Cats Duel in the Pool

Dec. 19, 2009

MANCHESTER, England - Arizona swimming representatives had an extremely successful two-day appearance in the 'Duel in the Pool' event which pitted the top swimmers from the U.S. and select European nations against each other in Manchester, England.

The United States beat the European stars team 185-78.  The men won 95-37 while the women had a 90-41 advantage.  The European stars team consisted of swimmers from Great Britain, Germany and Italy.

Arizona head coach Frank Busch served as the head coach for the U.S. men's team during the two-day event. 

Current UA swimmer Jack Brown posted two runner-up finishes in the 200 I.M. and the 400 I.M. respectively.  Brown, a senior co-captain from Atlanta, Ga., had a time of 4:03.57 in the 400 I.M. and a 1:54.43 showing in the 200 I.M.

Along with Brown, there was a plethora of Busch-trained swimmers in the water during the Duel in the Pool. 

Matt Grevers, winner of two gold medals during the 2008 Olympics, won both the 100 and 200 backstroke competitions for Team USA this weekend in Manchester.  Grevers posted times of 49.32 and 1:48.74 in the 100 and 200 back, respectively.  Grevers also finished runner-up to Cal's Nathan Adrian in the 50 free and swam the second leg of the men's 4x100 free relay.  The relay team consisting of Adrian, Grevers, Garrett Weber-Gale and Michael Phelps turned in a world record time of 3:03.30.

Another Tucson resident and Busch trainee, Mike Alexandrov, had a coming out party of sorts for the U.S. team, winning the 100 breast and 200 breast competitions.  Alexandrov recorded winning times of 57.16 and 2:03.72. 

Alexandrov, who is a dual citizen for both his native Bulgaria and the U.S. but competes internationally as an American, missed out on a chance for an American record in the 100 breast after USA Swimming stated that they would not ratify any times from the Duel in the Pool as American records due to the techsuits that were used.

Techsuits were banned domestically by USA Swimming on October 1 and cannot be worn in any international events beginning in January.  Techsuits were legal to wear this weekend in the Duel in the Pool.

Christine Magnuson, a collegiate swimmer at Tennessee who now also trains in Tucson under Busch, posted a runner-up finish in the 100 fly with a would-be American record time of 55.81.  Magnuson also was third in the 50 free for Team USA with a time of 24.05 and swam on the women's 4x100 free relay team which placed first with a time of 3:28.89.

Nick Thoman, a UA swimmer from 2005-06, led off the men's 4x100 medley relay first place finish with an individual split time of 48.94, good for a world record time.  The relay of Thoman, Mark Gangloff, Phelps and Adrian won with a world record time of 3:20.71.  Thoman also finished second to Grevers in the 200 back with a time of 1:50.05.

'This was a great event,' said Busch.  'Jack Brown and the rest of our swimmers who train with us at Arizona had a terrific showing against some of the best in the world.'

The Duel in the Pool will air on NBC at 12 p.m. MST on December 27.

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