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Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
AUSTIN, Texas, March 27. THE first day of preliminary qualifying is complete at the NCAA Division I Men's Championships in Austin, and the biggest news out of Texas is more about who won't be swimming tonight than who actually made it.
A total of nine relays were disqualified in two events, with a stunning six in the 400 medley relay, including a monster 49.95 breaststroke split by Kevin Cordes that was wiped out by an early takeoff by the breaststroke star.
Men's 200 free relay
Texas' Matt Ellis (19.14), John Murray (18.69), Kip Darmody (18.94) and Caleb Weir (19.18) nearly cleared the Texas record of 1:15.90 with a leading time of 1:15.95 in prelims, while California's Tyler Messerschmidt (19.49), Shayne Fleming (19.31), Tony Cox (18.74) and Seth Stubblefield (18.57) qualified second in 1:16.11 with defending champion Auburn posting a 1:16.38 from Marcelo Chierighini (19.25), James Disney-May (19.17), TJ Leon (19.34) and Kyle Darmody (18.62).
Florida (1:16.52), Arizona (1:16.80), UNLV (1:17.30), Texas A&M (1:17.34) and Michigan (1:17.39) rounded out the championship heat heading into this evening.
Minnesota (1:17.44), Stanford (1:17.46), Tennessee (1:17.54), Alabama (1:17.65), Southern California (1:17.71), Ohio State (1:18.02), Penn State (1:18.04) and Louisville (1:18.18) also earned their way into the consolation heat.
Two of the more impressive splits of the day came out of the consolation qualifiers with Minnesota's Toomey leading off in 18.95 and David Nolan clocking an 18.66 as the second leg for Stanford.
The biggest shock of the preliminary heats was a relay takeover disqualification by second-seed N.C. State. That pretty much ends N.C. State's chances of a relay-led push into rare team-scoring territory for the Wolfpack.
Overall, the DQ bug claimed three teams with Virginia and Florida State also drawing disqualifications, really harming the ACC Conference's overall standings here in Austin.
Men's 500 free
Defending champion Connor Jaeger and Florida super freshman Mitch D'Arrigo put on a show in heat six of seven with Jaeger just holding off D'Arrigo for the top time with a 4:12.37 against D'Arrigo's 4:12.68 heading into finals. Jaeger is looking to become the first person to defend the 500 free title at NCAAs since Michigan Man Peter Vanderkaay won three straight from 2004-06.
USC's Cristian Quintero (4:13.0), Florida's Dan Wallace (4:13.51), Michigan's Anders Nielsen (4:13.89), Georgia's Matias Koski (4:13.99), Navy's Thomas Duvall (4:14.04) and Texas' Jack Conger (4:14.06) also earned spots in the A final.
Michigan, as is typical in a distance event, had a strong impact in terms of the team title race. Along with Jaeger and Nielsen making the A final, Sean Ryan (4:16.59) and Michael Wynalda (4:16.77) placed 14th and 16th to make the B final.
Texas' Sam Lewis (4:14.09), California's Jeremy Bagshaw (4:14.37), Arizona's Matt Barber (4:14.83), Auburn's Zane Grothe (4:15.12), USC's Reed Malone (4:15.74) and CSU Bakersfield's Mitchell Huxhold (4:16.71) rounded out the consolation heat.
Men's 200 IM
In one of the fastest preliminary rounds of all time, it took a 1:42.24 to make the A final with five swimmers actually posting 1:41s in the morning.
Florida's Marcin Cieslak pumped up the crowd with a sizzling time of 1:41.15 -- the eighth-fastest time ever. That swim moved him ahead of David Nolan (1:41.21), into fifth all time on the performer's chart. Cieslak's previous best had been a 1:41.45 from NCAAs a year ago.
Michigan's Kyle Whitaker, who vaulted to fourth all time with a 1:41.14 during Big Tens a month ago, raced his way to the second seed with a 1:41.43 this morning. That time is the 14th-fastest performance ever as he set himself up nicely to challenge Cieslak in the finale.
Georgia's Chase Kalisz popped a 1:41.71 to qualify third and move to 10th all time in the event's history, while Michigan's Dylan Bosch posted a fourth-ranked 1:41.82. Bosch already holds eighth on the all time list with a 1:41.66 from Big Tens last month. California's Josh Prenot rounded out the 1:41s with a 1:41.89 for fifth. He's now 14th all time in the event as the finale tonight should be stunning.
Defending champion David Nolan of Stanford cruised his way into the A final with a 1:42.08, while Georgia's Nic Fink (1:42.21) and California's Ryan Murphy (1:42.24) also made the championship heat.
