Jensen Wins 500y Free For First Pac-10 Crown
Feb. 22, 2007
Larsen Jensen has won Olympic and World Championships medals. He has won an NCAA title and a U.S. national title. But heading into his senior season at USC, a Pac-10 crown had eluded the Mission Viejo, Calif., native.
That changed Thursday night when Jensen ran away with the 500y free title to lead the No. 7 Trojans on the second day of the 2007 Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, Wash.
USC is in fourth halfway through the meet with 159 points. Stanford leads (352) and is followed by Cal (229), Arizona (217), USC, Arizona State (144) and Washington (83).
Jensen, whose previous best finish in the 500y free at the Pac-10 Championships was eighth, won the race in a personal best 4:13.52, well ahead of Stanford's Shaun Phillips (4:18.00) in second. Jensen's time was also a Pac-10 meet record.
The title gave USC seven consecutive Pac-10 wins in the 500y free, following three titles from Ous Mellouli (2004-06), two by Erik Vendt (2002-03) and one by Klete Keller (2001). All competed in the 2004 Olympics with Jensen.
Jensen actually trailed Cal's Dominik Meichtry halfway through the contest, but the Bear junior faded to seventh as Jensen took control of the race. Jensen's win sets him up nicely for the 1650y free, his specialty, which will be swum as a timed final on Saturday night.
Sophomore Vanni Mangoni made the consolation final of the 200y IM and finished 14th overall (1:51.16). Freshman James Martins swam in the bonus final, taking 19th (season-best 1:51.13).
Senior Sean Sussex and junior Richard Gosper both swam in the consolation final of the 50y free, taking 10th (19.87) and 11th (20.03) respectively. Sussex's time was a season best (improving on his NCAA consideration time) and tied his personal best. Sussex's time also would have been fourth in the championship final heat. Gosper still holds the team's season best in the event at 19.85.
Junior Tyler Wilson (20.57, 18th), senior Sam Masson (20.73, 21st) and senior Mihaly Flaskay (21.25, 24th) also swam in the bonus final. Wilson's prelim 20.41 was a season-best, as was Flaskay's 20.85.
USC's 200y free relay of Sussex, Masson, Wilson and Gosper posted a season best and NCAA consideration mark of 1:19.18, Sussex going 19.92 to lead off the squad.
The meet continues Friday and Saturday with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. each day.
Men - Team Rankings After Day 2
1. Stanford 352
2. California 229
3. Arizona 217
4. USC 159
5. ASU 144
6. Washington 83