AUSTIN, Texas (AP) California won the 200-yard medley relay in an American-record 1 minute, 22.27 seconds Friday night in the NCAA men’s swimming championships, and host Texas led the Golden Bears by six points with one day left in the meet.
California’s Ryan Murphy, Chuck Katis, Tony Cox, Tyler Messerschmidt finished 0.56 seconds shy of the NCAA meet record set by Michigan last year en route to the team title.
”We honestly didn’t think we had a chance to win that,” said Cox, who swam the third leg. ”We didn’t think we’d break (the record) by that much, so it was pretty exciting it went a little better than planned.”
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California is trying to win the team title for the third time in four years.
Texas freshman Michael Hixon, the 1-meter springboard winner Thursday, again sparked the Longhorns by taking the 3-meter springboard Friday with 457.20 points.
”He’s one of these guys that, if he has to have something, he can go to that level and he can do it,” Texas coach Eddie Reese said. ”That’s special. Not many of those come along.”
Georgia’s Chase Kalisz successfully defended his title in the 400 individual medley with a meet-record 3:34.50 in the next event, shattering the mark by 1.48 seconds.
Florida’s Marcin Cieslak overtook Ohio State’s Tim Phillips in the last 25 yards of the 100 butterfly to capture his second championship of the meet.
After Louisville’s Joao De Lucca won his second straight title in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:31.96, Arizona’s Kevin Cordes joined the group of American record-breakers by posting a time of 50.04 seconds in the 100 breaststroke.
”It never gets old,” said the four-time NCAA champion Cordes, who also broke the record in a heat earlier in the day. ”It’s been a really fast meet. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this fast. It’s great competition.”
Texas swimmers finished fifth, sixth and seventh in the 100 butterfly, propelling the Longhorns back in front of the Golden Bears, who got a boost from freshman Ryan Murphy when he held off Penn State’s Shane Ryan in the 100 backstroke at 44.63 seconds.
”We’ve got a lot of momentum now,” Murphy said. ”That’s been the goal all season, especially with how this meet has been going.”