Lefert Wins Pac-10 Title In 500y Free
March 3, 2011
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Clement Lefert revived a proud Trojan tradition of conference titles in the 500y free while freshman Vladimir Morozov twice broke his school record in the 50y free en route to a second-place finish to lead No. 7 USC on the second night of the 2011 Pac-10 Swimming Championships, Thursday, (March 3) at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.
USC is in third after two days with 165 points. Stanford is in first (323) with Cal second (251), Arizona fourth (152), ASU fifth (103), UCSB sixth (75) and Cal Poly seventh (64).
Lefert joined former recent Trojan greats (and Olympic medalists) Larsen Jensen, Ous Mellouli, Erik Vendt and Klete Keller (among many others) by winning the Pac-10's 500y free, a victory that complemented his 2010 title in the 200y free.
Lefert led the entire race, opening the 200 in 1:39.91, good for a 0.47 lead over second-place Bobby Bollier. Lefert led by more than a second after 300 yards, by almost two seconds at 400 yards before winning with a 4:15.59 to Bollier's 4:16.72.
Trojan senior Richard Charlesworth, a consolation finalist in the event in 2010, qualified for the final with the fifth-fastest prelim time (4:20.15). He took eighth in the final (4:23.63).
Morozov first lowered his 50-yard school mark of 19.32 in prelims with a 19.21, which was 0.01 faster than Cal's two-time defending champion and Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian.
Adrian, who owns the conference record in the event (18.71), outdueled Morozov in the final, however, touching in 19.00. Morozov hit the wall in 19.06 to re-set his mark for the second time of the day.
USC's 200y free relay of Morozov, Lefert, Colupaev and junior Jeff Daniels was disqualified after one of the swimmers was ruled to have left early.
"It was a great win by Clement tonight," USC head coach Dave Salo said. "He led from start to finish and with the win comes confidence for a strong NCAA meet as he begins to rest more. Vlad is the real thing and we are glad that he is a Trojan. As a freshman to nearly take down Nathan Adrian is amazing. Vlad gets better every time he races. He is not afraid to compete against anyone and I am sure the matchup at NCAAs will be great.
"We're in a tough battle with Arizona for third. We are going to have to muster up some big swims tomorrow to make up for the huge loss of points from tonight's relay ."