Vendt Wins 500y Free At Pac-10s

March 7, 2002

Junior Erik Vendt and sophomore Klete Keller finished first and second, respectively, to pace six USC finalists in the 500y freestyle to highlight the Trojans efforts on the first day of the 2002 Pacific-10 Conference Swimming Championships at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.

USC finished fourth on the first day of competition. Stanford is in first (251), followed by Arizona (191.5), Cal (189), USC (179), Arizona State (135.5) and Washington (27).

Vendt edged out Keller for his first ever Pac-10 title in the 500y free (Keller won the event last year). Vendt finished in 4:16.31, well ahead of Keller in second (4:18.65). Junior Jeff Lee was fourth (4:20.49), sophomore Trent Staley was fifth (4:21.76), senior Rodrigo Castro was seventh (4:22.17) and senior Mark Warkentin was eighth (4:23.52).

Mike Gausman, who was off the team last year, reached the finals of the 200y IM, taking eighth in 1:49.33.

USC's 400y medley relay of Lee, Ahdmad Al-Kudmani, David Ringe and Castro was fourth while the 200y free relay unit of Lee, Castro, Keller and Mike Stoller was fifth.

Competition continues tomorrow at 11 a.m. with preliminaries and 6 p.m. with finals. The championship wraps up Saturday night.

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