Arizona Claims First NCAA Men's Swimming Championship in School History
March 31, 2008
Federal Way, Wash. - Arizona won the first NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Team Championship in school history tonight, as the Wildcats finished the three-day meet with 500.5 points at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. Head coach Frank Busch was named the NCAA Swimming Coach of the Year, just one week after he claimed the same award at the women's championships when he guided the Wildcat women to their first-ever NCAA team title.
Arizona became the first team besides Texas or Auburn to win the team championship since 1998 (when Stanford claimed the title), and the Wildcats became the first first-time team champion since UCLA captured its first title in 1982. Arizona capped the meet with a come-from-behind win in the 400 free relay, as the Wildcat relay team trailed Auburn by 1.02 seconds with 50 yards to go, but finished strong to win the last race of the meet by .47 seconds.
Arizona also ended Auburn's streak of five consecutive championships, as the Tigers finished fifth in the team standings. Auburn's Cesar Cielo finished the meet with four NCAA titles (two relay crowns and two individual titles), becoming the new school record-holder with 10 NCAA crowns. Cielo, the NCAA Swimmer of the Year, also broke numerous records at the event, including his own mark in the 100 freestyle, which he broke in the preliminaries and the finals. He became the first swimmer to finish the 100 free in less than 41 seconds, as he posted a 40.92 in the finals to capture his fourth NCAA title of the week.
In diving, Georgia's Chris Colwill was named the NCAA Diver of the Year, after claiming the 1-meter championship on Thursday and finishing second in the 3-meter and platform events. His coach, Dan Laak, was named the NCAA Diving Coach of the Year for his efforts with the Georgia program. Ohio State's Sean Moore won the platform diving NCAA title tonight, as the freshman Buckeye set a new NCAA meet record with 478.2 points.
Two swimmers won their second NCAA Championhsip of the weekend, as Georgia's Sebastien Rouault picked up a victory in the 1650 freestyle and Stanford's Paul Kornfeld notched a win in the 200 breaststroke. In the 200 backstroke, Patrick Schirk won Penn State's first-ever NCAA swimming title (men's or women's).
In the 200 butterfly, Georgia's Gil Stovall won his first NCAA Championship and broke a 17-year old NCAA and NCAA meet record by completing the race in 1:41.33.