2023 NCAA Men’s Championships: ‘Underdog’ NC State Fires NCAA Record 1:20.67 in 200 Medley Relay

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2023 NCAA Men’s Championships: ‘Underdog’ NC State Fires NCAA Record 1:20.67 in 200 Medley Relay

A lot of hype surrounded a lot of programs that weren’t NC State entering the first evening of the 2023 NCAA Championships Wednesday night. For the four swimmers on the 200 medley relay, that was just fine.

“Oh yeah, I think we were” underdogs, butterflier Nyls Korstanje said. “And that kind of gave us a chip on the shoulder. We didn’t go in as the favorite, and being the underdog is great. We’re just hear to show we’re not underdogs.

NC State became the first foursome ever to break 1:21, Kacper Stokowski, Mason Hunter, Korstanje and David Curtiss setting an NCAA and U.S. Open record of 1:20.67 at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. It’s the first time the Wolfpack have ever won the event. They tied for third with Cal last season.

Stokowski put them out front by going 20.36, and Korstanje split 19.15 on fly. That handed off for Curtiss to bring it home in 18.21.

“We really wanted to get this relay,” Curtiss said. “We’ve been thinking and talking about it all year long. Getting the momentum started for the rest of the team is very important for us. Being able to get off on the right foot and swim the fastest that we could and do the best we could is definitely a good start and will propel the team forward.”

The winning splits from this year vs. last year:

  • Stokowski 20.36 – Hunter 22.95 – Korstanje 19.15 – Curtiss 18.21
  • Chaney 20.19 – Hillis 23.20 – Friese 19.36 – Davis 18.38

Second was Arizona State, thanks in part to Leon Marchand splitting 22.27, to go 1:21.07, also under the NCAA mark of 1:21.13. He was joined by Jack Dolan, Max McCusker and Jonny Kulow.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Florida was .01 second slower than this year in taking third (Adam Chaney, Aleksas Savickas, Eric Friese, Josh Liendo). It’s the third straight medal for the Gators, having finished second in 2021.

Cal’s Bjorn Seeliger had the fastest backstroke time in 20.29. (Stokowski joked that for the second straight year, he was less than a tenth slower than Seeliger, by .08 last year and .07 this year.) Marchand led the breaststrokers, Korstanje the butterfliers, though he was chasing the 18.90 set by Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks at the SEC Championships. Liendo’s 18.03 was the fastest among the anchor legs.

“It’s honestly something that’s years in the making,” Korstanje said of his split. “I’ve been dreaming of going the fastest time in 50 fly history. Unfortunately there was someone a little bit faster, in my boy Jordan, but still it was faster than last year’s fastest split in history. I’m glad I hit the turn, because that’s very, very important in the fly. I’m glad we executed.”

California was fourth. Indiana won the second of three timed heats to finish fifth in 1:51.52. The top six teams were under the pool record. All were also under the American record, dating to Cal in 2018, though all included at least one international swimmer.

That included the international flair on the Wolfpack, which has them off to a dream start.

“It feels amazing,” Stokowski said. “I told them before the race – I can tell you guys that – I believed and I told them that we can do it. And it’s going to take it right now, and right here.”

 Event 1  Men 200 Yard Medley Relay
         NCAA: N 1:21.13  3/23/2022 Florida
                          A Chaney, D Hillis, J Friese, W Davis
         Meet: M 1:21.13  3/23/2022 Florida
                          A Chaney, D Hillis, J Friese, W Davis
     American: A 1:21.88  3/23/2018 California
                          D Carr, C Hoppe, J Lynch, R Hoffer
   U. S. Open: O 1:21.13  3/23/2022 Florida
                          A Chaney, D Hillis, J Friese, W Davis
         Pool: P 1:21.82  3/24/2018 University of Southern Cal
                          Glinta, Vissering, Carter, Con
    School                                 Seed     Finals Points 
  1 NC State                            1:22.25    1:20.67N  40  
     1) Stokowski, Kacper SR          2) r:0.15 Hunter, Mason 5Y      
     3) r:0.09 Korstanje, Nyls SR     4) r:0.16 Curtiss, David SO     
    r:+0.71  20.36        43.31 (22.95)
        1:02.46 (19.15)     1:20.67 (18.21)
  2 ASU                                 1:21.69    1:21.07N  34  
     1) Dolan, Jack SR                2) r:0.07 Marchand, Leon SO     
     3) r:0.28 McCusker, Max 5Y       4) r:0.26 Kulow, Jonny FR       
    r:+0.69  20.61        42.88 (22.27)
        1:02.62 (19.74)     1:21.07 (18.45)
  3 Florida                             1:21.73    1:21.14P  32  
     1) Chaney, Adam JR               2) r:0.36 Savickas, Aleksas FR  
     3) r:0.20 Friese, Eric SR        4) r:0.16 Liendo, Josh FR       
    r:+0.72  20.38        43.36 (22.98)
        1:03.11 (19.75)     1:21.14 (18.03)
  4 California                          1:22.84    1:21.24P  30  
     1) Seeliger, Bjorn JR            2) r:0.27 Bell, Liam SR         
     3) r:0.34 Rose, Dare JR          4) r:0.21 Alexy, Jack SO        
    r:+0.57  20.29        43.28 (22.99)
        1:03.13 (19.85)     1:21.24 (18.11)
  5 Indiana                             1:23.52    1:21.52P  28  
     1) Burns, Brendan SR             2) r:0.09 Mathias, Van 5Y       
     3) r:0.25 Frankel, Tomer JR      4) r:0.18 Wright, Gavin JR      
    r:+0.57  20.60        43.13 (22.53)
        1:02.69 (19.56)     1:21.52 (18.83)
  6 Tennessee                           1:21.43    1:21.59P  26  
     1) Kammann, Bjoern SO            2) r:0.18 Houlie, Michael 5Y    
     3) r:0.29 Crooks, Jordan SO      4) r:0.25 Santos, Guilherme FR  
    r:+0.75  20.97        43.88 (22.91)
        1:03.15 (19.27)     1:21.59 (18.44)
  7 Louisville                          1:23.59    1:22.43   24  
     1) Lowe, Dalton JR               2) r:0.14 Petrashov, Denis SR   
     3) r:0.27 Elaraby, Abdelrhman SR 4) r:0.09 Eastman, Michael 5Y   
    r:+0.73  20.56        43.35 (22.79)
        1:03.63 (20.28)     1:22.43 (18.80)
  8 Virginia                            1:23.03    1:22.51   22  
     1) Brownstead, Matt JR           2) r:0.37 Nichols, Noah JR      
     3) r:0.20 Edwards, Max SR        4) r:0.04 Lamb, August SR       
    r:+0.63  20.76        43.76 (23.00)
        1:04.01 (20.25)     1:22.51 (18.50)
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