Vendt Wins 1650 Free For 2nd Pac-10 Title

March 9, 2002

USC junior Erik Vendt won the 1650y freestyle for his second meet title to highlight the Trojans' efforts on the final day of the 2002 Pacific-10 Conference Championships at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday (March 9).

Troy finished fourth overall with 571 points. Stanford won the Pac-10 title with 918 points, followed by Cal (788.5), Arizona (616.5), USC, Arizona State (400) and Washington (175).

Vendt, who won the 500y free on Thursday, won the mile in 14:44.22 to become the first Trojan to win back-to-back Pac-10 titles in the 1650 since Murray Rose did it in 1961-62. He is also the first Trojan to win both the 500y and the 1650y in the same meet since Kent Johnson did it in 1997. Vendt now has four career Pac-10 titles.

Sophomore Klete Keller, who won the 200y free on Friday, finished second in the 1650 in 15:02.22 while senior Mark Warkentin was fourth in 15:20.03, the third top-six finish in the event of his career.

Sophomore Trent Staley, fifth in the 500y free, was sixth in the 200y back (1:44.25) as he made his second finals appearance in the event in as many years.

Senior Rodrigo Castro took sixth in the 100y free (43.80) after finishing fourth in the event last year.

The Trojans placed three swimmers in the 200y fly finals with junior Mike Gausman topping the trio with a fifth-place mark (1:45.42), the same place he had as a freshman in 2000. Juniors Jeff Lee and David Ringe both made their second straight finals appearance in the event by taking sixth (1:45.45) and eighth (1:46.65), respectively.

Freshman Paul Fahey swam in his second finals heat of the meet, taking seventh in the 100y breast (2:01.10). He was also seventh in the 400y IM.

USC's 400y free relay of Lee, Castro, Staley and Warkentin finished fourth (2:58.03).

The Trojans are next in action at the NCAA Championships March 28-30 at Georgia.

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