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2015 NCAA Men's Swimming (and Diving) Championships: Cal was great in day 1 but Texas was better

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In 400 medley relay, the Bears set an American record but still only got 2nd in the race. That basically summed up Day 1. ROLL ON YOU BEARS!

Ryan Murphy set a record in backstroke leading off the 400 medley relay. He will go for a repeat as 100 Back champ today.
Ryan Murphy set a record in backstroke leading off the 400 medley relay. He will go for a repeat as 100 Back champ today.
Cal Men's Swimming and Diving Facebook

As expected, the Golden Bears significantly outscored their psych sheet on the opening day of the 2015 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. Unfortunately, the Texas Longhorns, who already had a great psych sheet score coming in, outscored their qualifying times by even more. By the time all of the pool water has calmed, the Golden Bears find themselves facing a large deficit heading into Day 2 - the expected best day for the Bears.

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Here are your links to view this meet online:

Prelims starts at 9 AM PT, Finals starts at 5 PM PT

Possible alternative link to the Iowa Hawkeyes broadcasts: here

Friday Prelims: Iowa Hawkeyes Website

Friday Finals: WatchESPN

Saturday Prelims:  Iowa Hawkeyes Website

Saturday Finals: WatchESPN

Live results: Meet Results

My meet preview, including explanation on the scoring: CGB

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Just like expected, the NCAA team championship was expected to be a race between Cal and Texas with schools like Florida and Michigan in the mix. Here is the updated psych sheet expectation (from SwimSwam):

RANK BASED ON FINAL PREDICTION

TEAM

SCORE AFTER THURSDAY

FRIDAY SWIM PYSCH SCORE

SATURDAY SWIM PSYCH SCORE

PREDICTED FINAL BASED ON THU ACTUAL + PSYCH FRI&SAT

PREDICTED FINAL BASED ON PSYCH

DIFFERENCE THURSDAY ACTUAL MINUS PSYCH

DIVING THURSDAY

1

tx

171

129

101

401

331

70

22

2

fl

108

136

83

327

320

7

3

mi

105

130

80

315

310

5

4

socal

77

149

85

311

332

-21

6

5

cal

119

106

61

286

260

26

Certainly, the Bears' predicted by the psych sheet to finish 5th/6th but the true expectation from a squad that is the defending champs and have known how to peak at just the right time is that the Bears will outperform the psych sheet.

Day 1 Recap:

200 Free Relay -

The opening relay of the meet was a weird one. In the prelim, NC State was supposedly DQ'ed only to be reinstated after the NCAA threw out the use of the electronic pads, citing possible malfunctions. NC State retain the top seed going into the finals. In the process, they bumped Stanford out of the A-Final.

In the finals, NC State jumped out to a big lead with the Bears ahead of Texas in 2nd place. On the 3rd leg, however, the Longhorns caught up to the Bears to edge the Bears for the supposed 2nd place behind NC State. Then, the weird thing happened. It was announced that NC State was DQ'ed (again) but this time it sticks. Instead of just 2 points over the Bears, Texas got the championship bonus points and open the meet with a 6 point edge over our Golden Bears.

The Golden Bears quartet for this race was: Tyler Messerschmidt, Seth Stubblefield, Fabio Gimondi, and Ryan Murphy.

500 Free -

The top Cal qualifier was Trent Williams and his 20th place finish was not enough to score any points.

In the finals, Florida's Dan Wallace was ahead for almost all of the race until he was caught in the last lap by Texas' Clark Smith. Fortunately for the field, the other two Texas finalists finished 7th and 8th. Two NCAA titles in two events did give Texas quite a emotional momentum boost, however.

200 IM -

The top event for the Bears in Day 1, we had 2 swimmers in the A-Final and 2 in the B-Final.

The B (consolation) final involved Cal's Jacob Pebley and Will Hamilton against Texas' Schooling. Pebley was out ahead thanks to his backstroke prowess but faltered late to finish 7th. Hamilton finished 4th in the race and Texas got another emotional boost when Schooling claimed the B-final.

In the A-Final, expectation for a new American record was high that one of Stanford's David Nolan, Texas' Will Licon (who had a great prelim swim), or Cal's Josh Prenot (a physics major, by the way) will break the 1:40 mark (kind of like what Missy Franklin's goal was for the 200 Free last week). Turned out Nolan was able to do this with Licon right behind him. Prenot did managed a 3rd place finish. Ryan Murphy finished 5th in this event to give Cal a 3rd-5th-12th-15th finish.

It was a bit unfortunate that the lone Texas swimmer in both races finished ahead of the Cal counterparts.

50 Free -

Tyler Messerschmidt shaved off nearly half a second to make the A-Final for the Bears. Seth Stubblefield basically swam his already great seed time, but that's only good for the B-Final. Florida's Caeleb Dressel ends up winning the event which featured zero Texas Longhorns. Messerschmidt finished 6th while Stubblefield finished 7th in the B-final.

1 meter diving -

Steele (that's his real first name?) Johnson won this event. Texas had a diver in the A-final (finished 6th) and the winner of the B-final in this one. Another A-finalist was former Texas diver Hixon who has transferred to Indiana.

400 medley relay -

Like the 400 medley relay a week ago when 3 schools, including Cal, all broke the existing record, this was another wild one. A record breaking swim to lead off by Ryan Murphy (44.17) started the Bears in front. Chuck Katis (the magic man) followed it up with a great swim to keep the Bears in front of Texas. On the fly leg, Texas' Schooling was able to make up a 2 seconds deficit on Cal's freshman Justin Lynch. This meant that Seth Stubblefield didn't really have much of a lead against Texas' Jack Conger who had a great anchor leg for the Longhorns to claim this final race.

Texas set an NCAA record with a time of 3:01.23. Since they are not all American, the American record ends up being set by the Cal quartet with a time of 3:01.60. It's hard to be not satisfied with the American record, but a win sure would have been sweeter.

What to expect in Day 2:

200-yard medley relay - Seed time of 1:24.15 by Murphy, Katis, Lynch, Messerschmidt

400-yard individual medley - Josh Prenot is amongst the favorites. Freshman Connor Greene will hopefully also score points.

100-yard fly - Seth Stubblefield and Justin Lynch will rep the Bears in this one.

200-yard free - Bears need some scorers in this event. Maybe Long Gutierrez can provide that along with Trent Williams.

100-yard breast - Chuck Katis should score points. So could Connor Hoppe and Hunter Cobleigh.

100-yard back - Ryan Murphy will defend his title in this race. This is probably the Bears' best chance for a NCAA title today.

3-meter diving - No Cal diver qualified for this.

800-yard free relay - Seed time of 6:19.30 by Williams, Stubblefield, Gutierrez, Hamilton

It's time for the Bears to win some individual NCAA titles tonight!

GO BEARS!