Vendt (400y IM), Flaskay (100y Breast) Capture Pac-10 Titles

March 7, 2003

Senior co-captain Erik Vendt led a trio of Trojans who finished 1-2-3 in the 400y IM while freshman Mihaly Flaskay was also a title-winner, highlighting USC's efforts on the second day of the 2003 Pacific-10 Conference men's swimming and diving championships at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif., on Friday (March 7).

USC is in third after the second day with 414 points. Stanford is first (604), followed by Cal (488), USC, Arizona State (296), Arizona (217) and Washington (142).

Vendt, who won the 500y free on Thursday, won the 400y IM in 3:42.70, not even his best time of the year but good enough to break the Pac-10 meet record of 3:42.76 set by Stanford's Markus Rogan last year. The win was Vendt's sixth of his USC career and his second Pac-10 400y IM title.

On Vendt's tail were a pair of Trojan teammates. Freshman Ous Mellouli finished second in the race in 3:46.29 while sophomore Paul Fahey touched third in 3:46.95. Both were season best NCAA automatic times. The Trojans also had four swimmers race in the consolation final of the race: junior Matt Peterson, freshman Ryan Donaldson (NCAA consideration of 3:53.38), freshman Mike Kauffman and freshman Tyler Storie.

Flaskay won the 100y breast in an NCAA automatic and season best 53.36, just off the USC record of 53.34 held by Ryosuke Imai. Flaskay's win, well ahead of Stanford's All-American breaststroker Michael Bruce, was USC's first in the event since Imai in 2000.

Senior Jeff Lee led a quartet of Trojans who qualified for the finals of the 200y free. They finished in order, with Lee taking fifth in 1:36.50, followed by senior Erik Tolmachoff (1:38.03), junior Trent Staley (1:38.20) and freshman Tyler Panos (1:38.23). All four were season best marks and NCAA consideration times.

Junior J.D. Abercrombie was USC's top finisher in the 100y fly, taking third in the consolation final in 47.89, a season's best NCAA consideration mark. Junior Mike Gausman and senior David Ringe both posted season's best NCAA consideration times in the prelim of the event, swimming 48.20 and 48.33, respectively.

USC's top finisher in the 100y back was junior transfer Jordie Proffitt, who was fourth in the consolation final in 49.52, a season's best mark.

USC's 800y free relay of Lee, Mellouli, Staley and Vendt just missed defending its title in the 800y free, taking second in 6:26.93, edged by Stanford (6:25.75). Lee went out in 1:36.28, better than either of his previous swims of the day and an NCAA automatic time.

USC's 200y medley relay team of Proffitt, Flaskay, Lee and junior Mike Stoller took third in 1:27.44, breaking the school record of 1:27.54 set in 1998. It was, of course, by far a season's best, close to an NCAA automatic time and eighth best in the country this year.

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

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