Vendt Wins 500y Free At Pac-10 Championships

March 6, 2003

Senior co-captain Erik Vendt won his fifth career Pac-10 title by taking the 500y free to lead USC on the first day of the 2003 Pacific-10 Conference men's swimming and diving championships at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday (March 6).

USC is in third after the first day with 169 points. Stanford is in first (218), followed by Cal (208), USC, Arizona State (130), Arizona (83) and Washington (41).

Vendt, who won the 500y free last year, won in 4:17.64, leading a quintet of Trojans who finalled in the event. Fellow senior co-captain Jeff Lee took third in 4:21.44 in his third career Pac-10 finals appearance in the event. Junior Trent Staley competed in his third straight 500y free final and was fifth in 4:23.17. Senior Erik Tolmachoff made his first-ever Pac-10 finals appearance, taking sixth in 4:24.39, while freshman Mike Kauffman was seventh in 4:24.98.

Freshman Ous Mellouli led a trio of USC finalists in the 200y IM. Mellouli took sixth in 1:47.74 while junior J.D. Abercrombie, in his first career Pac-10 finals appearance, was seventh in 1:48.57. Sophomore Paul Fahey, ninth in the 200y IM last year at Pac-10s, was eighth in 1:48.63.

Sophomore Mike Stoller was USC's highest finisher in the 50y free, taking 19th in 20.46.

USC's 200y free relay of Stoller, freshman Mihaly Flaskay, Mellouli and senior Nick Degenstein was fifth in 1:20.82.

The meet continues Saturday and Sunday. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. each day with finals starting at 6 p.m.

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