Morozov Wins 100y Free, Leads 400y Free Relay Title; USC Finishes NCAAs 4th
March 30, 2013
Junior Vladimir Morozov broke the NCAA record in the 100y free en route to USC's first title in the race since 1974 and then led the Trojans to their first 400y free relay win since 1977 as USC finished fourth overall and closed the 2013 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships with a bang at the IU Natatorium/IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Ind., on Saturday (March 30).
Troy's fourth-place finish is its highest since also taking fourth in 2001. It hasn't finished higher since a second in 1990. Michigan won the team title with 480 and was followed in the top 10 by California (406.5), Arizona (313.5), USC (289), Texas (288), Florida (285.5), Stanford (282), Auburn (226.5), Indiana (201) and Georgia (163).
USC was in seventh heading into the final 400y free relay but thanks to the foursome of sophomore Cristian Quintero (Venezeula) and juniors Dimitri Colupaev (Germany), Jack Wagner and Morozov (Russia), the Trojans moved all the way up to fourth with the win. Troy lived up to its top seed entering the meet and lowered the school record with a winning time of 2:48.33.
Though Morozov entered the pool fourth, his teammates had clearly put him in position to take over first, which he did with a blistering final leg of 40.28 that was among the fastest of all-time. Michigan took second (2:50.18) with Auburn third (2:50.54). USC passed Florida, Texas and Stanford in the standings on the final relay.
"What a great evening to be a Trojan," USC seventh-year coach Dave Salo said. "Watching the score through the night our only `hope' was to take care of business in the 400 free relay and watch how Stanford, Texas and Florida would finish. We did our job with the win and another school record and the rest of the pieces fell into place.
"I'm really proud of these guys and my staff with all the hard work and determination over the past seven years to get here. "
Morozov, who won USC's first 50y free Thursday since 1977, is the first Trojan to win both sprints at the same NCAA Championships. He qualified for the top seed in the 100y free out of prelims with a 41.88, but that was a mere warm-up for his fireworks in the final.
Going out over the first half with a 19.14 that would've almost won Thursday's 50, Morozov won in 40.76, breaking Auburn's Cesar Cielo's 40.92 NCAA record set in 2008. Morozov's old school record was 41.38. Auburn's Marcelo Chierighini, second to Morozov in the 50y free, was second again (41.51) in the 100 while Louisville's Joao De Lucca, who nipped Colupaev in the 200y free, took third (42.27).
"That 100 free is by far the race that `Im most proud of. I took it out there about half a second faster than usual at the 50 and did my best to hold on to break the NCAA record," Morozov said. "I'm also very proud of our united nations relay to finish off the meet in such a fashion. The guys did a great job on the first three legs of the relay and put me in the position to already be in the lead after a 25. It felt great to be the last ones to stand on the highest step of the podium as the meet came to an end."
Colupaev swam in his second straight `B' final of the 100y free and won the heat in 42.80, the same time he used in prelims to qualify for a second swim. The two times tie Quintero for second place all-time at USC behind Morozov.
Freshman Morten Klarskov broke his own record in the prelims of the 200y breast with a 1:54.64, lowering it from 1:55.13. In the `B' final of the race, Klarskov finished fourth (12th overall) with a 1:56.09.
Quintero also scored in the 1650y free for the second year in a row. Ninth last year, he finished 14th today with a 14:55.19.
USC's relay win was its 19th overall and its first since 2002. Morozov's two wins this meet making him just the 21st Trojan ever with two or more NCAA individual titles and give Troy 96 overall.
USC broke school records 16 times in the meet, including on all five relays. When the Trojans won the 400y free relay, they marked the fifth different team to win one of the five relays, the first time that has happened since 1989 (when the meet first featured five relays).
In prelim action, senior Alex Lendrum was 21st (1:42.56), sophomore Chad Bobrosky was 29th (1:43.51) and sophomore Luca Spinazzola was 33rd (1:44.02) in the 200y back. Wagner finished 31st in the 100y free (43.49).