Courtesy US Swimming
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Records fell in every single event on the first day of swimming at the men's NCAA Championships on March 23. Texas took the team lead with 173 points, followed by Auburn (151), Arizona (114.5), Cal (100) and Stanford (88).
Cal freshman Anthony Ervin shocked the swimming world with a world record in winning the 50m free (short course meters) in 21.21, edging Arizona sophomore Roland Schoeman who also went under the existing world record with a 21.22. Prior to this meet, Ervin's biggest competition had been at the Junior National level.
"Anthony's never been in the limelight," said Cal coach Mike Bottom. "He's come out of virtually nowhere, but we knew he had the talent to break the world record."
"I was trying to hit all the things I usually miss like the start," Ervin said. "I'm known as having a bad start. For me, it was a good start. It was decent, but not a great start by any stretch of the imagination."
Ervin, who at 6-2 weighed just 150 pounds when he entered college, has put on 10 pounds of muscle in the last year since he started seriously weight training.
"I think it's been the coaching more than anything (that's made a difference)," Ervin said. "I haven't grown much yet."
Arizona State freshman Atilla Czene, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist , tied the world record in winning the 200m individual medley in 1:54.65. Texas junior Nate Dusing was second in 1:56.84, just off the American record (1:56.66). Though only a freshman, Czene is 26 and just recently moved to the United States from Hungary to train.
"It's much more fun at NCAAs (than international competitions)," Czene said. "There was so much pressure on me in Hungary after the Olympics. I didn't feel any pressure here. I went to the 1998 World Championships wanting to win and I made some mistakes and ended up in the consolation final. I thought about quitting, but then I made my decision to come to the United States. I'm glad Arizona State was willing to take me. I feel like I'm re-energized."
Ryk Neethling, a senior at Arizona, won the 400m free in a U.S. Open record time of 3:40.47, while Southern Cal freshman Erik Vendt was second in 3:42.81.
In relay action, Auburn started off the night by winning the 200m free relay with Matt Busbee, Aaron Ciarla, Oswaldo Quevedo and Greg Busse posting a 1:25.14. The four set a world best in prelims with a 1:24.83. Texas broke the American record in the prelims with a 1:26.28. In the final relay, Texas won the 400m medley relay in a U.S. Open time of 3:31.23 swum by Tom Hannan, Russell Chozick, Nate Dusing and Bryan Jones.
The one-meter diving title was won by Texas sophomore Troy Dumais.