Mar. 27, 1997
USC in Fourth Place After First Day of NCAAs
MINNEAPOLIS - The USC men's swimming and diving team, led by a 4-5-6 finish in the 500 free final, finished the first day of the NCAA Championships in fourth place on Thursday at the Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Auburn leads after one day with 173 points, followed by Texas (107), Stanford (104), USC (92) and Georgia (82). USC finished seventh at last year's NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Bela Szabados (4:18.84), senior Kent Johnson (4:20.27) and senior Jeff Julian (4:21.17) finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 500 for the Trojans, boosting USC into a temporary lead after two events. Szabados repeated his fourth-place finish in the 500 in last year's NCAA Championships.
USC's 400 medley relay team of junior Lenny Krayzelburg and sophomores Dave Taylor, Mike Williams and Szabados took fifth in the championship final with a USC record time of 3:11.68 (3:14.17 - 1990). Krayzelburg's 100 back leadoff split of 46.55 was also a school record, breaking his own mark.
"It was a great first day for us," USC coach Mark Schubert said. "Both relays got into championship finals and I was very pleased to get three swimmers into the championship finals for the 500. Plus, our 400 medley relay broke a school record by more than two seconds. I'm happy with where we are and we only get better from here."
USC's 200 free relay team (Krayzelburg, Williams, senior Brad Francis and freshman Bret Awbrey) finished eighth in the championship final (1:20.49).
In other events, Krayzelburg finished tied for the 24th in the 50 free (20.12) and Williams tied for 37th (20.33) in the 50 free. Freshman diver Tim Allport finished 34th in the one-meter competition.
The meet continues Friday and Saturday with prelims beginning at noon and finals at 7 p.m. (CST).