WATCH Ryan Held Split 18.85 in Early November

This summer, North Carolina State junior lept into national and global swimming consciousness when he stood among giants (literally and figuratively) as the unknown factor on the American men’s 400 free relay in finals. Swimming with Caeleb DresselMichael Phelps, and Nathan Adrian, Held held his own with a 47.73 relay split and delivered an emotional moment as he stood atop the podium in Rio.

While many Olympic stars, be them pros or collegiate athletes, have had a bit of an Olympic hangover, with limited racing since Rio, Held jumped right back into the short pool and is already catching eyes again back in familiar water. Last Friday night, racing the 2016 NCAA Champions from Texas, Held split sub-19 not just once, but twice.

The first came in the meet-opening 200 medley relay, where Held’s 18.85-second anchor made up a .3-second deficit on the Longhorn A relay and give the Wolfpack momentum toward an eventual meet win.

Then, to end the meet, he did it again – splitting 18.90 to make up a two-tenths of a second gap on Texas’ Olympic champion and budding superstar Joseph Schooling.

For reference, Held anchored NC State’s 200 free relay in 18.28 at last year’s NCAA Championships and anchored the medley in 18.65.

Below, watch Held’s heroics twice against the Longhorns, courtesy of NC State Swim & Dive:

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Such fast, very wow
3 years ago


3 years ago

I don’t think he’ll be able to break 19 at the end of season though. Still very early and a tough time to hit with exams to focus on…

Reply to  John
3 years ago

Hey John, he went 18.9 from flat start last year…. lol

Reply to  John
3 years ago

What are you talking about? This summer he had a fantastic trials and dropped big times. I’m positive he’s faster this time this year then he was last year. He will crush it

ct swim fan
Reply to  John
3 years ago

Exams are not during the NCAA meet.

Irish 415
Reply to  John
3 years ago

He is studying fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology – doubt exams will be a factor. That said, everyone calm down. Seems like a genuinely nice kid. It’s good to see someone like him experiencing success and I’m glad he gets fired up for all of his good swims, no matter how big or small the stakes.

Reply to  John
3 years ago

100% agree. I don’t even think he will be able to break 20. Lot of pressure at those big meets. And I know what you mean about exams. You have to study real hard. And stay up late. And that messes up you taper. And even when their over you keep worrying about whether you passed. That’s why I dropped out and never one at ncaas. And donut evan get me started on how all those practices where you down…

Reply to  John
3 years ago

Sorry John he has already been 18.9 flat start and a 18.12 relay. Its him and Dressel in the 50, all others need not apply.

Swimmer A
Reply to  swimmer
3 years ago

Condorelli may fit in there. If not then his 100 will be good.

3 years ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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