Mellouli Makes History With 400-Yard IM Pac-10 Win

March 3, 2006



USC senior Ous Mellouli became the only Pac-10 man ever to win three consecutive conference titles in both the 400y IM and the 500y free when he won his third in the former event on Friday (March 3) to again lead USC's efforts on the third day of the 2006 Men's Pac-10 Swimming Championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Mellouli's win, which came in 4:43.90, a comfortable two seconds ahead of Stanford's Mark Stephens, also makes him only the second Pac-10 man to win the Pac-10 400y IM title three consecutive times, the other being former Trojan great Dave Wharton (1988-90). The only other Pac-10 swimmer to win the event three times over any span was Stanford Olympian Tom Wilkens, who won it in 1995, 1996 and 1998.

Former Trojan Roy Saari and former Arizona swimmer Ryk Neethling are the only other swimmers to have won the 500y free three straight times, as Mellouli did on Thursday. But neither Saari nor Neethling swam the individual medley. Former Trojan Erik Vendt, a one-time USC teammate of Mellouli's and a two-time Olympic silver medallist in the 400m IM, won both the 500y free and 400y IM twice at Pac-10s.

Junior Sam Masson finished third in the 100y fly in 46.71, not far off winner Lyndon Ferns of Arizona (46.43). Masson, who was sixth last year in the race, posted USC's best finish in the event since Mike Williams was also third in 1997. Brandon Lovell (48.98) and Viktor Bodrogi (49.77) finished 14th and 15th, respectively.

Junior Mihaly Flaskay, in a bid to become USC's first two-time winner in the 100y breast, finished third (53.50), 0.60 out of first. He won the race in 2003 and was fourth last year.

Freshman Vanni Mangoni took 10th in the 400y IM in a season-best 3:52.80 and Mike Kauffman took 12th, also in a season-best time (3:54.71)

The meet concludes on Saturday with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

FOX Sports West 2 will broadcast a one-hour recap of the meet at 3 p.m. PST on March 11. It will air again on FOX Sports West on March 12 at 12 p.m. Refer to your local cable or satellite TV guide for further information.

(More results to come when they are reported from the pool).