No. 4 USC Wins Pac-12 Title In 800-Yard Freestyle Relay
March 3, 2013
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No. 4 USC won its conference record 16th title in the 800y free relay in school-record fashion and also lowered the school mark in the 200y medley relay during the two-event opening of the 2013 Men's Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships on Sunday (March 3) at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
A day after the Trojan women's team finished second with a school record total, the men's squad opened in second as well with 70 points, four back of first-place California (74). Stanford, which has won each Pac-12 crown since 1980, is third (66) while Arizona is fourth (62), UC Santa Barbara fifth (54), Utah sixth (52), ASU seventh (50) and Cal Poly eighth (44).
USC's 800y free relay of sophomore Chad Bobrosky, senior Alex Lendrum, sophomore Cristian Quintero and junior Dimitri Colupaev won the race in 6:16.88, shattering the 11-year old standard of 6:17.35. It was the third-fasest swim in the nation this year.
Bobrosky opened with a season best 1:35.10, which had USC third. Lendrum's strong second leg moved Troy into second, but still 2.27 back of Cal.
Quintero then ripped off a ridiculously fast 1:32.58 third leg, passing Cal freshman Michael Haney over his final 50 to give USC a 1.59 lead heading into Colupaev's anchor. Colupaev, the two-time defending Pac-12 champion in the distance, took it from there with a 1:33.83 to clinch the win. The Bears finished second in 6:18.83.
It was USC's first win in the event since 2010, when Troy won it in 6:19.17. The Trojans' winning time was the third-fastest winning time in conference history.
USC's 200y medley relay of sophomore Luca Spinazzola, freshman Morten Klarskov and juniors Chase Bloch and Vladimir Morozov finished fourth in a tightly bunched final in 1:25.04, breaking the 2011 school record by 0.79. The time was just 0.62 out of first and 0.21 out of third. It was also the ninth best in the nation this year.
"It was a great start to the men's Pac-12 meet," USC Coach Dave Salo said. "Our primary goal is to qualify our best team for the NCAA championships and along the way we expect to break team records. We finally broke the long standing 800 free relay tonight in large part to the final two legs by Cristian and Dima. We take great pride in winning the 800 free relay.
"The medley relay also shattered our team record with still lots of room for improvement. We have to be better in the middle, but it is exciting to see Morozov running down the field."
The meet continues Monday through Wednesday (March 4-6) with prelims beginning at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. each day.