Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships Day One
March 1, 2006
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The No. 6 Arizona Wildcats broke a pair of Pac-10 Championship meet records and share the overall lead with No. 3 California after day one of the Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. Arizona and California each grabbed one first and one second-place finish in the evenings two relays to finish the day tied with 74 points.
In the evening's final event, the 800y freestyle relay, Arizona touched the wall first in 6:18.70, a time that just lowered the Pac-10 Championships meet record set one year ago by Stanford (6:18.71). Leading off for the Wildcats, senior Simon Burnett broke the Pac-10 meet record and tied the overall Pac-10 record with his 200y freestyle time of 1:33.03. Burnett now shares the record with former California Olympian Matt Biondi, who set the mark nearly 20 years ago in 1987.
Burnett was followed by seniors Lyndon Ferns, Tyler DeBerry, and junior Adam Ritter. The foursome broke the Arizona 800 freestyle school record that the same group previously set in 2004. This was the first ever Pac-10 title for Arizona in the event.
'This was way over our expectations,' said Arizona Head Coach Frank Busch. 'I certainly didn't expect (the 800 relay) to be under 6:20, that's pretty freaky. The momentum from Simon's lead off really carried through.'
Following Arizona was Cal's quartet of Dominik Meichtry, Garrett Wagner, Louis Vayo, Miguel Molina, who broke a 20-year-old school record of their own with a time of 6:21.02. Stanford's relay of Danny Beal, Andy Grant, Tobias Oriwol and Shaun Phillips touched just behind Cal with a time of 6:21.45. Arizona, Cal and Stanford's times all are NCAA automatic qualifying marks, while USC and Arizona State turned in NCAA B Standards in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
In the day's first race, California captured the 200y Medley Relay with a time of 1:25.44. Freshman David Russell's 21.62 was the quickest backstroke split and set the table for Cal's remaining three. Henrique Barbosa, Jernej Godec kept Cal with a nose in the lead and Milorad Cavic held off Arizona with a 19.09 freestyle leg.
'We swam great. That was about as good as we could hope for,' said Cal Head Coach Nort Thornton. 'Both relays we were worried about, to win the medley was a big one, and then the 800 was a big swim for us to set a school record. It's just one day out of four but it's a good way to start off. We're hoping it carries over.'
Arizona's team of Albert Subirats, David Rollins, Ferns, and Burnett finished second with a time of 1:25.76. Third place went to Stanford's foursome (1:26.21) of Hongzhe Sun, Paul Kornfeld, Jason Dunford, and Ben Wildman-Tobriner whose 19.08 freestyle split was the day's fastest. USC (Viktor Bodrogi, Mihaly Flaskay, Sam Masson, Sean Sussex) was a strong fourth right behind the Cardinal in a time of 1:26.50. All four top times were good for automatic NCAA berths.
Thursday's action will feature preliminaries for the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, and 50 freestyle starting at 11 a.m. At 6 p.m. the finals of the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay will be contested. The Championships continue through Saturday.