Lefert Wins Pac-10 200y Free Title

March 5, 2010

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Clement Lefert won USC's first conference title in the 200y free since 2002, edging second-place teammate Patrick White, while Dillon Connolly finished third in the 100y breaststroke to lead the No. 14 Trojans on the third day of the 2010 Pac-10 Swimming Championships on Friday (March 5) at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.

Lefert, a 2008 French Olympian who broke USC's record in the 200y free on Wednesday when he led off Troy's Pac-10-title winning 800y free relay, led wire-to-wire for the Trojans' first win in the 200y free since Klete Keller eight year ago.

Lefert, a freshman who was second in the 500y free on Thursday, won the race in 1:33.75, just off his two-day-old school record of 1:33.67 (an NCAA `B' cut). His biggest challenger was White, a sophomore co-captain, who took second in 1:34.52, a personal best. White barely made a dent at the Pac-10s as a freshman. A year later, he now adds this second place to his third in the 500y free. White's 1:34.52 ties him as the fifth-fastest ever Trojan in the race. He matched senior Zoltan Povazsay, who finished eighth Friday in the final in 1:36.99. Richard Charlesworth took 13th in the event (1:38.07, NCAA `B' cut).

Connolly's third in the 100y breast in 52.73 broke USC's school record of 52.92 set by Mihaly Flaskay in 2007. Connolly, already the record holder in the 200y breast, hadn't raced in the shorter distance at the Pac-10s until this year but has clearly come on strong in the shorter distance. Junior Emmett Walling was 11th in 54.46.

Senior co-captain James Martin became the seventh fastest Trojan ever in the 400y IM when he qualified first for the final in a personal best 3:45.96 (NCAA `B' cut). He ultimately finished sixth in the final (his highest Pac-10 finish) in 3:48.32. His prelim time would have been good for second in the final. Freshman Alex Lendrum took 10th. His prelim 3:50.42 was a personal best and NCAA `B' cut.

Freshman Nick Karpov, a Candadian who joined the Trojans in the spring semester, qualified for the 100y back final by taking seventh in prelims 47.87, an NCAA `B' cut. He also took seventh in the final in 48.28. Sophomore T.J. Auner (49.45) and junior Shane Tusup (49.85) took 13th and 14th, respectively.

Sophomore Jack Ostler was USC's highest finisher in the 100y fly, taking 16th in 50.15. He went a personal best 49.31 in prelims.

USC's 400y medley relay of Lendrum, Connolly, Lefert and sophomore Jeff Daniels was disqualified.

Cal (570) took over the team lead and is trailed by Stanford (560), Arizona (434), USC (349) and ASU (227). USC's DQ in the medley relay cost the Trojans at least 30 points.

The meet concludes Saturday. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. and finals start at 6 p.m. Saturday's finale includes the 200y back, 100y free, 200y breast, 200y fly, a timed final of the 1650y free and the 400y free relay.

Scores from Pac-10 Diving Championships, which was held last week, are added to team scores after each day. USC sophomore Harrison Jones won a conference title on 3-meter. The win was USC's 28th Pac-10 title and its first on a springboard event since 1999. Jones also finished second on platform and was fifth on 1-meter. Junior Steven Starks was sixth on platform, marking the third time he finished in the top six in the event at the Pac-10s. He also reached the final on 3-meter.

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