Men's Swimming and Diving in Eighth at NCAA Championships
March 26, 1998
AUBURN, Ala.- Highlighted by a school record and fourth-place finish in the 400 medley relay, USC finished in eighth after the first of three days at the 1998 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at Auburn's James E. Martin Aquatics Center on Thursday (March 26).
Stanford leads with 183 points after teh first day. It is followed by Auburn (154), Texas (129), Tennessee (82), Arizona (64), Georgia (61), California (58), USC (56), Arizona State (49) and Florida State (44).
USC's 400 medley relay team of senior Lenny Krayzelburg, junior David Taulor, junior Mike Williams and junior Bela Szabados broke their own mark set in prelims (3:11.52) with a time of 3:10.85, almost a full second faster than the 3:11.68 mark they set together in the 1997 NCAA finals.
"It was a great relay, Lenny looked better in the finals than in the morning and showed good signs for the next two days. David swam fantastic and much better than he has before." said USC Head Coach Mark Schubert. "Mike was great and Bela put up his best split of the day. There's wasn't much more we could ask for from them.
"Overall, it was a good night. Our 500 free was a little disappointing, but other than that, we did well."
Freshman diver Justin Dumais, competing in his first NCAA Championships, earned All-American honors with a sixth-place finish in the 1-meter springboard with 542.25 points. Dumais, only 15 points out of third, became the first USC diver to earn All-American honors since Brian Earley won the platform title in 1994.
"Justin competed really well," said USC Head Diving Coach Jeff Shaffer. "He just missed one dive- made a mental mistake- at a critical time and dropped from third to sixth. But he's a freshman and it's a little different at the NCAAs with the team support and the team pressure."
Freshman Philippe Demers, swimming in his first NCAA meet, made the consolation finals of the 200 IM and took 15th in 1:49.44. Junior Mark Kwok made the consolation finals of the 500 free and took 14th in 4:24.08. It was a marked improvement fo rthe junior, who finished 27th in the event in 1997.
USC's 200 free relay also made the consolation finals and the squad of Williams, Krayzelburg, Szabados and Demers finished 13th in 1:20.41.
Other USC finishers included Szabados (4:23.96- 17th), junior Josh Ilika (4:27.37- 30th), sophomore Bret Awbrey (4:28.18-32nd), and senior Chris Mylan (4:31.84- 38th) in the 500 free, and Williams (20.02- 24th) in the 50 free. Williams' time was a personal best by three tenths of a second.
The 1998 Men's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships continues Friday and Saturday (March 27-28) at Auburn. Prelims begin at 9am and finals start at 5pm each day (PST).