Morozov Blasts Through First Morning Of NCAA Prelims|
Junior Vladimir Morozov earned the top qualifying spot in the 50y free, sophomore Cristian Quintero claimed a final berth in the 500y free relay while USC's 200y free and 400y medley relays both set school records to open the first day of prelims at the 2013 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium/IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Ind., on Thursday (March 28).
Morozov motored to an 18.91 in the 50y free prelims, 0.05 off his school record and good enough for the fastest time of the session. Auburn junior Marcelo Chierighini, who owns the top time in the nation this year at 18.85, was the second-fastest of the morning at 19.04.
Morozov is seeking USC's first NCAA title in the 50y free since Joe Bottom won it three straight times between 1975-77. That's also the last time a Trojan reached the final of the race three straight years. Morozov is also trying to become USC's first individual title winner since Larsen Jensen won both the 500y and 1650y free in 2007.
Quintero, second in the 500y free last year and the Pac-12 title winner in the race earlier in March, earned a repeat trip to the final by finishing seventh in prelims in 4:15.87. Michigan junior Connor Jaeger nabbed the top seed at 4:12.81. Junior Dimitri Colupaev (4:21.36) and sophomore Chad Bobrosky (4:22.32) finished 35th and 39th, respectively.
The quartet of Wagner, Morozov, freshman Maclin Davis and junior Chase Bloch broke the school record in the 200y free relay in the day's first event, swimming the second-fastest time in prelims in 1:16.84 and shaving 0.14 off the 2011 mark. Only Michigan (1:16.80) went faster in the morning. The race featured a ridiculously fast split from Morozov of 18.22, by far the quickest of the session.
To close the morning work, USC's foursome of sophomores Luca Spinazzola and Sergio Lujan Rivera, Davis and Morozov broke the school record with a 3:06.05, good enough to earn the third seed in tonight's final. The previous mark was set at the SMU Swim Classic earlier this year, a 3:06.17. Morozov showed off again on the anchor leg, going 40.45.
USC has never won a title in the 200y free relay and hasn't won one in the 400y medley relay since 1976. The Trojans' had reached the final of the 400y medley relay since 2007.
Senior Alex Lendrum took 20th in the 200y IM (1:44.64), 0.40 out of the `B' final, and freshman Morten Klarskov was 33rd (1:45.80). Wagner tied for 27th in the 50y free in 19.79, though his lead-off 19.59 in the 200y free relay would've been good enough for a spot in the `B' final.