California Makes 200 Free Relay Bear Territory With Near American Record

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AUSTIN, Texas, March 27. THE California Golden Bears started the evening off right with a near American record in the men’s 200-yard free relay at the NCAA Division I Men’s Championships, while more relay disqualifications rocked the meet.

Led by an absolutely ridiculous anchor leg of 18.48 from Seth Stubblefield, the Golden Bears quartet of Tyler Messerschmidt (19.23), Ryan Murphy (18.75), Tony Cox (18.81) and Stubblefield (18.48) rocked to a 1:15.27 for the win. That’s just .01 off the American record of 1:15.26 held by Stanford since 2011. That’s also California’s fourth win in the event’s history, matching wins in 2005, 2010 and 2012.

“To be honest with you, we just kind of put our heads down and just said, ‘you know what, we’re not supposed to be here. We’re not supposed to be in the final.’ And we’re just like ‘you know what, let’s go win it’ and we just wanted to go swim our race and just let everybody else catch up,” Messerschmidt said. “It feels great, especially winning this event my freshman year with the same school and then obviously leaving and coming back. This is just phenomenal. I’m speechless.”

Texas’ Matt Ellis (19.19), John Murray (18.36), Tripp Cooper (19.21) and Kip Darmody (18.77) raced to a close second in 1:15.53, while Auburn’s Marcelo Chierighini (19.36), James Disney-May (18.93), Kyle Darmody (18.67) and TJ Leon (18.96) posted a third-place time of 1:15.92.

Arizona (1:16.67), Florida (1:16.98), UNLV (1:17.58) and Michigan (1:19.14) also completed clean relays to finish fourth through seventh, while the disqualification bug continued as Texas A&M drew a disqualification to lose eighth-place points.

The relay takeoff pads certainly made an impact in the consolation heat with a trio of disqualifications. Alabama, Southern California and Penn State all were DQed in the B final.

Louisville (1:17.29), Tennessee (1:17.59), Ohio State (1:17.89), Stanford (1:18.27) and Minnesota (1:18.42) managed clean swims to earn points in the B final.

Splits
1 California ‘A’ 1:16.11 1:15.27
1) Tyler Messerschmidt SO 2) Ryan Murphy FR
3) Tony Cox SR 4) Seth Stubblefield JR
r:+0.78 9.33 19.23 (19.23)
28.05 (8.82) 37.98 (18.75)
46.92 (8.94) 56.79 (18.81)
1:05.50 (8.71) 1:15.27 (18.48)
2 Texas ‘A’ 1:15.95 1:15.53
1) Matthew Ellis SO 2) John Murray SO
3) Tripp Cooper JR 4) Kip Darmody JR
r:+0.77 9.38 19.19 (19.19)
27.78 (8.59) 37.55 (18.36)
46.67 (9.12) 56.76 (19.21)
1:05.54 (8.78) 1:15.53 (18.77)

Team Standings
1. California 40
2. Texsa 34
3. Auburn 32
4. Arizona 30
5. Florida 28
6. UNLV 26
7. Michigan 24
8. Louisville 18
9. Tennessee 14
10. Ohio State 12

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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