Swimming World Presents – The Men’s 2021 NCAA Championships Review

Swimming World June 2021 - Men's 2021 NCAA Review - Texas Longhorns
The Texas Longhorns at the 2021 NCAA Championships

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The Men’s 2021 NCAA Championships Review

By Andy Ross and John Lohn
Photos By NCAA Media

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU, EDDIE!
Days before their coach, Eddie Reese, officially announced his retirement from coaching after 43 years, the Texas men’s team won their 15th men’s NCAA national team championship.

2020 was expected to be one of the tightest NCAA meets in recent history. After Cal won the 2019 team title in Texas’ home pool, ending the Longhorns’ four-year winning streak, Texas put the beatdown on the reigning champs at the Minnesota Invite in December 2019. That set up a grudge match for March 2020 in Indianapolis. But COVID-19 took away that opportunity for both teams, putting the rivalry on pause.

With all the challenges the pandemic provided this past year, the fact that many of the best swimmers were able to convene in Greensboro, N.C. for NCAAs, March 24-27, was a win in itself.

After analyzing the psych sheet, Texas and Cal knew that every point would matter in determining the champion.

EARLY MOMENTUM
Texas came out swinging on the first day with Drew Kibler, Austin Katz, Carson Foster and Jake Sannem winning the 800 yard free relay (6:07.25), but the next day belonged to Cal. Bjorn Seeliger, Ryan Hoffer, Daniel Carr and Nate Biondi came within 28-hundredths of the NCAA/meet/U.S. open record in the 200 yard freestyle relay (1:14.36), and Hoffer repeated his title in the 50 free in a 1-2 finish with Seeliger (18.33-18.71). In the 500, Trenton Julian and Sean Grieshop each reached the A-final (4th, 7th), then Hugo Gonzalez and Destin Lasco went 2-3 in the 200 IM.

Cal seemed to have all of the momentum, as the Bears built a 71-point lead heading into second day’s final two events. But Texas first responded with Jordan Windle and Noah Duperre, who went 1-2 in the 1-meter (435.60-405.45), cutting the deficit to 33 points. The Longhorns’ Chris Staka, Caspar Corbeau, Alvin Jiang and Daniel Krueger followed by beating Cal in the 400 medley relay (3:00.23-3:00.73), closing the margin to 27 heading into the meet’s third day.

TEXAS MAKES ITS MOVE
And that’s when the Longhorns took off. First came the 400 IM, with Texas, led by Carson and Jake Foster making their long-awaited NCAA debuts, placing second and fifth, with Braden Vines and David Johnston following in sixth and eighth. It was the first time a Division I men’s team had that many swimmers in the A-final of an event since the Longhorns put up a mind-boggling six of eight in the 100 fly in 2015.

In just one event, Texas had erased its deficit to lead by 3 points—and the team never trailed the rest of the meet. Interestingly, Coach Reese’s charges didn’t win an individual swimming event—the first national championship-winning team to do so since Auburn in 2006. Their only victories came in the 800 free relay on the first day and back-to-back wins on the second day: 1-meter diving and 400 medley relay.
(To read more about the Longhorns’ win at the NCAA Champs, click here to download the full May 2021 issue of Swimming World)

SCINTILLATING PERFORMANCES
One has been tabbed as a future star for the United States, a backstroke sensation who can venture into several other events. The other guy is more of an unknown when it comes to international potential, but his presence on the collegiate stage rattled the aquatic Richter Scale.
When the NCAA Men’s Championships unfolded in late March, the 15th team title for the University of Texas was the major headline. But on an individual basis, all eyes were on the efforts of Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas and Cal’s Ryan Hoffer, who went a combined 6-for-6 in solo events and produced some scintillating performances.

CASAS EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
Although the COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted the sport over the past year, one thing the coronavirus could not stop was the hype surrounding Casas. He is a young gun who has been pegged for stardom, some suggesting the ultimate success attainable in the sport: Olympic gold. At NCAAs, the junior lived up to the vast expectations thrust upon him by winning the 100 yard backstroke, 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley.

In the 200 back, Casas established himself as the No. 2 performer in event history, a clocking of 1:35.75 lighting up the scoreboard and necessary to fend off Cal’s freshman standout, Destin Lasco (1:35.99). Meanwhile, he dropped winning times of 44.20 in the 100 back and 1:39.53 in the 200 medley.

DOMINANT SHOWING FOR HOFFER
What about Hoffer? Well, that answer is a little more difficult to decipher. Hoffer has been an extraordinary short-course swimmer since his high school days, and he capped his senior year at Cal with a dominant showing: Titles in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, all three crowns ranking Hoffer among the fastest of all-time.

