Keller Wins 500 Free At Pac-10 Championships

March 1, 2001

LONG BEACH, Calif. - USC freshman Klete Keller, a silver and bronze medalist at the 2000 Olympics, captured the 500-yard freestyle to help USC to a second-place showing on the first day of the 2001 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday (March 1) at Belmont Plaza.

The Trojans are in second place with 194 points (not including the diving points from last weekend's competition) behind first place Stanford's 249. California is third (146.5), Arizona is fourth (111), Arizona State fifth (76.5) and Washington sixth (68).

Keller, with a winning time of 4:16.65, was one of five Trojans to score in the 500 free final. Keller is the first Trojan to win the 500 at the Pac-10s since Bela Szabados did it in 1997. Sophomore Erik Vendt, a silver medalist in the 400-meter intermediate medley at the 2000 Olympics, was second (4:18.27) after finishing ninth last year, junior Mark Warkentin was fourth (4:21.10) while making his third finals appearance in the event, freshman Trent Staley was sixth (4:23.31) and junior Joel Everman was seventh (4:24.41).

In the 200-yard intermediate medley final, junior Tamas Kerekjarto--a Hungarian Olympian who qualified first in the prelims in 1:46.55--placed second in 1:46.12 behind Stanford's Markus Rogan (1:45.92). Trojan teammate Nick Kaschik, a junior making his third Pac-10 finals appearance in the 200 IM, was sixth in 1:47.90.

Gabe Woodward, USC's senior co-captain who swam a lifetime best 19.84 in the prelims, placed sixth in the 50-yard freestyle in 19.98.

The Trojan 200-yard freestyle relay quartet of Woodward, Brazilian Olympic freshman Rodrigo Castro, sophomore Jeff Lee and senior Slawek Richter of Poland placed fourth in 1:19.52.

USC's 400-yard medley relay team of Lee, senior Ryosuke Imai, Kerekjarto and Woodward finished third in 3:12.44.

The meet continues Friday and Saturday (March 2-3) in Long Beach. Prelims begin both days at 11 a.m. and finals begin at 6 p.m.

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