Freshman Erik Vendt became the nation's fastest miler on the eve of Halloween with a brilliant 14:54.30 1650-yard freestyle clocking to highlight the second day of the Trojan Invitational at the USC Olympic Pool in Los Angeles.
Swimming unshaved, untapered and unrested, Vendt bested Trojan teammate Mark Warkentin (World University Games miler champ) by nearly 25 seconds, with the latter claiming second in 15:18.43.
On a picture-perfect weekend in the City of Angels, Vendt's time is not only No. 1 nationally for the 1999-2000 season but a pool record too, breaking the old mark of 15:10+ by former SC All-American Dan Jorgensen from the mid'80s.
Trojan coach Mark Schubert, also a co-head coach for the U.S. Olympic Team to Sydney, cautioned against reading "too much" into Vendt's great time. "Obviously I'm pleased with the swim but he's got a lot of work ahead of him."
Vendt also finished third in the 400 IM with a pr 3:54.59.
The winner of the IM was former Arizona All-America Chad Carvin, now training with Bill Rose at Mission Viejo, who went a 3:51.69. Runner-up was Hungarian Tamas Kerekjarto (3:51.88) in his first exposure to a yards competition. Kerekjarto was a medalist at this summer's European Championships in the individual medley and is a strong contender for a berth on his country's Olympic Team.
He's training at Troy with another Hungarian, Bela Szabados, who was a mainstay of SC's frestyle corp the past several season but who has now graduated.
Triple backstroker world-record holder Lenny Krayzelburg splashed to easy wins in fine early-season times of 48.26-1:44.84, with Troajn Swim Club teammate and Atlanta 200 back gold medalist runner-up Brad Bridgewater (48.96-1:45.21) with age group sensation Aaron Peirsol of Irvine Novas third (1:49.29).
On the women's side, wins by freshman Michaela Kwasny in both IMs (1:59.37 - 4:14.31) highlighted the competition, as was a 2:15.55 triumph in the 200 breast by former SC All-America (and multi NCAA champ Kristine Quance-Julian).
While her winning time (2:15.55) is nothing startling Schubert said it was one of her best unshaved efforts ever and added that she'll definitely be a factor in vying for an Olympic berth in the IMs andthe breaststrokes come the Trials next summer at Indianapolis.
Quance is married to former SC All-America flyer Jeff Julian, and the couple recently had their first child, Trenton.
Obviously motherhood has agreed with Quance-Julian and rumors abound that Schubert has set aside a scholarship for Trenton for the 2019-2000 season. There's also rumors the kid's already doing doubles -- in the family bathtub.