The efforts, however, did not come without a bit of anxiety. “I definitely learned how to manage (my nerves),” Hoffer said. “I almost look forward to the nerves because I feel like it gives me that extra pop where I need something more. It is that fuzzy feeling going into the water. It is what makes the race, the race. It makes a good race feel that much better.”

With Hoffer leading the way, Cal also secured a pair of relay titles and finished second to Texas in the team standings. For a guy who arrived on campus surrounded by hoopla, he certainly delivered during his senior campaign.

 

To read more about the Longhorns’ win, and Shaine Casas’ and Ryan Hoffers’ amazing performances,
Click here to download the full May 2021 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

TSwimming World June 2021 - King 15 - Eddie Reese Retires After Leading Texas To 15th NCAA Championship
[PHOTO CREDIT: ISHOF ARCHIVE]


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Swimming World May 2021 Issue

FEATURES

014 WOMEN’S NCAAs: A NEW NO. 1
For the first time in the history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships—since 1982—the University of Virginia finished first. It was also the first time it cracked the top 5 with its previous highest finish sixth in 2019.

  • VIRGINIA’S ROAD TO HISTORY
    by Dan D’Addona
  • NC STATE ADDS TO ACC DOMINANCE
    by Dan D’Addona
  • THE TALK OF THE MEET: MAGGIE MacNEIL
    by John Lohn

018 MEN’S NCAAs: THE PERFECT RETIREMENT GIFT
Days before their coach, Eddie Reese, officially announced his retirement from coaching after 43 years, the Texas men’s team won their 15th men’s NCAA national team championship.

  • THIS ONE’S FOR EDDIE!
    by Andy Ross
  • SCINTILLATING PERFORMANCES: SHAINE CASAS & RYAN HOFFER
    by John Lohn
  • PATIENCE REWARDED: MAX McHUGH & NICK ALBIERO
    by Andy Ross

022 NCAA D-II CHAMPS: SOME THINGS NEVER SEEM TO CHANGE
by Andy Ross
A year into the pandemic that has completely changed our world, Queens University of Charlotte brought about some stability to the 2021 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships by sweeping their sixth straight women’s and men’s team titles.

023 NO LIMITS!
by David Rieder
Claire Curzan has been swimming fast since she was a young age grouper and has continued to do so in high school. Last March, she came within 13-hundredths of the American record in the short course 100 fly, and in April, she found herself within 22-hundredths of the long course U.S. best. She’s versatile, she’s coachable, she has international experience, and she’s moved from a fringe Olympic contender to an Olympic favorite. Curzan is only 16, and her promising future couldn’t be brighter.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: WHEN IRISH EYES WEREN’T SMILING
by John Lohn
Ireland’s Michelle Smith—a four-time Olympic medalist in 1996 who received a four-year ban from the sport in 1998 for tampering with a doping sample—has been defined as being a poster girl for cheating, and by her willingness to cut corners and take advantage of performance-enhancing drug use to make the leap from an athlete of very-good skill to one of elite status.

029 50 SWIMMERS, 6 MEDALS
by Dan D’Addona
The Tokyo Olympics will mark the fourth occasion that open water swimming will be contested on the Olympic level, and even a 10-kilometer marathon race can bring exciting moments and dramatic finishes.

030 JOSH MATHENY: RISING STAR
by Matthew De George
From a middle-schooler newly committed to swimming full-time in 2016, the future looks encouraging for 18-year-old Josh Matheny, who approaches the U.S. Olympic Trials for Tokyo in June as a dark horse to make the team in men’s breaststroke.

032 ISHOF: THE ART OF SWIMMING
by Bruce Wigo
This is the story of Hero and Leander, Lord Byron and the birth of open water swimming.

035 NUTRITION: HYDRATION—BEYOND THIRST!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Hydration truly has a daily importance for all kinds of swimmers from age groupers to Olympians to Masters swimmers, but it tends to get more notoriety when the weather gets warmer.

COACHING

012 THE POWER OF POSITIVE COACHING
by Michael J. Stott
Relationships built upon honesty, trust and communication go a long way toward cementing a bond between coach and athlete. Coupling that with knowledge of the individual first and athlete second produces a positive working relationship that can last for a lifetime.

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: MAXIMIZING SWIMMING VELOCITY (Part 1)—STROKE RATE vs. STROKE LENGTH
by Rod Havriluk
Swimming velocity is the criterion measure for swimming performance and is the product of stroke length and stroke rate. This article explains how stroke length and stroke rate vary and how stroke time provides insight into maximizing swimming velocity.

042 Q&A WITH COACH STEVE HAUFLER
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN CHARLOTTE SHAMIA
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

037 DRYSIDE TRAINING: THE IM DRYLAND CIRCUIT
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 UP & COMERS: TEAGAN O’DELL
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT THE MOREHOUSE TIGER SHARKS?

046 THE OFFICIAL WORD

048 GUTTERTALK

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