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NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships Day 2: Cal in a tight race for the top spot with host Texas

The Golden Bears are peaking at the right time (this week), but so are the host Texas Longhorns. On Day 2, Bears won the 200 medley relay and freshman Ryan Murphy won 100 Back. Bears are 6 points behind Texas heading into final day. ROLL ON YOU BEARS!

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The Golden Bears have been very good at posting season best times so far in this NCAA Championships.
The Golden Bears have been very good at posting season best times so far in this NCAA Championships.
Cal Men's Swimming and Diving Facebook

Day 2 Recap:

Bears started out well in Day 2 again winning the relay. This time it is the 200 medley relay. Despite being in an outside lane thanks to only the 8th best time in the prelim. The Bears quartet of Ryan Murphy (back), Chuck Katis (breast), Tony Cox (fly), and Tyler Messerschmidt (free) edged Arizona (and that is with Arizona having a false they are DQ'ed).

Bears earned their 4th title and 1st individual when freshman Ryan Murphy (arguably the Missy Franklin of men's swimming being the top recruit last year...with apology to Texas' Conger) won the 100 Back.

It was a total team effort as the Bears are just 6 point behind the Texas Longhorns. That is a smaller gap than one might have believed from looking at the prelim times. Coach Dave Durden is definitely happy about how the Bears fared. Cal clearly "outswam" everybody (and is only behind Texas because a different sport - diving, is a part of this).

What this all means is that we have a close race for the team title going into the final day.

Here is the team standings after day 2 (14 of 21 events):

1. Texas 318.5
2. California 312.5
3. Florida 279
4. Michigan 225
5. Georgia 200
6. Southern Cal. 140
7. Arizona 135.5
8. Auburn 121
9. Stanford 117
10. Florida State 96

All in all, the Bears are in pretty great shape going into the final day. Texas will score points (not sure how many, anywhere from 20 to 50) in platform diving. However, the Bears have several guys who have the history of making the A-Final before, despite mediocre-ish qualifying time.

So things are look for in the Saturday morning prelim session is whether Josh Prenot and Will Hamilton can make the 200 Breast and 200 Fly A-Final, respectively. Bears can also have A-Finalists in 200 Back (Ryan Murphy for the double? and Jacob Pebley) and 100 Free (Tyler Messerschmidt and Seth Stubblefield). In the 1650 Free, Jeremy Bagshaw and Will Hamilton may score in the 9-16 place range.

While the Bears' relay win streak was snapped in the 800 free relay, Cal have better personnel to win the 400 free relay that is the final event of the meet and may likely determine the team title.


Bonus: Calympian Nathan Adrian has traveled to Austin to cheer on the Bears (and his training partners).


Viewing Information:

Live Swimming Results: here (there have been a weird glitch with the results in that some of the results are only shown if you open this in incognito mode)

Tonight's video link: ESPN3/WatchESPN

Your one link to all the info:

ESPN3 will have live coverage for Friday and Saturday night's finals. ESPNU will show the tape delayed coverage (action cut down to 90 minutes) at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 9.


There are a large and loud group of Golden Bears supporters this week in Austin.

Day 2 Prelim Recap:

The Bears enter Day 2 just one point behind the host Texas, with Florida not too far behind (and the defending NCAA Champs Michigan just behind them). Like I mentioned in the preview yesterday morning, the way for the Bears to win this NCAA Championships (it would be the 5th one in school history and make it 3 national titles in 4 years), the Bears would have to do it during the prelims by placing the most swimmers in the A- and B- Finals (the way that the NCAA scoring works can also be found in the preview).

So far, things have been happening according to plan. The Golden Bears came into this meet with the reputation to post significant better times than their qualifying times. They have lived up to this reputation so far.

Here are the number of swimmers that the top 4 contenders will have going for them tonight:

California- A Relay, 4 A and 6 B
Texas- A Relay, 6 A and 2 B (+ diving)
Florida- A Relay, 3 A and 6 B
Michigan- B Relay, 5 A and 2 B

The relay refers to the 200 medley relay, which will be the first final of the evening session. Michigan cost themselves major points by just missing out on the 200 medley relay A-Final. Bears are perhaps a bit fortunate in grabbing the 8th seed (last spot of the A-final) with a lineup that may only contain two swimmers that will swim tonight's final.

Winning relays have been the story for the Bears so far (see more in the Day 1 recap below) as the Bears have won both relays on Day 1 (where a record high number of schools were disqualified for false starts and other issues).

In terms of the individual events, the Bears' best bet to win an event is freshman Ryan Murphy in the 100 Back. A really high percentage of Golden Bears were able to make it to scoring positions this morning, even if the bulk of them are in the B-Finals.

This saving their best swims until this week phenomenon is not limited to just the Bears, however. Host Texas who also have 16 swimmers qualified to swim in a variety of events (not nearly as many events as the Bears although Texas has a huge edge in diving) have also made significant improvements from the psych sheet. In fact, Texas is the one school that made even more improvements than the Bears.

