Pac-12 men's swimmers and divers head to NCAAs
By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Swimmers and divers from seven Pac-12 men's teams are headed to the 2013 NCAA Championships this week at the IU Natatorium and IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Ind. The meet runs from March 28-30. Five Pac-12 schools have combined for 23 NCAA titles, with CALIFORNIA capturing each of the last two. Cal won its fourth title in 2012.
USC has claimed nine crowns in its history while Stanford holds eight. Arizona won in 2008, and UCLA won the 1982 national championship.
ESPN3 will carry a live broadcast of the finals sessions on Friday and Saturday. ESPNU will air a delayed finals broadcast on Wednesday, April 10 at 4 p.m. PT.
Two-time defending NCAA champion California, which won its first Conference title since 1981 earlier this month, sends a league-high 16 swimmers to Indianapolis. The Golden Bears are led by senior Tom Shields, the current Pac-12 record holder in the 200 butterfly and last year's Conference Swimmer of the Year. Shields, who took home top honors in the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke at the 2013 Pac-12 Championships, has collected eight individual Conference titles and four NCAA crowns. Junior Marcin Tarczynski and sophomore Will Hamilton won NCAA titles in 2012-- Tarczynski in the 200 IM and Hamilton in the 200 butterfly. Freshman standout Josh Prenot broke the school record in the 400 IM in November and won the event at the Pac-12 Championships earlier this month.
Stanford, which saw its streak of 31 consecutive Pac-12 team titles snapped by rival Cal at the Pac-12 Championships three weeks ago, will take 14 swimmers and four divers to the NCAA Championships. Sophomore David Nolan, the 2012 Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, recorded a pair of second-place finishes in the 100 and 200 backstroke at the NCAA meet. He took home titles in the 200 IM and 200 backstroke at the Pac-12 Championships earlier this month. Sophomore distance freestyler Drew Cosagarea, the reigning Pac-12 1,650 freestyle champion, finished sixth in the 400 IM at the NCAA Championships last year. Sophomore diver Kristian Ipsen, the defending NCAA three-meter champion, placed second on the one-meter and 10th on the platform at the NCAA meet last season. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist set a Conference record on the 3-meter springboard at this year's Pac-12 Championships and took home the league title on the one-meter en route to picking up Men's Diver of the Meet honors.
USC looks to improve on last year's seventh-place finish at NCAAs, a spot the Trojans also occupied in 2011. Of USC's 10 NCAA entrants, none has been more vital to its success this season than Olympic bronze medalist Vladimir Morozov. At the SMU Classic in January, the junior posted the fastest times in the nation in the 50 and 100 freestyle en route to being named the Pac-12 Men's Swimmer of the Month. He won the 50 and 100 free at this year's Pac-12 Championships. Junior Dimitri Colupaev, a six-time All-American, finished second last year's NCAA Championships with a school-record-setting swim in the 200 freestyle. Sophomore Christian Quintero, the 2012 national runner-up in the 500 freestyle, took home Conference titles in the 200 and 500 in Federal Way. He holds the league's second-fastest time in the 1,650 freestyle this season.
Arizona, which is led by sophomore Kevin Cordes, a four-time All-American and the reigning NCAA Champion in the 100 breaststroke. Cordes opened the 2012-13 campaign by setting a pair of American records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the AT&T Winter Nationals in November and followed it up with a pair of medals — a gold and a bronze — at the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships in December. He added Conference titles in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at Pac-12 Championships. Senior Carl Mickelson, a four-time All-American, claimed Pac-12 titles in the 100 and 200 breaststroke in 2012. Junior Giles Smith, a five time All-American, posted a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships in 2012. Cordes and Smith were also members of Arizona's 2012 national champion 200 medley relay team. Freshman diver Rafael Quintero swept the one-meter, three-meter and platform events at the Bruin Invitational in January to kick off a string of 12 straight top-two finishes to close out the regular season. He went on to win the Conference title on the platform.
Arizona State's group of four (two swimmers and two divers) is headlined by senior diver Harrison Jones, who capped an undefeated regular season on the one-meter and three-meter springboard with a runner-up finish on the one-meter at the Pac-12 Championships. Junior butterfly specialist Alex Coci set a school record in the 200 fly at the Conference Championships earlier this month.
Utah sends freshman diver Josiah Purss and swimmers Kristian Kron and Nick Soedel to Indy. Soedel, Utah's record holder in the 100 freestyle (43.84), swept the sprint freestyle events in four of seven dual meets this season and tied for third in the 50 freestyle at the Pac-12 Championships.
USCB has a pair of representatives in the NCAA field in sophomore Wade Allen and freshman Tim Freeman. Freeman, who set a new school record in the 100 breaststroke at the AT&T Winter Nationals, owns the Conference's 10th-fastest time in the 200 breaststroke this season.
For more information on the 2013 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, visit http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-men/d1.