Morozov Wins 100 Free, Leads 400 Free Relay Victory As USC Closes Pac-12s With Fireworks
March 6, 2013
Junior Vladimir Morozov crushed the school and Pac-12 meet record as he defended his 100y free title and then joined juniors Dimitri Colupaev and Jack Wagner and sophomore Cristian Quintero to win USC's first 400y free relay since 1979 to close in spectacular fashion the 2013 Men's Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships in Federal Way, Wash., on Wednesday (March 6).
No. 4 USC finished in third, its 638.5 points the most the Trojans have scored since 2003. Cal won with 825 with Stanford second (800), marking the first time the Cardinal have not won the conference since 1981. Arizona was fourth (483) and was followed by Utah (290.5), ASU (257), UCSB (230) and Cal Poly (112).
The Trojans finished with seven swim titles at the meet, their most at a conference meet since 1977.
"We finished off the meet with several outstanding performances that should position us well for the NCAA championships," USC Coach Dave Salo said. "The relays were exceptional this year and a lot more fun being on the winning side of most.
"Vlad, Cristian, Dima and Jack were outstanding and some of our underclassmen stepped up to throw down some strong performances. We still have a way to go to win the team championship, but we came away with several historical accomplishments. Now on to NCAAs and see if we can't climb into the top four."
Morozov, who successfully defended his Pac-12 title in the 50y free on Monday, swam away from the field to win the 100y free in 41.38, erasing his old record of 41.70 as well as Cal swimmer Nathan Adrian's 2009 conference meet record of 41.64.
Morozov then teamed with Colupaev, Wagner and Quintero to finish the meet with an eye-popping win in the 400y free relay as the group won in 2:48.66, lowering the school mark by almost two seconds and posting the fastest time in the country.
Quintero, who earlier in the night swam the mile, incredibly opened the relay with a 42.80, which made him the third fastest Trojan ever over 100 yards and would've been good for third in tonight's final. Colupaev continued with a 42.29 split though Stanford's Aaron Wayne, second to Morozov in the 100, briefly gave Stanford an 0.03 lead at the halfway point.
Wagner took the lead back with a 42.76 and then handed it off to Morozov, who motored home with the fastest anchor leg by more than two seconds. Stanford was second in 2:51.18.
Earlier in the 100 free, Wagner (43.10, PR) and Colupaev (43.26) finished third and fourth respectively. It was Wagner's first career final and his time made him the fifth fastest Trojan in the race. It was Colupaev's second final in a row (he was fifth last year).
Quintero's bid to become the first conference swimmer to sweep the 200y, 500y and 1650y free since the 1970s almost came to fruition at the start of the night, but the versatile freestyler was overtaken over the final 100 yards by Stanford sophomore Drew Cosgarea, who won in 14:49.71. Quintero held the lead for most of the race but couldn't hold off the Cardinal swimmer at the end, finishing second in 14:51.85.
Trojan freshman Ted Singley (15:10.62, PR) and sophomore Cary Wright (15:23.94) each posted top eight finishes in the mile, finishing sixth and eighth, respectively. Junior Nick Johnson, who was a 500y free finalist, was 11th in 15:32.48.
Senior Alex Lendrum, who earlier in the day had been named the Pac-12's Male Swimming and Diving Scholar Athlete of the Year, posted a career-best third in the 200y back in 1:42.39. It was his fourth straight appearance in the race. Junior Chase Bloch was seventh in the race (1:43.73) in his first Pac-12 final.
Freshman Morten Klarskov tied the school record in the 200y breast in prelims (1:55.47) and then dropped it to 1:55.13 during his fifth-place swim in the final.
Wright, after swimming the mile an hour earlier, was USC's lone finalist in the 200y fly and finished eighth in a workmanlike 1:46.94. He qualified for the final with a morning PR of 1:45.07.
In the diving portion of the championships completed last week, USC sophomore Jordan Gear repeated as platform finalist, taking fourth. Platform points were applied to the team total on the final day.
USC is off until the NCAA Championships, March 28-30, in Indianapolis, Ind.