Morozov (50 Free), Quintero (500 Free), 200y Free Relay All Win Pac-12 Titles
March 4, 2013
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Junior Vladimir Morozov defended his title in the 50y free and led USC's 200y free relay to its first crown since 1996 while sophomore Cristian Quintero collected his first career title by winning the 500y free during a fruitful second day of the 2013 Men's Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships on Monday (March 4) at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
USC tripled up in the 50y and 500y free and the 200y free relay for the first time since 1996. The Trojans are in third in the team standings with 218 points behind Cal (298.5) and second-place Stanford (282). Arizona is fourth (141) and is followed by Utah (116.5), ASU (108), UCSB (97) and Cal Poly (66).
Combined with its relay win in the 800y free relay on Sunday, USC has won four of the first six events in the 2013 Pac-12s.
"Tonight was a strong performance by the Trojans," USC Coach Dave Salo said. "Three of four titles by the Trojans in the first full night was a momentum builder for the guys. Vlad has been on a mission since the Olympic Games and it includes an NCAA championship title. Vlad's got his teammates firing on all cylinders in the 200 free relay and it is nice to win both the 800 and 200 free relay in this meet.
Cristian wanted to leave no doubt that he is the best 500 freestyler in the Pac-12. He went out fast took a commanding lead and didn't look back until he touched the wall, climbed out and sealed the win. Cristian's swim to start the session was a great inspiration.
Don't know the last time we had a start like this, but it was a lot of fun!"
Morozov became the first Trojan ever to win back-to-back conference titles in the 50y free when he cruised to win in 18.86, breaking his USC record set in prelims (18.92). It was also 0.01 off the national leading time.
"My 50 free felt good from the beginning to the end," Morozov said. "I was excited to dip under that 19 second barrier. The 200 free relay was also great, one of our freshmen, Maclin Davis, stepped up as our four sprinter on that relay and did not disappoint as we got a Pac-12 title in this relay for the first time since 1996."
Quintero won the 500y free in 4:13.37, a national-leading time almost five seconds better than Cal's second place Adam Hinshaw (4:18.08) and just off his P.R. in the race. Junior Nick Johnson made his final debut at the Pac-12s and was seventh in the 500y free in 4:25.01 (he went 4:22.01 to qualify) and Sophomore Chad Bobrosky repeated as 500y free finalist and was eighth in 4:27.32 (after going 4:19.01 to earn his berth).
Quintero's win in the 500y free was USC's ninth since 2001 and the 26th in program history.
Junior Dimitri Colupaev, the defending champion in the 200y free, won the `B' final of the 500y free in 4:20.24 for ninth overall, freshman Ted Singley was 13th (4:22.15) and sophomore Dakota Hodgson was 16th (4:25.39).
Senior Alex Lendrum was USC's top finisher in the 200y IM, taking 12th in 1:45.96. Junior Sean Mulroy was 18th (1:47.21) while sophomore Luca Spinazzola was 21st (1:49.43) and senior Justin DiFederico was 24th (1:50.87).
USC closed the night with a strong win in the 200y free relay as Wagner, Davis, Morozov and Colupaev touched in 1:17.13 with Cal taking second in 1:17.76. The winning time, fourth best in the nation, was actually 0.15 off the school record, set in 2011.
The meet continues Tuesday and Wednesday with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. each day.