Courtesy US Swimming
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Ed Moses grabbed the headline again, shattering the world record in winning the 200m breaststroke at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships on March 25. Moses' time of 2:06.40 was more than a second faster than the previous mark of 2:07.59 swam by Russia's Roman Sloudnov at last week's Short Course World Championships in Athens, Greece.
"I went out after it," Moses said. "I figured after the swim I had last night that I had the speed to do it. I wanted to get out in the first four laps to get ahead of the field and figured I could then hold on to it.
"I wanted to go a 2:05, but I made a couple of mistakes. It's only the second or third time I've swum this race in short course meters and it's very different from yards. At my turn for the last 25, I felt like I should be done already. I took it out too quickly and suffered in the last 50. I'm really excited about it though. My goal was to break those records."
Southern Cal Erik Vendt turned in a gutsy performance in winning the 1500m freestyle in an American record time of 14:31.02, upsetting three-time defending champion Ryk Neethling (14:39.04) of Arizona, who finished third behind Michigan junior Chris Thompson (14:35.95). Thompson took the early lead with Neethling and Vendt staying at his hip until Vendt started his six-beat kick at the 800 mark to pull away from the field. His 10th, 11th and 12th 100s were all under 58 seconds and he finished with a 58.09 for the last 100. Vendt's time ranks as the fourth-fastest performance in history behind two swims by Australian Grant Hackett and one by Australian Kieren Perkins.
"At Pac-10s I tried to go out with Ryk and overswam the first half and that really cost me. I barely hung on for second," Vendt said. "Tonight I wanted to swim my own race. I knew Chris and Ryk would be out faster than me. My plan was to start my kick with about 500 left, but I started earlier than that. I saw my teammates going crazy on the side and I got caught up in the moment."
Cal freshman Anthony Ervin pulled off another upset over Arizona's Roland Schoeman, winning the 100m free out of lane one in a US Open record time of 47.36. Schoeman finished second in 47.51. The two also went 1-2 in the 50m free earlier this week with only one one-hundredth of a second separating the two. Ervin broke the world record in that event with a 21.21.
Stanford junior Adam Messner used a strong back half to win the 200m fly title in 1:55.79, ahead of South Carolina's Zsolt Gaspar who led most of the race. Messner had a little trouble getting his warm-up suit off at the blocks.
"It reminded me of being an age grouper," Messner said. "I used to have to run to the bathroom right before my races because I'd get so nervous, but it made my mom even more nervous. That's the only thing that kept me calm tonight -- thinking my mom was probably really nervous and maybe she absorbed some of it for me.
"All season we've put an emphasis on underwater dolphin kicking. Misty Hyman brought that to Stanford and Skip (Kenney) really worked us on it. I tried to use it as an offensive weapon tonight. Off both walls I could see him (Gaspar) come off ahead of me so I tried to inch ahead each time with my dolphin kick. I knew we were really close and I didn't know I had won at the end."
Florida senior Matt Cole claimed the Gators' first NCAA title since 1996 by winning the 200m back in 1:53.68, ahead of Brazilian Olympians Leonardo Costa (1:54.79) of USC and Alex Massura (1:54.99) of Minnesota.
The final relay was won by Cal with Matthew Macedo, Anthony Ervin, Bart Kizierowski and Lars Merseburg breaking the US Open record in the 400m free relay with a 3:11.25.
Texas won its seventh team title under Coach Eddie Reese and the Longhorns' first since 1996. Texas won three out of five relays in the meet, was second in the 400m free relay and fourth in the 200m free relay. The Longhorns finished with 538 points, followed by Auburn (385), Arizona (360.5), Stanford (279.5), Cal (279), Southern Cal (249), Tennessee (219), Minnesota (219), Florida (207) and Arizona State (152.5).
Texas coach Eddie Reese was named NCAA Coach of the Year, while Virginia sophomore Ed Moses was voted NCAA Swimmer of the Year.