Lefert Takes NCAA Third In 500y Free

March 26, 2010

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Junior Clement Lefert finished third in the 500y free to lead the USC men's swimming and diving team on the first night of the NCAA Championships at Ohio State's McCorkleAquatic Pavilion on Friday (March 26).

USC finished the first day in 14th (32.5). Texas held first (145) with Cal (139) second and followed by Florida (118), Auburn (114.5) and Stanford (106),

The NCAA Championships were delayed 24 hours by NCAA officials after almost 20 student-athletes scheduled to compete (and one coach) suffered a possible gastrointestinal illness earlier in the week.

Lefert took third in the 500y free in 4:13.77, USC's best finish in the race since Larsen Jensen won the event in 2007. Lefert looked to follow in Jensen's footsteps through most of the race, holding leads after 100, 200, 300, 400 and 450 yards. But over the final 50 yards, he was overtaken by winner Conor Dwyer of Florida (4:13.64) and Jean Basson of Arizona (4:13.65). Stanford's David Mosko was fourth (4:13.92) in a final in which less than three tenths of a second separated the top four spots.

Lefert's time makes him the sixth-fastest Trojan ever in the event. Richard Charlesworth, earned a berth into the consolation final after swimming a 4:19.09 in prelims. He finished eighth (16th overall) in the consolation final (4:23.88). Other finishers in the 500y free included sophomore Patrick White (4:23.23, 36th) and senior Zoltan Povazsay (4:26.12, 45th).

USC's 200y free relay of junior Emmett Walling, sophomore Jeff Daniels, Povazsay and White finished third in the consolation final (11th overall) in 1:18.75. The unit of Lefert, Walling, Povazsay and Daniels earned the second swim in prelims with a 15th-place finish (1:18.94).

Senior co-captain James Martin, making his NCAA debut, was 46th in the 200y IM while Walling (19.77) and Daniels (19.86) were 24th and 28th, respectively, in the 50y free.

Sophomore Harrison Jones just missed qualifying for the final of the 1-meter springboard, taking ninth in prelims (364.20). He ultimately finished tied for seventh (tied for 15th overall) in the consolation final with 355.15. Junior Steven Starks was 34th (274.20).

USC qualified for the consolation final of the 400y medley relay with a 3:10.89 in prelims from freshman Alex Lendrum, junior Dillon Connolly, Lefert and Walling. In the consolation final, USC's unit of Lendrum, Connolly, Lefert and Daniels finished eighth (16th overall) in 3:13.16.

The meet continues Saturday and Sunday. Prelims at 12 p.m. and finals at 7 p.m. (EDT).

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