AUSTIN, Texas, December 3. DEMONSTRATING its depth and firmly etching itself as an NCAA championship contender, the University of Arizona went one-two in the 400 freestyle relay during Saturday night action at the Texas Invitational. That effort handed the Wildcats the team title, as their 623 points narrowly edged the 619 points managed by the host school.
The Arizona quartet of Albert Subirats, Lyndon Ferns, Jonas Persson and Brandon Selts won the 400 free relay in 2:54.70, just ahead of the Wildcats’ second unit of Adam Ritter, Simon Burnett, Matt Barnard and Bart Steninger. That foursome touched the wall in 2:55.52 and the combined efforts provided the winning margin in the team standings.
While the Arizona men clinched their crown in the final event of the competition, the Wildcat women prevailed by a sizable margin. The Lady Cats tallied 724 points, well ahead of the 652 points netted by the Longhorns. Arizona was led throughout the three-day meet by Whitney Myers, who trounced the field in the 200 butterfly with a mark of 1:55.98. Myers also contributed to a victory in the 400 free relay, as she teamed with Anna Turner, Marshi Smith and Lacey Nymeyer for a time of 3:18.77.
En route to a fourth-place finish in the male team standings, Michigan had a monster showing on the final day of action, as Peter Vanderkaay was one of three individuals to win championships. The U.S. Olympian bested the field in the 1,650 freestyle with an effort of 14:48.22, just ahead of the outing put forth by Southern California’s Ous Mellouli (14:50.07). Meanwhile, the Wolverines also received triumphs from Chris DeJong in the 200 backstroke (1:42.55) and Davis Tarwater in the 200 butterfly (1:43.93). DeJong’s decision arrived over Aaron Peirsol, the reigning world and Olympic champion.
In other male action, Ian Crocker took home top honors in the 100 freestyle with a stellar swim of 42.60, faster than the 42.90 of Burnett. Crocker was followed in third place by his Longhorn Aquatics teammate Neil Walker, who registered a 43.13. As for the women’s 100 free, Hawaii’s Melanie Schlanger scorched a 47.94 to defeat Nymeyer (48.60).
Southern California had a strong day among both genders, but Rebecca Soni’s performance in the 200 breaststroke was the most dynamic of the session. Soni was clocked in 2:08.54, a sizzling time that provided a four-plus second victory of Arizona’s Erin Sieper (2:13.10). The Trojans made it a sweep of the 200 breaststroke when Mihaly Flaskay got to the wall in 1:58.23, slightly quicker than the 1:58.37 of Texas’ Christian Schurr. Another Trojan win was supplied by Kalyn Keller in the 1,650 free (16:15.05). Trojan Swim Club’s Jo Fargus was the winner of the women’s 200 backstroke, as she went 1:55.60.