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Cal Men's Swimming finishes 2nd at 2016 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships

Golden Bears concluded the 2016 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships with 3 titles - Josh Prenot in 400 IM and Ryan Murphy breaking his own records in both 100 and 200 Back. Bears finished 2nd as a team behind a dominant Texas Longhorns team.

Junior Ryan Murphy will try to make it 6 for 6 on Saturday in winning backstroke races (100 and 200) in his NCAA career.
Junior Ryan Murphy will try to make it 6 for 6 on Saturday in winning backstroke races (100 and 200) in his NCAA career.
Reagan Lunn

Saturday Quick Recap:

Another day, another record breaking swim by Ryan Murphy who should become a household name after the Rio Olympics this summer. For the third straight years, the junior has won both the 100 and 200 back NCAA titles. After breaking his own 100 Back record from an year ago, Murphy duplicate the same feat on Saturday to win the 200 Back title.

Check out his swim in the video embedded in this post.

In other Saturday news, Josh Prenot got edged by Texas' Will Licon in the 200 Breast - a 3rd matchup between the two that saw the Cal senior winning the 400 IM but Licon, top score at this year's meet, winning both 200 IM and 200 Breast.

Fellow Cal senior Jacob Pebley finished 2nd in 200 Back behind Murphy.

Cal freshman Andrew Seliskar placed 3rd in 200 Fly behind a pair of Longhorns.

Despite finishing the meet with a 400 free relay DQ, the Bears were already locked into 2nd place at this meet, ahead of Florida. Texas repeated the team title with a dominant meet.

cal men's swimming 2016

Ryan Murphy ends up sharing the Swimmer of the Year award with Texas' Schooling and Florida's Dressel. The three guys actually swam in the same club team in high school in Florida.

************ have updated with a few new videos of interviews from this meet. The highlight is below, the full interviews are embedded further down.


The NCAA has expanded the swimming and diving championships to 4 days this year, moving the 800 free relay to a new day 1.

Friday marks Day 3 of 4 of the Men's Swimming and Diving Championships from Atlanta, Georgia. The always talented and always in contention Cal Men's Swimming squad found themselves in 2nd place with one more day to go.

As always, Cal men's swimming team travels pretty well. They are making Atlanta a Bear Territory.

Here is the standing through the end of Friday:





NC State


2016 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving: Live Stats

TV/Online videos: Saturday Prelim and archive of past prelims and Wednesday and Thursday finals (free online video from Atlanta Swimming), Saturday final - WatchESPN

Unfortunately, given their great depth of talent and that strong edge in diving, Texas is projected to run away with the title and repeat as champions. Nevertheless, stranger things have happened and the Bears finally earn some much needed momentum by picking up two NCAA titles on Friday. Bears are outperforming their psych sheet but so is Texas.

We will cover the events in reverse chronological order.


Bears finally managed to pick up a pair of NCAA title on Friday; it's about time.

400 IM:

Cal senior (and physics major) Josh Prenot won the first Cal title of the 2016 NCAA by setting a pool record in 400 IM with a time of 3:35.82. The Calympian hopeful bested Texas' Will Licon (who won the 200 IM). Cal freshman Andrew Seliskar finished 5th.

100 Fly:

Texas's Jacob Schooling (the difference in Texas' 400 medley relay win over the Bears the night before) won this event. Justin Lynch finished 10th overall with the 2nd best time in the B-Final.

200 Free:

Longhorn dominance continues with Townley Haas win - a NCAA record time of 1:30.46. Trent Williams finished 7th for the Bears. Long Gutierrez also scored points with a 12th place finish (4th in the B-Final).

100 Breast:

Connor Hoppe scored points for the Bears with a 12th place finish (4th in the B-Final). Missouri's Fab Schwingenschlogl won this event (as well as the best name contest).

100 Back:

Watch this:

Yep, Ryan Murphy just broke his record from yesterday with an even better time today to win the  NCAA100 Back title. WOW!

With this win, Murphy is now the 3x defending champ in NCAA 100 Back. He will look to replicate the same feat in 200 Back tomorrow.

3-meter diving:

Yep, another diving event (2nd of 3) see Pitts' Dominic Giordano with the title. Longhorn got the 3rd place finisher to pad their lead.

200 Medley relay:

The Bears got edged yet again in a medley relay, this time by Alabama. Murphy, Hoppe, Lynch, and Messershmidt posted a time of 1:22.49 (a new pool record). However, Alabama got in just before with a time of 1:22.28.


200 Free relay:

Bears opened night 2's finals with another 4th place finish. Long Gutierrez, Ryan Murphy, Tyler Messerschmidt, and Justin Lynch allowed the Bears to finish in a tie with Florida for 4th. Texas won another relay here, with NC State and Alabama in 2nd and 3rd place.

500 Free:

Texas' Townley Haas make it 3 straight Texas titles to open this year's NCAA by winning the 500 Free. No Golden Bears were able to score point in this event.

200 IM:

The first event where the Bears can really shine was the 200 IM. Jacob Pebley made the B-Final and finished 14th. However, it's the three Bears who posted the top 3 times from the morning that showed the Bears' dominance of this event. Josh Prenot, Ryan Murphy, and Andrew Seliskar had the top 3 prelim time in the morning, but Prenot was just edged out by Texas' Will Licon for the title. Murphy finished 3rd while freshman Seliksar finished 7th.

50 Free:

Florida's Caleb Dressel snaps the Longhorn winning streak to claim this event. No Golden Bears were able to get in the finals to score points. Texas got 1 A-finalist and 1 B-finalist.

1 Meter Diving:

Tennessee's Laim Stone won this event. Texas got 1 A-finalist and 1 B-finalist.

400 Medley Relay:

Posting a time of 43.15, Ryan Murphy set a new American record leading off the 400 medley relay for the Bears. Josh Prenot (breast), Justin Lynch (fly), and Long Gutierrez (free) followed for the Bears to post a time of 3:01.28 (a new pool record). Unfortunately, the Bears were just edged out by those Texas Longhorns again. Longhorn won with a time of 3:00.68 (the winning quartet were John Shebat, Will Licon, Joseph Schooling, and Jack Conger). Schooling's 1.70 second faster fly time was the main difference.

Bears sit at 3rd place with 141 points behind Texas (209) and Florida (163).


800 Free relay:

Bears set a school record in 800 Free relay on Wednesday night. Given the storied Cal Aquatics history, that's no easy feat. The quartet of Long Gutierrez, Trent Williams, Andrew Seliskar, and Jacob Pebley posted a time of 6:11.30 which would be a pool record, if not for the fact that three other teams - Florida, NC State, and winner Texas all broke the NCAA record.

Bears broke the old school record (from 2012) by more than 4 seconds. With only one event, the 4th place finish meant that the Bears were in 4th place by the end of Wednesday.

ICYMI: Cal Women's Swimming and Diving finished 3rd at the NCAA Championships last week

Due to my travel schedule and the unexpected flaky internet of Italy, I wasn't able to update that championship quest for the Bears.

Bears end up finishing 3rd in the country while picking up 1 relay title in 200 Free relay and 1 individual title in 100 Back (Rachel Bootsma). Bears also came up 2nd in a bunch of events. This is the 8th straight year for Cal women's swimming to finish in the top 3.

Bears were gifted the 200 free relay title thanks to a Stanford mistake (they DQ'ed). The mistake probably cost Stanford the title (they finished 2nd). Georgia reclaimed the NCAA title. It was a close race that came down to the final day.

  • 200 Free Relay: Farida Osman, Amy Bilquist, Kristen Vredeveld, and Valerie Hull

  • 100 Back: Rachel Boostma