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Thursday March 23, 2006Lochte Wins 200 IM Title; M. Swimming & Diving Fourth After First Day

Atlanta, GA

University of Florida senior Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) set a new American and NCAA record in the 200 individual medley on Thursday evening at the 2006 NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. Lochte’s time of 1:40.55 not only topped his own NCAA record set last season, but he successfully defended his NCAA title for a second consecutive season. He also went on to set NCAA and American records in the 100 backstroke by clocking a leadoff split time of 44.60 in the 400 medley relay.

 

“We had our minds set on it all year,” Lochte said. “I’m glad I could go out and accomplish these goals.”

 

In the process of winning his fourth individual NCAA title, Lochte reclaimed the American record in the 200 IM, which was set by Olympic medalist and rival Michael Phelps last month at the World Cup in East Meadow, N.Y. Phelps was present to handout the 200 IM trophies, which was predetermined before the competition.  

 

“I knew he was here tonight,” Lochte said of Phelps. “I tapped him in the gut when I was walking over to the starting blocks.”

 

Lochte’s performance not only continues to solidify is legacy in collegiate swimming, but may have been the push the Gators needed to capture the elusive team title. Freshman Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) also competed in the championship finals of the 200 IM and raced to a sixth-place finish in a career-best time of 1:45.16. Freshman Lucas Salatta (Sao Paulo, Brazil) also aided the team’s efforts by scoring six points in the consolation final. Salatta recorded a time of 1:46.16 to finish third in the heat and 11th overall.       

 

“We started off kind of shady in the beginning,” Lochte said of the team’s early performance. “So I knew it was up to me and the other IM swimmers to step it up and turn things around for us. After that performance tonight I just hope it helps out. We’re going to feed off it and help us the rest of the meet.”

 

For his evening finale, Lochte set an NCAA and American record in the 100 back by leading off the 400 medley relay with a time of 44.60s. Lochte broke his own split record of 45.19, which he set last season. Despite having the lead after the first 100-yards, the team of Lochte, Ally, Salatta and Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla.) could not hold off Arizona, who won the event with a time of 3:06.08.

 

“The guy works hard, does what you ask him to do and he is committed every day,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said of Lochte’s performance. “It’s not a surprise that these things happen. He has trained with this in mind all year, so it’s hard not to be ready to go.”

 

The Gators started the evening on a positive note by notching 14 points in the 200 freestyle relay consolation final. The team of Nick Borreca (Honolulu, Hawaii), Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla.), Ally and Salatta recorded a time of 1:19.50, which ranked as the second-fasted time by the team this season. Salatta’s 50-yard split of 19.59 at the end proved to be the difference as he edged Tennessee’s Tyler Gustafson for the extra points. UNLV won the consolation final in a time of 1:19.47, while Auburn won the championship final with a time of 1:16.15.

 

Senior Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) fed off of the strong relay performance to swim a personal-best time of 4:18.97 to win the consolation final in the 500 freestyle event.

 

“That’s sort of my role,” Hartley said.  “It was my role this morning and my role tonight. I knew I had to start something to get the other guys rolling. Tonight the relay moved up and had a good swim, so I just fed off of that. I knew I had to keep it going for the IM guys.”

 

Hartley topped his preliminary time of 4:19.58, which he set during the morning session, and his previous personal-best of 4:19.44 set at the SEC Championships in February. Michigan’s Peter Vanderkaay won the event with in an NCAA record time of 4:08.60.

 

Competing at his first NCAA Championships, freshman Diver Jonathan Wilcox (Yarrow Point, Wash.) tallied 301.40 points to finish eighth in his one-meter dive. Georgia’s Chris Colwill earned the top prize with a score of 407.10.

 

Florida will enter the second day of competition in fourth-place with a total of 97 points. Auburn leads the 32-team field with a total score of 178.5, followed by Arizona in second with 136.5. The competition will continue at Noon on Friday with the preliminaries for the 200 medley relay, 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving and the 800 freestyle relay. The championship and consolation finals will begin at 7 p.m. Live results can be found at www.ncaasports.com.

 

Day 1 Preliminary Recaps

200 Freestyle Relay

The competition got off to a slow start for the Gators, who qualified for the B final in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Nick Borreca, Daniel Penniman, Bradley Ally and Darian Townsend recorded a time of 1:19.58, which was the team’s second fastest this season. Stanford recorded the top time with a 1:16.76.

