Vendt, Imai Post Wins On Final Day Of Pac-10 Championships

March 3, 2001

LONG BEACH - USC sophomore Erik Vendt won the 1650-yard freestyle and senior Ryosuke Imai successfully defended his title in the 200-yard breaststroke to lead USC to a second-place finish on the final day of the 2001 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday (March 3) at Belmont Plaza.

Stanford won the Pac-10 team title with 844.5 points. The Trojans finished second with 722.5 and were followed by California, Arizona, Arizona State and Washington. USC's second-place finish was its fourth in the last five years.

Vendt, who won the 400 IM and took second in the 500 free earlier in the meet, won the freestyle mile in 14:56.80, less than five seconds ahead of freshman teammate Klete Keller (15:01.39). Keller already had won the 200 and 500 free.

Imai defended his Pac-10 title in the 200 breast by swimming a 1:57.68, holding off Stanford's Michael Bruce (1:57.96). Senior Slawek Richter, fourth in the 100 breast, finished fifth in the 200 in 2:00.01. Richter finalled all four years in the event at the Pac-10s.

Sophomore Jeff Lee set, and re-set, the USC record in the 200 fly today. He first broke the mark of 1:44.50 held by Dave Wharton (1991) by going 1:44.44 in prelims. He then re-broke it by swimming 1:44.37, good for third place. Junior Tamas Kerekjarto made his third finals appearance of the competition by taking sixth in the 200 fly (1:45.95) while sophomore David Ringe finished seventh (1:46.39).

Freshman Trent Staley, sixth in the 500 free, finished fourth in the 200 back (1:45.16). Junior Nick Kaschik, sixth in both the 200 and 400 IM, made his third finals appearance of the meet in the 200 back, taking eighth (1:47.45).

Rodrigo Castro, third in the 200 free, was fourth in the 100 free (43.82). Senior co-captain Gabe Woodward, sixth in the 50 free, finished fifth in the 100 free in 44.01.

Junior Joel Everman, who was seventh in the 500 free, posted his highest career Pac-10 finals finish by taking fifth in the 1650 in 15:09.99. Fellow junior Mark Warkentin, already with fourths in the 400 IM and 500 free, was sixth in the same event in 15:18.12.

USC's 400 free relay of Lee, Castro, Keller and Woodward swam to third tonight in 2:55.83.

The men's team will compete at the 2001 NCAA Championships March 22-24 at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.

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