In a bit of a surprise, 2012 champion Marcin Tarczynski of California wound up in the B final with a 1:42.72 for 10th. Indiana's Cody Miller (1:42.27), California's Will Hamilton (1:42.84), Indiana's Steve Schmuhl (1:43.19), Texas' Will Licon (1:43.19), Florida's Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (1:43.36), Indiana's Eric Ress (1:43.41) and Stanford's Tom Kremer (1:43.66) comprised the rest of the consolation heat.
Men's 50 free
A trio of 18s went up on the board this morning with Florida's Brad deBorde topping qualifying with a time of 18.86. That's a personal best for the Gator, besting the 18.88 he clocked at SECs last month, as he moved to 12th all time in the event's history with today's swim.
Arizona's Brad Tandy, who nearly did not clear eligibility this year before getting everything worked out shortly before the Pacific 12 Championships, grabbed the second seed with an 18.96, while California's Seth Stubblefield followed up on his epic 200 free relay anchor from this morning with an 18.97 for third.
Alabama's Kristian Gkolomeev (19.05), Texas' John Murray (19.07), Florida State's Paul Murray (19.08), Minnesota's Derek Toomey (19.10) and Texas' Matt Ellis (19.11) also made the A final.
In another favorite dropping to the consolation heat surprise, Auburn's Marcelo Cheirighini clocked a 19.21 for 11th overall. As the 11th-fastest performer of all time, Chierighini had a chance to win the title if he took care of business in the morning. California's Tyler Messerschmidt qualified ninth in 19.16 with UNLV's Dillon Virva taking 10th with a 19.19.
California's Tony Cox (19.24), Louisville's Joao De Lucca (19.27), NC State's Simonas Bilis (19.28), Georgia Tech's Andrew Kosic (19.42) and NC State's David Williams (19.42) captured the rest of the transfer spots into the B final.
Men's 400 medley relay
And, the disqualification bug kept attacking as a full six different medley relays were disqualified this morning, including an Arizona disqualification that cost Kevin Cordes a 49.95 breaststroke split from being officially recorded. Although, the DQ was called on a -.05 between Mitchell Friedemann and Cordes.
That's the second high profile relay disqualification Cordes has been a part of, as his exchange with Matt Grevers at the 2013 World Championships caused a disqualification and cost the United States a world title in the 400 medley relay in Barcelona.
Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, Auburn, Notre Dame and North Carolina each were disqualified, with the Arizona DQ guaranteeing a new national champion after Arizona won a year ago.
Florida's Corey Main (46.22), Matt Elliott (53.00), Marcin Cieslak (44.60) and Brad deBorde (41.65) led the way with a 3:05.47, while Texas' Kip Darmody (45.70), Imri Ganiel (52.63), Tripp Cooper (44.98) and Matt Ellis (42.23) finished second in 3:05.54. Georgia's Dale Taylor (45.73), Nic Fink (51.91), Doug Reynolds (45.35) and Matias Koski (42.59) powered their way to third in 3:05.58.
USC (3:05.93), California (3:06.49), Michigan (3:06.58), Florida State (3:07.02) and Alabama (3:07.33) also swam their way into the championship heat.
Ohio State (3:07.47), Louisville (3:07.48), Penn State (3:07.51), Indiana (3:-07.53), Tennessee (3:07.66), NC State (3:08.35), Missouri (3:08.72) and UNLV (3:09.25) all completed legal swims to make the consolation heat.
Men's one-meter diving
With a surprising day of twists and turns, and a strong 2-3 finish by Michael Hixon (404.80) and Cory Bowersox (380.05) during diving, the Texas Longhorns moved themselves right into team title contention heading into the first night of swimming.
Duke's Nick McCrory, the top diver in the collegiate ranks and winner of two of the three events last year, qualified first with 413.90 points, while Stanford's Kristian Ipsen tied for third with a 380.5 pionts tally.
Missouri's David Bonuchi (378.20), Arizona's Rafael Quintero (375.20), Miami's Sam Dorman (370.25) and Arizona State's Riley McCormick (363.60) comprised the rest of the championship eighth.
Tennessee's Mauricio Robles-Rodriguez (353.85), Stanford's Brad Christensen (352.60), Auburn's Fraser McKean (351.60), Virginia Tech's Ryan Hawkins (349.15), Indiana's Emad Abdelatif (348.00), Utah's Josiah Purss (347.65), Auburn's John Santeiu (332.15) and Missouri's Clark Thomas (331.85) will turn right around and compete in the conslation finale shortly after prelims.
Results: NCAA Division I Men's Championships: Day One Prelims