Jensen Wins 1650y Free NCAA Title, Just Misses U.S. Record
March 17, 2007
Senior Larsen Jensen won the 1650y free for the second time of his career and for his second title of the meet while senior Kenny Jenkins became an All-American in his final career diving event to lead the Trojan men's swimming and diving team at the 2007 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at the University Aquatic Center in Minneapolis on Saturday (March 17).
USC, under first-year coach Dave Salo, finished ninth in the team competition with 145 points. Auburn won the team title with 566. It was Troy's 12th top 10 finish in the last 14 years.
Jensen, who won the 500y free on Friday, won the 1650y free in 14:26.70, less than a tenth of a second off of Chris Thompson's 2001 American and NCAA record 14:26.62. Jensen's time did break the USC record, which was 14:29.85, set by Erik Vendt at the 2003 NCAA Championships.
Jensen led the race wire-to-wire. He enjoyed about a five-second lead on second-place Shaun Phillips of Stanford for most of the heart of the race, and extended it to more than a 10-second win by the race's end.
Jensen now has three NCAA titles and is one of only 11 Trojans in the history of the program with at least that many. His pair of wins this week gives USC 94 individual titles. The NCAA win in the freestyle mile is also USC's fifth since 2000.
'It's good. I'm glad to get the 500 and the mile, and I'm happy with the placings in both,' Jensen said.
Asked about being so close to the record, Jensen said: 'That's the disappointing part of the race. Like I said, I'm happy with the end placing, but not so happy with the time. Eight one-hundredths off, how close can you get in the 1650 and not get the record. It's a little depressing in that sense. I'm going to refocus, put this behind me and focus on some bigger things.'
Jenkins joined Jensen on the All-American podium later in the meet after finishing fifth on platform (365.45). Jenkins just missed qualifying as an All-American in his 2006 NCAA debut, finishing prelims in ninth, one spot off the top eight that qualify for finals. This time, he qualified seventh to earn the All-American nod.
Jenkins' All-American nod marked the 26th such honor Trojan divers have earned under eighth-year coach Hongping Li.
Fellow senior Michael Hilde finished his Trojan career by scoring in the ninth individual event in 12 tries, taking 12th on platform in 325.95.
In the 400y free relay, USC's squad of senior Sean Sussex and juniors Bryce Elser, Richard Gosper and Tyler Wilson qualified for the consolation final in 2:55.94. In the consolation final, however, the quartet was disqualified.
Sussex, who broke USC's school record in the 50y free on Thursday, set a personal best in the 100y free, finishing 23rd overall in 43.54. That made him the fifth fastest Trojan ever in the event. Senior Viktor Bodrogi was 23rd in the 200y fly (1:47.04).