Spansail Breaks School Record on Day One of Husky Invitational

Dec. 4, 2008

Complete Results

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - University of Washington senior Scott Spansail broke a 33-year old school record in the 500 free Thursday as the Huskies had a strong showing on day one of the 60th annual Husky Invitational, which features 13 schools, at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.

Spansail had the fastest time in the field in the prelims of the 500 free, getting clocked at 4 minutes, 19.45 seconds, more than three seconds faster than the previous school record held by Robin Backhaus (4:22.91), who was an All-American for the Huskies in the mid-1970s. Spansail's time Thursday was well under the time needed for NCAA consideration, which he also has earned in the 1650 free. Spansail's previous top time in the 500 free was 4:24.35, which ranked No. 3 all time entering Thursday.

Spansail (San Clemente, Calif.) has now broken two school records in as many events, as he broke the 1650 free record in the Art Adamson Invitational two weeks ago on the campus of Texas A&M. That day he swam a time of 15:08.09.

The senior went on to finish third in the finals of the 500 free in a time of 4:21.77.

Fellow senior Evan Bernier (Woodinville, Wash.) flexed his muscles in the always-exciting 50 free. He finished third in a thrilling final in a career-best time of 19.85, shaving two-tenths of a second off his previous best time and ranking second all time in UW history. The race was won by Cal's Nathan Adrian in a Golden Bears' school-record time of 18.94. The sophomore from Bremerton, Wash., earned a gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as a member of the 400 free relay team.

Bernier had qualified second in the 50 free prelims in what was then a season-best time of 20.06. While his finals time was just shy of automatic NCAA qualification, he did earn NCAA consideration for his time.

In the men's 200 IM, senior Jon Banker (Canon City, Colo.) moved up from No. 5 to No. 4 all time, finishing in a time of 1:48.97 to place fourth in the finals. Sophomore Ben Aaberg (Tucson, Ariz.) also qualified for the championship final in the 200 IM, taking seventh in 1:50.58.

The men just missed a school record in the 400 medley relay as their time of 3:13.70 was .21 shy of the record set in 2004, but they did earn an NCAA B time. The team of Banker, Russ Mahan, Andre Blyth and Bernier came in second behind Cal. Banker's lead-off backstroke leg of 48.33 marked a career-best for him and ranks as the second-fastest 100 back time in school history.

It was an incredible day for the women in the 500 free as well, as five women moved into or moved up on the all time top-10 list in the event.

Junior Petra Radovic (Zagreb, Croatia) led the way as she nearly matched Spansail with a school record, moving up to No. 2 all time in UW history. She won the event in a time of 4:45.15 to earn an NCAA B time. Radovic had set a personal best in the prelims, qualifying third in 4:51.58 to move up from No. 8 to No. 3 all time, but she smashed that time in the finals to move one more spot up the charts.

Right behind Radovic was senior Liz Johnson (Rocklin, Calif.), who finished fourth in the 500 free in 4:50.76 to jump into the No. 4 spot all time, besting her previous best time of 4:52.58. Sophomore Ashley Daly (Seattle) also moved up in the event, improving to No. 5 all time after she was clocked at 4:51.60 in the finals following a time of 4:51.83 in the prelims to smash her previous career-best in the event of 4:57.42. Daly qualified fourth in the event and went on to finish fifth in the finals.

Meanwhile, freshman Kelly Flynn (The Woodlands, Texas) and sophomore Ally Rich (Hillsboro, Ore.) moved up to No. 9 and No. 10, respectively, in the 500 free. Flynn won the C final in a personal best time of 4:53.33 to move into ninth all time while Rich swam 4:54.13 in winning the B final to move into 10th.

The UW women also had a big day in the 200 IM, led by junior All-American Erin Campbell (Chandler, Ariz.) who moved up to No. 2 all time in the event. After swimming a then-personal best 2:03.81 in the prelims, Campbell destroyed that mark by swimming 2:00.36 in the finals to finish third. Junior Jen Gong (Campbell, Calif.) also swam a personal best in the event and finished fourth in the finals behind Campbell, getting clocked at 2:01.06, the fourth-fastest time in school history.

Moving up to No. 3 all time in the 200 IM was senior Genevieve Patterson (Vancouver, Wash.), who won the C final in a time of 2:00.71, more than five seconds better than her previous best set earlier in the day in the prelims. Freshman Hannah Ross (Pocatello, Idaho) won the B final in 2:02.37 to also get her name in the record books, moving up to No. 7.

Campbell continued her big day when she finished third in the finals of the 50 free in a personal-best time of 22.96 which stands as the third-fastest time in school history. She had moved into No. 9 after swimming a 23.54 in the prelims but was nearly a second faster in the finals. Senior Lindsey Sharp (Lafayette, Calif.) was the other Husky in the championship final, placing sixth in 23.39.

Also in the 50 free, freshman Amelia Messegee (Centralia, Wash.) placed first in the C final in a time of 23.52, a personal best which moves her into ninth all time.

The women finished second in the 200 free relay in a season-best time of 1:31.69 which was also just a second shy of the school record set last season at the NCAA Championships. Emilee Jennings, Sharp, Messegee and Campbell teamed up to finish second behind UC-Santa Barbara. The 400 medley relay team also performed well, just missing a school record in finishing third in 3:38.44. Ross, Patterson, Campbell and Sharp just missed the record of 3:37.24 set last season.

The Husky Invitational continues Friday and Saturday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Prelims get underway each day at 9:30 a.m. followed by finals at 6 p.m. Live results can be found at www.gohuskies.com.

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