Keller, Vendt, 800 Free Relay All Win Pac-10 Titles

March 2, 2001

USC freshman Klete Keller won his second title, sophomore Erik Vendt won his first and the Trojans' 800 free relay team also won to lead USC on the second day of the 2001 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday (March 2) at Belmont Plaza.

Standings were still unavailable at press time. All events are in yards.

Keller, who won the 500 free on Thursday, won the 200 free on Friday in 1:34.99. Rodrigo Castro, a first-year Trojan who transferred from LSU, was third (1:36.19) and sophomore Jeff Lee was fifth in 1:36.60. Lee was fourth in the event last year

Vendt, a silver medalist in the 400 IM at the 2000 Summer Olympics who was second in the 500 free on Thursday, won his first career Pac-10 title by taking the 400 IM in 3:43.74, a Pac-10 meet record. USC's last Pac-10 win in the event was 1990 (Dave Wharton). Junior Tamas Kerekjarto, second in the 200 IM on Thursday, was third in the 400 IM in 3:45.81. Junior Mark Warkentin, fourth in the 500 free, also took fourth in the 400 IM (3:46.46). Junior Nick Kaschik, sixth in the 200 IM, also took sixth in the 400 IM (3:49.42).

The Trojans 800 free relay team of Castro, Lee, Kerekjarto and Keller won the conference title by swimming a 6:24.77, a Pac-10 meet record. It is the second time in three years USC has won the event.

Senior Ryosuke Imai, USC's record holder in the 100 breast and the Pac-10 defending champion, finished second in the event on Friday in 54.34. Fellow senior Slawek Richter, the second-fastest Trojan ever in the event, was fourth in 55.00 while junior Ahmad Al-Kudmani made his first career appearance in a Pac-10 finals event and finished eighth (55.85).

Senior Philippe Demers, a Pac-10 title winner in the 200 fly as a sophomore in 1999, tied for fourth on Friday in the 100 fly in 48.04 (with Stanford's Dan Westcott).

USC's top finisher in the 100 back was Trent Staley (10th, 49.36).

The Trojans' 200 medley relay of Demers, Imai, Lee and Gabe Woodward was fourth (1:28.80).

The meet concludes Saturday (March 3) in Long Beach. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. and finals begin at 6 p.m.

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