Three More Records Fall For Huskies On Day Two of Pac-10s

March 5, 2009

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LONG BEACH, Calif. - After setting three school records Wednesday on the opening day of the Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships, the Washington men's swim team came back Thursday and broke another three records and sit sixth overall after two days at the Belmont Plaza Pool.

While the Huskies are sixth out of six teams, they are just seven points shy of fourth place. They are looking to finish fourth at Pac-10s for the first time in school history.

UW continued to re-write the record books, with the 200 free relay team making the Huskies three-for-three in relay school records so far in Long Beach. Additionally, seniors Scott Spansail and Jon Banker continued to etch their names in the record books as two of the greats to ever swim in the Purple and Gold, while fellow senior Evan Bernier came just .01 shy of the a seventh record for the Huskies in the meet in the 50 free.

After the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay teams set records on Wednesday, the 200 free relay team was in the spotlight Thursday, finishing sixth in 1:19.56, to break the old record by .31 seconds. Bernier, Ben Aaberg, Niko Micin and David Bai bettered the time set by the Huskies in last year's Pac-10 Championships.

In the first race of the night, Spansail finished second overall in 4:15.00 after breaking his own school record in the prelims, qualifying second in 4:14.68. His prelim time automatically qualified him for the NCAA Championships in that event, giving him two 'A' times this year after also qualifying for the 1650 free earlier this season.

Junior Jereme Barnett-Woods also set a personal best in the 500 free and broke into UW's all-time top 10, finishing second in the bonus final in 4:25.53, the ninth-fastest time in Husky history.

Banker then broke Bernier's 200 IM school record, finishing third in the B final and 11th overall in 1:46.33, an NCAA B time. Sophomore Marshel Renz, who transferred to UW from Auburn earlier this season, swam a career best in the prelims of the event, touching the wall in 1:47.94 to move into fourth all time at UW. Aaberg was right behind Renz, finishing in 1:48.54, which ranks fifth all time in UW history.

Bernier just missed the 50 free record in the prelims, swimming a personal-best 19.53 to qualify ninth, missing the 'A' final by just .05 and the school record held by Bruno Barbic by just .01. He settled for an NCAA B time of 19.74 in the finals to finish 10th overall. Bernier also swam a 19.61 split as the leadoff leg of the 200 free relay. Cal's Nathan Adrian won the race 50 free in a Pac-10 record time of 18.82.

Three other Huskies swam fast times in the 50 free, with Micin finishing in 20.30, Bai in 20.40 and Anthony Falaniko in 20.41. Their times rank No. 4, 5 and 6 all time in Husky history.

As a team, UW fell from fourth to sixth but just seven points separate fourth-place USC (123), fifth-place Arizona State (120.5) and sixth-place UW (116).

'I'm actually okay with where we are. We're a lot closer than I thought we would be,' Washington head coach Whitney Hite said. 'We've made up about 50 points on USC, so we're almost halfway there, and depending on how we do tomorrow it's going to be pretty darn close.'

The Huskies are the only team in the event without diving and have made up serious ground on both USC and Arizona State, which each started with an advantage after last week's Men's Pac-10 Diving Championships in Federal Way, Wash. UW leads USC by 30 points and ASU by 26.5 on just swimming totals only.

'Scott did a heck of a job tonight and Evan is such a great leader. I hate to lose him and Jon Banker too,' Hite said of his three superstar seniors. 'If you had told me Jon Banker would have been the school record multiple times when I got here, I'd have looked at you a little funny. But Jon came in and never doubted what we were doing. That's big. We deserve this, we've worked hard not just this year, but it's three years coming. All we can do is swim fast.

'Tomorrow is a big day for us,' Hite continued. 'If we're going to make a big move, tomorrow is the day.'

The Pac-10 Championships continue Friday and run through Saturday, with finals taking place each night at 6 p.m.

Team Standings
1. Stanford, 328.5
2. California, 260
3. Arizona, 216
4. USC, 123
5. Arizona State, 120.5
6. Washington, 116

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