After holding the lead during the first two days of competitions, the Cal Bears will have to fend off the Texas Longhhorns after their massive morning that reeled in 10 up 4 down swims. On the slate for tonight will be the finals of the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 3-meter diving, and 200 medley relay. Top seeds for tonight include Texas’ Carson Foster (400 IM), Cal’s Ryan Hoffer (100 FL), Texas’ Drew Kibler (200 FR), Minnesota’s Max McHugh (100 BR), and Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas (100 BK). Indiana’s Andrew Capobianco took the top prelims spot on the 3-meter diving event with 449.35 points.
Topping off the night will be the fastest-seeded 200 medley relay heat featuring Florida, Cal, Louisville, and Michigan.
Dropping five seconds from this morning to win the B-final was Cal junior Hugo Gonzalez, nailing a solid swim of 3:36.73. That takes down the Greensboro pool record from this morning. Virginia junior Casey Storch touched out Notre Dame sophomore Jack Hoagland by two-tenths for second in the consolation final. At the conclusion of the championship final, Gonzalez’s time would have won the 2021 title.
Into the championship final, freshman Carson Foster flexed his front-half skills with a 1:44.08 fly/back to hold a body-length lead over the field. Foster would continue to hold on to that lead until Florida junior Bobby Finke hit the freestyle. Finke brought his last 50 free home in a mind-boggling 23.83 to quickly pass Foster on the last turn, repeating his 2019 US National title performance when he did the same move on Foster.
Finke touched in with a time of 3:36.90, good enough for the NCAA title yet not the fastest time of the day. Foster settled for second place at 3:38.25, gaining from his morning swim of 3:37.79. Finke’s 400 IM tonight is the 19th-fastest performance in history, as well as sealing his name as the 12th-fastest performer all-time and the 10th-fastest US performer all-time.
Placing third was 2019 NCAA runner-up Sean Grieshop of Cal, hitting 3:38.73, more than a second off his lifetime best of 3:37.03. Arizona’s David Schlicht also broke 3:40 with his fourth place time of 3:39.89.
Along with Foster, the Texas Longhorns had a big point snag thanks to Jake Foster in 5th, Braden Vines in 6th, and David Johnston in 8th. This now puts the Longhorns ahead of the Cal Bears by 3 points, leading 258-255.
Last night’s 50 free winner, Cal’s Ryan Hoffer, was first to the wall at the halfway mark at 20.52. However, massively talented closers crept up on Hoffer into the final 25. Hoffer was able to hold on to take his first NCAA 100 fly title at 44.25, gaining 0.01s from his swim this morning. One of the best closers in the field, Louisville’s Nicolas Albiero, slid in for 2021 runner-up with his time of 44.32. Albiero is now the 5th-fastest US performer and tied as the 6th-fastest performer in history.
Hitting third place with a lifetime best was Georgia senior Camden Murphy, whose time of 44.42 moves him up to #11 all-time and #7 in US history. Texas senior Alvin Jiang placed fourth at 44.50, making him 9th in US history.
Winning the B-final was Indiana’s Tomer Frankel at 45.23, just 0.03s ahead of Texas’ Sam Pomajevich (45.26).
Texas’ Drew Kibler took the early lead at the 100-mark at 43.29, a half-second ahead of Florida’s Kieran Smith (43.79). Into the final turn, Kibler had the slightest advantage over Smith, setting up a dogfight to the wall for the 2021 title. Closing in a 23.16, it was Smith who took over Kibler 1:30.10 to 1:30.39.
After three years and one cancelled championships, junior Smith is finally an NCAA champion. Kibler settled for second at 1:30.39, setting a lifetime best and remaining the 7th-fastest performer in history. Taking third place was Cal senior Trenton Julian, clocking in a 1:31.55.
Texas also picked up A-final points from 4th-place finisher Jake Sannem (1:32.58) and 8th-place finisher Peter Larson (1:33.67).
Winning the B-final was Georgia Tech freshman Baturalp Unlu, hitting the wall at 1:32.60.
Easily leading off the first 50 was Minnesota’s Max McHugh, splitting 23.53. The junior was untouchable during the last 25, winning the 2021 title at 50.18, shaving 0.01s off his lifetime best. McHugh remains the 4th-fastest 100-yard breaststroker in history. Also breaking 51 seconds to take second place was Florida’s Dillon Hillis, whose time of 50.96 makes him the 15th-fastest performer all-time and #13 in US history. Rounding out the top three was Cal’s Reece Whitley at 51.03.
This title for McHugh is a lot more than improving from his third-place finish in 2019 as a freshman. On July 27th, 2019, McHugh and teammate Nick Saulnier suffered injuries in the knee and arm from an unknown shooter. McHugh was back to regular shape by December 2019, making a full recovery from his injury. Two years and a pandemic later, McHugh took down adversity and is now an NCAA champion.
Placing sixth in the A-final was Texas’ Caspar Corbeau, whose entry time, prelims time, and finals time were all 51.62.
Wining the B-final was Tennessee’s Michael Houlie at 51.26. Houlie was the 2018 Youth Olympics champion in the 50-meter breast representing South Africa.
Predictably, Shaine Casas was first at the 50 mark at 21.19, which is off of Murphy’s record pace. Despite not breaking 44 seconds, Casas earned his second NCAA title this weekend, taking the top time at 44.20. Nailing second place with his deadly underwaters was NC State’s Kacper Stokowski at 44.37, moving him up to 10th all-time.
Freshman Destin Lasco of Cal picked up another third place finish with his time of 44.49, again breaking his NCAA freshman record of 44.55 from this morning. Lasco is now tied with Northwestern Olympian Matt Grevers as the 11th-fastest performer all-time, 8th in US history. Taking fourth place was Texas’ Alvin Jiang, whose time of 44.60 ties him with Florida Olympian Ryan Lochte for #11 in US history.
In fifth place was 100 fly runner-up Nicolas Albiero of Louisville, touching in at 44.86. Both Jiang and Albiero swam the 100 fly and 100 back A-finals tonight, with Albiero out-swimming in the 100 fly and Jiang touching out in the 100 back. Adding up their 100s, Jiang’s 44.50 BK and 44.60 FL combine for a 1:29.10 while Albiero’s 44.32 FL and 44.86 BK total 1:29.18.
Winning the consolation final was Florida freshman Adam Chaney (44.74), slicing time from his personal best of 44.99. Chaney’s time now makes him the 15th-fastest US performer in history, passing Worlds runner-up Stanford alum Eugene Godsoe.
After a stellar final dive, Indiana’s Andrew Capobianco took home the 3-meter title with 505.20 points, just 23.90 points off the NCAA meet record. Capobianco changed his approach to prepare for international competition, allowing him to score more than 90 points on half of his dives to take the win. Taking second place was Texas’ Jordan Windle with 484.60 points, just 32.10 points ahead of LSU’s Juan Hernandez (452.50).
Texas maintains their lead from the start of the session with 386 points, ahead of Cal (340), Florida (248), Georgia (174), and Indiana (146), heading into the 200 medley relays.
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