STANFORD MEN'S SWIMMERS REMAIN IN FRONT AT PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS

March 7, 2003

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The Stanford Cardinal (604 pts.) are still in first place after the second day of the Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships and will head in the final day of competition with a 116 point lead. Fast swims were the rule of the day as several Pac-10 conference and meet records fell at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.

California stands in second with 488 points followed by USC (414 pts.), Arizona State (296 pts.), Arizona (217 pts.), and Washington (142 pts.).

The Cardinal got the second day's finals started with a 1:25.63 in the 200 medley relay by the foursome of Peter Marshall, Michael Bruce, Dan Westcott, and Randall Bal. They eclipsed the Pac-10 record of 1:25.88 set in 1992 and the Pac-10 meet record of 1:26.02 set by Stanford in 2001. California touched second in an NCAA 'A' time of 1:26.36 while USC finished third with a 1:27.44. Arizona State's team finished in fourth with a 1:28.26, the fourth-fastest time in school history.

Southern California exerted their dominance in the 400 Individual Medley, as they swept the first three places behind the Pac-10 meet record-setting effort of Erik Vendt. Vendt touched in 3:42.70, besting the meet record of 3:42.76 set by Stanford's Markus Rogan last year. This was Vendt's second championship in as many days after his win yesterday in the 500 free. Ous Mellouli finished second in 3:46.29 and Paul Fahey rounded out the trio of USC swimmers earning NCAA automatic times with a 3:46.95.

In the 100 butterfly, California's Mike Cavic kept the fast times going with a Pac-10 meet record of 46.32 to capture the title. This betters the 46.64 set by Dod Wales of Stanford at the 1998 Pac-10 Championships. Duje Draganja of Cal came in second with a 46.44, while Luis Rojas of Arizona touched the wall in 47.34 the exact cutoff for an automatic NCAA invitation.

Cal's Joe Bruckart captured his second Pac-10 title of the weekend with a victory in the 200 freestyle, a race that featured four NCAA 'A' times. Bruckart swam a 1:34.46, which was over one-and-a-half seconds faster than his nearest competitor, John Waters (1:36.04) of Stanford. Four different schools were represented in the top four, with Arizona's Simon Burnett in third (1:36.14) and Arizona State's Nick Brunelli in fourth (1:36.19). That time puts Brunelli sixth all-time in the Sun Devil record books.

Mihaly Flasky of USC took top honors in the 100 breaststroke with a 53.36, over a two-second improvement from his preliminary time earlier in the day. Stanford secured the next two spots as Michael Bruce (53.91) and Pat Fowler (54.13) went for second and third. All three times were NCAA 'A' standards.

ASU's Russell MacDonald finished fifth with a 55.02 after his 54.81 prelim placed him fourth all-time at Arizona State.

For the fourth consecutive year, Stanford's Randall Bal emerged as the Pac-10 champion in the 100 back. His 46.58 headed a Cardinal 1-2-3 sweep of the event, with Dan Westcott (46.88) and Peter Marshall (46.99) rounding out the top three. Alex Lim of California wedged himself in fourth with a 47.26 only to be followed by another Cardinal, Jayme Cramer (47.43), to make it four Stanford swimmers in the top five. All five of the swimmers earned NCAA automatic qualifications.

In the 800 free relay, Stanford recorded their ninth NCAA 'A' mark of the day, clocking a 6:25.75 to dip under the 6:26.62 needed for automatic qualification. USC recorded a 6:26.93, although the squad had already recorded an automatic time earlier this season. California (6:28.60) finished in third, while ASU was fourth (6:36.65) for their best time of the season by almost five seconds.

The final day of competition is tomorrow with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The standings after day two are as follows:

1)   STANFORD 6042)   CALIFORNIA 4883)   USC 4144)   ARIZONA STATE 2965)   ARIZONA 2176)   WASHINGTON 142

NCAA 'A' Times Recorded Today (not including relay splits):
Arizona: Rojas (100 fly), Burnett (200 free)
Arizona State: Brunelli (200 free)
California: 200 medley relay, Cavic (100 fly), Draganja (100 fly), Bruckart (200 free), Lim (100 back)
Stanford: 200 medley relay, Waters (200 free), Bruce (100 breast), Fowler (100 breast), Bal (100 back), Westcott (100 back), Marshall (100 back), Cramer (100 back), 800 free relay
USC: Vendt (400 IM), Mellouli (400 IM), Fahey (400 IM), Flasky (100 breast)

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