 

500 Freestyle

Florida had four swimmers qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 500 freestyle, however, only one managed to advance past the preliminaries. Senior Brian Hartley placed fourth in his heat with a time of 4:19.58, which was good enough to qualify for the consolation final on Thursday evening. Sophomore Grant Johnson (Clearwater, Fla.) kept pace with the leaders through the first half of the race but faded down the stretch to finish 23 rd in the field of 40 swimmers with a time of 4:22.70. Sophomore Max Jaben (Overland Park, Kan.) recorded a time of 4:27.60 to finish 33rd, while sophomore Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.) finished in 34th with a time of 4:28.14.

   

200 IM

The Gators got back on track during the 200 IM with senior Ryan Lochte and Ally both qualifying for the championship finals. Lochte, the defending NCAA champion in the event, led the field with a time of 1:43.32, which was one-hundredth of a second off his season-best time of 1:43.31. Lochte set the school record of 1:41.71 in the 200 IM last year at the NCAA Championships and is only one of two swimmers in the program’s history to record a time below 1:44.00. Greg Burgess’ old standard of 1:43.52 set in 1993 is the only other time below the 1:44.00 mark.

 

Ally qualified for his first championship final by placing second in his heat with a personal-best time of 1:45.28. Also competing in his first NCAA Championships, freshman Lucas Salatta qualified for the consolation final by winning his heat in a personal-best time of 1:45.77. Sophomore Kevin Nead (Ithaca, N.Y.) finished 39th in the event with a time of 1:49.64. Michigan’s Peter Vanderkaay had the best time during the preliminaries, recording a 4:13.49 to earn the top seed in tonight’s championship final.

 

50 Freestyle

Nick Borreca swam a career-best time of 19.78, but it was not enough to advance to the championship final. Auburn’s Cesar Cielo set the pace with a time of 19.20 and was one of three Tigers that advanced to the finals. Daniel Penniman clocked a time of 20.05 for the Gators to finish tied for 41st, while Darian Townsend place 54th with a time of 20.61.

 

400 Medley Relay

The team of Ryan Lochte, Bradley Ally, Lucas Salatta and Daniel Penniman clocked a time of 3:09.21, which was the second-fastest in school history for the event. For their efforts the Gators placed third during the preliminaries behind Arizona who had a time of 3:07.75.

 

1-Meter Dive

Freshman Jonathan Wilcox earned his first trip to the NCAA finals by scoring a 318.60 during the one-meter prelims. Wilcox, who qualified for the NCAA Championships on the final event at the Zone Qualifier, placed seventh.  

 

NOTES: Sophomore Darian Townsend and freshman Bradley Ally rejoined the team in Atlanta after spending nearly two weeks in Melbourne, Australia for the Commonwealth Games. Ally arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday after reaching the finals in both the 200-meter IM and 400-meter IM races. He earned second-place in his opening heat of the 200 IM with a time of 2:02.67, and placed sixth in the finals with a time of 2:02.45. In the 400 IM, Ally placed third during his opening heat (4:24.94) and finished fifth in the finals with a time of 4:21.13.

Townsend competed in three events, with his best performance coming in the 100-meter freestyle prelims. He recorded a time of 51.67 to reach the semifinals. Townsend rejoined the team on Wednesday evening. 

 

Day 1 Preliminary Results

Event

Winner

School

Time/Score

200 FR

Dunford, Wildman,

Ransom, Crowe

Stanford

1:16.76

500 Free

Peter Vanderkaay

Michigan

4:13.49

200 IM

Ryan Lochte

Florida

1:43.32

50 Free

Cesar Cielo

Auburn

19.20

400 MR

Thoman, Barns,

Subirats, Nilo

Arizona

3:07.75

1M Diving

Joona Puhakka

Arizona State

389.30

 

 Day 1 Finals Results

Event

Winner

School

Time/Score

200 FR

Cielo, Targett

Lundquest, Bovell

Auburn

1:16.15

500 Free

Peter Vanderkaay

Michigan

4:08.60

200 IM

Ryan Lochte

Florida

1:40.55

50 Free

Cullen Jones

N.C. State

19.18

1M Diving

Chris Colwill

Georgia

407.10

400 MR

Thoman, Barns,

Subirats, Ritter

Arizona

3:06.08

 

 

 

 

 

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