtesy of Haas, Jeff Newkirk (1:32.58), Jonathan Roberts (1:32.36) and Austin Katz (1:32.24).
Florida elected not to use Caeleb Dressel, settling for fourth in 6:09.52 with a 1:31.98 leadoff from Jan Switkowski. Khader Baqlah was also 1:31.64 on his leg.