Vendt Wins 1500m Freestyle At Nationals

Aug. 16, 2002

USC senior Erik Vendt, a day after bettering a world record mark in the 400m IM but still losing by a hair, won a similarly close race in taking the 1500m freestyle on Friday (Aug. 16) at the 2002 Summer Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Vendt won his fourth career U.S. national title in the 1500m free, swimming a 15:03.49 for the win. He defeated 16-year old Larsen Jensen, who matched Vendt stroke for stroke for most of the race and finished in 15:04.83.

Vendt maintained roughly a one second lead for most of the race, but Jensen made a move after 1200 meters. He led Vendt by .05 after 1300 meters and .24 after 1400 meters. Vendt, however, caught up with Jensen after 1450 meters and demolished Jensen in the final 50, swimming a 27.59 to Jensen's 28.92. Vendt's final 50 was as fast as his first 50.

Junior John Abercrombie made his third career finals appearance in the 100m fly, taking sixth in 53.92 after finishing eighth in his previous two races. Senior Jeff Lee finished 13th (54.64).

Sophomore Marisa Kozak was 16th in the 200m back in 2:20.28.

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