LONG BEACH, California, November 17. UC-San Diego's Nick Korth put up an impressive 200 breast time to end the Arena Invitational, while Stanford's Matthews, Swanston and Thompson, gave the crowd a show in the men's 200-yard backstroke.
Korth, a former NCAA Division II national champion in the men's 200 breast, won the Arena Invite title tonight in 1:58.18. Among all divisions, it's the second-fastest time done in collegiate competition this season, just behind Carl Mickelson's 1:58.07. Korth was third in the 2012 Division II NCAAs with a 1:57.45. Second in the event tonight was Hawaii's Paul Gabayeron with a 1:58.85, a top-five collegiate time, while Stanford's Shawn Mason was third with a 1:59.26.
Matthew Swanston and Matthew Thompson swam stroke-for-stroke in the men's 200 backstroke, with Swanston getting to the wall first with a 1:42.54 to Thompson's 1:42.70. Well back in third was Stanford teammate Will Gunderson with a 1:44.78. Notably, NCAA runner-up David Nolan was fifth with a 1:46.07.
The session started with an Arizona State win in the women's 1650 freestyle by Tristin Baxter with a 16:09.53. Lauren Baker of UCLA placed second with a 16:25.10, with Melanie Garibaldi placing third with a 16:34.77.
In the men's 1650, Stanford took the top three spots in its quest to find a replacement for the graduated Chad LaTourette, who placed second in the event at the 2012 NCAAs in American record time. Danny Thomson led the way with a 15:02.18, Drew Cosgarea was second with a 15:07.62, while Bryan Offutt was third in 15:18.22.
Elizabeth Pelton, the Berkeley freshman who's the American record holder in the 200 back with a 1:49.16, won the event with a 1:54.43, improving on her season's best time by a tenth of a second. Teammate Cindy Tran wasn't far back, placing second with a 1:55.94. Arizona State's Lizzy Luttrell was third with a 1:56.41.
Liv Jensen, now a postgrad swimmer at UC-Berkeley, won the women's 100 free in 48.43, leading two other swimmers under the former meet record of 49.52 set in 2010 by Nathalie Lindborg. Shannon Landgrebe finished second with a 49.01 and Jasmine Alkhaldi was third with a 49.49.
Stanford's Aaron Wayne, the fourth-place finisher in the 100 free at last March's NCAA championships, won the event tonight with a meet record time of 42.96. He his own meet record of 43.36 that he set in prelims, which erased his own former meet record of 43.45 from 2010. Stanford also went 2-3 in the event, as Andrew Saeta posted a second-place time of 44.09 and Sean Duggan was third with a 44.45.
Katelyn Weddle of San Diego State posted the top time in the women's 200 butterfly with a 2:13.71, while Arizona State's Tory Houston got second with a 2:14.90. Hawaii's Taylor Rittenberg placed third with a 2:15.46.
Noell Tarazona of UCLA won the 200 butterfly with a 1:56.16, holding off a strong challenge from Cal's Caitlin Leverenz, who swam a 1:56.29. Leverenz appears to be making good on a statement made on a recent interview on The Morning Swim Show, when she said she could change her typical event lineup this year. Before Breeja Larson's American record this morning, Leverenz was the second-fastest all-time in the 200 breast. Placing third in the 200 fly was Bianca Casciari with a 1:57.57.
Dane Stassi won the final individual event of the meet, the men's 200 fly, with a 1:45.65. Gray Umbach of Stanford made a hard charge at the finish, but fell up short with a second-place time of 1:45.69. Alex Coci of Arizona State, a 2012 NCAA finalist, was third with a 1:45.98.
Berkeley won the women's 400 free relay with a 3:18.91, a little more than a second off the automatic NCAA qualifying time of 3:17.27. UCLA (3:19.13) and Arizona State (3:20.49) placed second and third. Stanford easily won the men's 400 free relay with a time of 2:55.04, four seconds ahead of second place Brigham Young, which swam a 2:59.84, a fingernail ahead of UC-Santa Barbara's 2:59.89.
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