30 Year-Old Mark Spitz Record Finally Broken -- March 12, 2002
BLOOMINGTON, Ind., March 12. THE people in attendance at the 2002 Indiana Open saw exciting swimming during the first two rounds of the 2002 Indiana Open, but what the third round had to offer was something special. The Indiana Open served as a last chance qualifying meet for any school that entered and
Saturday was the day.
With the first rounds of competition completed, Indiana men's swimming Head Coach Kris Kirchner was told by freshman Murph Halasz that he wanted to time
trial in the 200-yard butterfly. Kirchner gave him the ok.
Halasz pulled out a time of 1:46:68 in the 200 fly, which is the fastest time this season in the event by any Indiana swimmer. More importantly, the time was enough to shatter the old school record time of 1:46.89 set in 1972 by the most decorated Olympian in swimming, Mark Spitz.
"This is great," said Halasz. "Woo hoo. I am so happy. This is something that I have been aiming for since I got here and now I have it. My teammates were behind me the whole way and it was just an exciting moment when I looked back at the scoreboard."
Halasz' teammates and opposing coaches congratulated the Richmond, Va. native on breaking a record that had stood for so long. March 23 would have been the exact date 30 years ago that the record was set, but Halasz didn't figure he could wait.
"I knew I didn't make NCAAs," said Halasz. "I just wanted to close the season on an upnote and by doing this it ends on a great high."
Coach Kirchner agreed with that sentiment. "This is a great moment in time," he said. "Murph did a great job and had a great swim. He didn't tell me last
weekend that he tweaked his hamstring and that might have caused him to not do it last week at Big Tens. He did it this week and it is a monkey that he has off his back and now he can get down to swimming for next season."
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Indiana came out with a vengeance looking for a qualifying time. The team of sophomores Val Milkov, Mike Payne, Dale Ramsy and Claes Andersson posted a time of 1:19.90 in the event, but it might not be enough when the field is set next week.
"We came out and did a good job in the first chance, but we were disqualified," said Kirchner. "The second time was just as good, but it just was not enough. The team pushed themselves all season and did a solid job.
The team will be back next year and we are hoping for a great season in 2002-03.