Quintero Wins Second Straight Pac-12 Title In 500y Free
March 6, 2014
Senior Cristian Quintero sprinted past freshman teammate Reed Malone over the final 50 yards to defend his title in the 500y free and highlight the second night of the 2014 Pac-12 Championships in Federal Way, Wash., on Thursday (March 6).
USC finished the evening session in third with 208 points. Cal took over first with 271 while Stanford edged ahead of Troy for second (243). Arizona is fourth and 193 and is followed by Utah (119), Arizona State (100), UC Santa Barbara (93) and Cal Poly (79).
Quintero's win in the 500y free was USC's 27th conference title in the event and an amazing 10th since 2001. After leading early, Quintero fell behind the upstart Malone, who led at the 350, 400 and 450 marks. But Quintero closed over the final 50, passing Malone with about 30 yards to go and winning 4:12.56 to 4:12.66.
Quintero's time, a PR, made him the third fastest Trojan ever in the race while Malone moved to fourth, both passing Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller in the process.
The Trojans sent a pair of swimmers into the 50y free final, led by freshman Dylan Carter, who took sixth with a PR of 19.51, making him the second fastest Trojan ever in the sprint. Senior Jack Wagner, the third fastest Trojan over 50 in his second straight conference final in the race, was seventh (19.61). Freshman Santo Condorelli was 12th (19.75).
USC's top finisher in the 200y IM was Morten Klarskov, who was 16th (1:48.75).
The Trojans closed the night with a strong effort in the 200y free relay, finishing second as Wagner, Carter, Condorelli and Quintero finished in 1:17.43, behind only Cal's 1:16.67. Quintero, showing his unique range, split an anchor leg of 18.89 after his 500y free win.
"It was a strong evening for the Trojans," USC Coach Dave Salo said. "It was great going 1-2 in the 500, especially with the freshman Malone swimming a strong, patient swim against a vet like Cristian. In the 200 free relay, we had to work hard to come back from a tough first half, but taking second was great."
The diving portion of the competition was held last week. Sophomore Collin Pollard was seventh (357.15) on 1-meter and junior Jordan Gear was eighth (337.90). Points for 1-meter were applied to today's standings.
The meet continues Friday and Saturday.