Georgia swimmer Chase Kalisz won the 400-yard individual medley and blasted the old record by nearly three seconds on Friday a the 2017 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Indiana University Natatorium.
Heading into the final day of competition, the Bulldogs stand eighth with 141 points. Texas has the team lead with 391.5, followed by California with 253, Florida with 224.5, N.C. State with 196, Indiana with 189.5, Stanford with 160 and Southern Cal with 142.5. Georgia is gunning for its ninth top-10 finish in the last 10 seasons.
Kalisz, a senior from Bel Air, Md., went a blazing 3:33.42 to lower his own American, U.S. Open, NCAA, NCAA Championships, Georgia and pool records. He was nearly three seconds faster than runner-up Andrew Seliskar of California (3:36.18).
“Chase swam the race the way we hoped he would and the way we knew he could,” Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. “He’s a tremendous competitor and he takes a lot of pride in that event. He’s the fastest person in our sport ever in that race. Just think about that. What he and the others did in that race set the tone for the night.”
Kalisz also won the 400 individual medley titles in 2013 and 2014. Kalisz joined Sebastien Rouault and Chris Colwill as Bulldogs with three individual NCAA crowns. Georgia has won the 400 individual medley five times – three by Kalisz and once each by Robert Margalis and Bill Cregar. Georgia has had at least one male or female individual or relay win an NCAA title each year starting with 1995.
In winning the 2014 title, Kalisz set the previous American, U.S. Open, NCAA, NCAA Championships and Georgia records of 3:34.50. He set the pool record of 3:37.18 during prelims on Friday morning.
Also Friday, teammates Gunnar Bentz (3:36.60) and Jay Litherland (3:38.66) came in fourth and seventh, respectively. Kalisz, Bentz and Litherland – all 2016 U.S. Olympians – hold the three fastest times in school history.
“I’m more happy with the time than the title,” Kalisz said. “Titles are always nice, but I’m pleased with how I put the race together. I’m also very proud of Jay and Gunnar and how they did. I get to train with them every day and they are a big part of my life. It was pretty special having both of them in the finals.”
Taylor Dale won the consolation final of the 100 backstroke in 44.64 to claim ninth. He shattered his own school record of 45.13 set a year ago. Javier Acevedo placed 11th in 45.58, the new second-fastest time in Georgia history.
Pace Clark came in 13th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 45.97.
The 200 medley relay of Dale, John Mattern, Clark and Bentz placed 16th with a time of 1:25.27.
The NCAAs will conclude on Saturday with the 1,650 freestyle, the 200 backstroke, the 100 freestyle, the 200 breaststroke, the 200 butterfly, platform diving and the 400 freestyle relay. Prelims start at 10 a.m., followed by finals at 6 p.m. ET.