Here is what SwimSwam have to say about this morning:

At the halfway mark, this NCAA Championship has been one of the closest in recent memory. Scoring out the prelims results tells us one thing: expect it to stay that way.

Separated by just a single point after last night, Cal and Texas are each in line to put up exactly 157 points tonight based on prelims swims, keeping the projected standings after tonight still incredibly tight.

These projections, of course, don’t include diving (where Texas is likely to get a big boost) or the 800 free relay, which has early heats already completed by will wrap up tonight with the final two heats featuring both Cal and Texas.

After we scored out the psych sheets a month back, we’ve been comparing the two scores to see which teams have moved up from their seeds and which teams have fallen off. Unsurprisingly, Cal and Texas were once again the biggest risers from their seeds, with Texas gaining 76 points and Cal picking up 46.

For Texas, those points came everywhere, as the Longhorns are projected to score more than they were seeded in every event besides the 100 breast. Their biggest event will be the 100 fly, where a psych sheet 29 points became a prelims 44 with Jack Conger moving up and Tripp Cooper and Will Glass both making the A final.

Cal got a big boost in the backstroke, with Ryan Murphy moving up to the top seed andTony Cox rising to join him in the A field.

When you factoring in how Texas will have some diving points, the optimal case would end up with the Bears trailing by about 20 points heading into Day 3, which is still a very good position to be at.


Day 1 Recap:

In probably the most optimal case possible, the Bears finish Day 1 with two national championships won in the relays (200 Free and 400 Medley). Those wins and all the Cal points earned in the various individual races mean that the Bears are in a very good position at the end of Day 1.

  • Your 2014 NCAA 200 Free relay champions: Tyler Messerschmidt, Ryan Murphy, Tony Cox, and Seth Stubblefield
  • Your 2014 NCAA 400 Medley relay champions: Ryan Murphy, Chuck Katis, Marcin Tarczynski, and Seth Stubblefield

Texas got the lead thanks to their diving prowess but the Bears are right there. Florida is also doing as well as expected with Michigan (last year's champs) falling short of expectation.

Hear what Coach Durden and some members of the team have to say about Day 1:



Friday Night Events:

200 medley relay

Bears are swimming for another relay national championships after just having a time good enough for the 8th seed. From SwimSwam's live recap this morning.

Cal just snuck into the A final, stealing the spot from Michigan by .09. Ryan Murphy was 21.07 leading off, just .05 slower than Sankovich. This relay seems to have some alternates on it for prelims, too, as Shayne Fleming will probably give way to Seth Stubblefield or Tyler Messerschmidt tonight on freestyle and Marcin Tarczynski could also switch out of butterfly after splitting just 21.1.

400 IM

A-Final: Josh Prenot (dropping nearly 2 seconds) vs. 2 Wolverines, 1 Gator, and 1 Longhorn
B-Final: Adam Hinshaw vs. 3 Gators
(Florida did produce a pretty famous IMer in Ryan Lochte recently)
Both Golden Bears in this event are scoring points, you can’t ask for more than that.

100 butterfly

A-Final: 0 Golden Bears vs. 3 Texas Longhorns (Conger, Cooper, Glass) and 1 Florida Gator (Cieslak)
B-Final: Stubblefield, Cox, Tarcynzski vs. 1 Longhorn (Ellis) and 1 Wolverine (Brumm)

Texas got a huge lift in placing 3 guys in the A-Final. All 3 Bears in the B-Final had to improve their times to get there.

200 freestyle

A-Final: 1 Michigan (Wynalda), 1 Florida (D’Arrigo), 1 Texas (Youngquist)
B-Final: Will Hamilton and Trent Williams vs. 1 Michigan (Jaeger)

Cal’s Messerschmidt, Gutierrez, and Bagshaw were 22-23-24

100 breaststroke

A-Final: Chuck Katis vs. 1 Michigan (Ortiz)…possible 2nd Michigan swimmer in a swim-off
B-Final: 2 Gators

Cal freshman Hunter Cobleigh finished 18th (so he’s just an alternate).

This is the only event in today's session that Texas will not score any points.

100 backstroke

A-Final: Ryan Murphy (top seed), Tony Cox vs. 1 Texas
B-Final: Jacob Pebley vs. 1 Texas and 1 Florida

Ryan Murphy grabbed the top seed. This is perhaps the Golden Bears' best chance all week to win an individual event.

3-meter diving

I don't think Texas are doing as well in this diving event as yesterday when they got two guys in the A-Final.

800 freestyle relay

There are two heats that will be swam for this in the evening, creating a scenario where you are possibly racing a clock rather than just the other opponents in the pool.

Apparently, I don't know what I'm talking about. Maybe there was a prelim that I missed or it is all based on qualifying time but there is a A and a B finals in this. Both Cal and Texas are in the A-Final, by the way.

Nope, what I wrote originally was correct after all. There are two heats that will be swam for this in the evening, creating a scenario where you are possibly racing a clock rather than just the other opponents in the pool.