AUSTIN, Tex, March 1. TEXAS Senior Ian Crocker (Portland, Maine) established the third world record of his career on Sunday at the Big 12 Conference time trials at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center after posting a time of 23.30 in the 50-meter butterfly.
The mark, which broke the previous time of 23.43 set by Matthew Welsh of Australia in July of 2003, is Crocker's third world record as he also owns the top marks in the 100-meter butterfly (50.98) and the 400-meter medley relay (3:31.54).
"I basically came to the pool today to support my teammates and Coach Reese asked me if I wanted to get in the pool and swim the 50-meter butterfly," Crocker said. "I wasn't planning on competing, but I knew I would have a hard time sleeping tonight if I didn't give it a shot. I just missed the record last summer and when I got in the pool today I felt like I had more speed than ever before."
Even more amazing about Crocker's swim is that he did it at a point in the season when he is unshaved and unrested. That didn't hold him back this past weekend at the 2004 Big 12 Conference Championships as he was named the male Swimmer of the Year after winning six events. Amongst those six wins was the 100-yard butterfly where Crocker lowered his own American record in the event from 45.44 to 44.72. In the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, Crocker established new Big 12 meet records with times of 19.18 and 42.68, respectively.
Crocker's other two world records came this past summer in Barcelona, Spain at the 2003 World Championships. In the 100-meter butterfly, Crocker became the first person ever to go below 51.00 in the event as he topped American teammate Michael Phelps for the gold medal. By virtue of his performance in the 100-meter butterfly, Crocker was placed on the 400-meter medley relay along with Texas teammates Aaron Peirsol (Irvine, Calif.) and Brendan Hansen (Haverford, Pa.) as well as Jason Lezak as the quartet combined for a mark of 3:31.54.
The next competition for Crocker will come at the 2004 NCAA Championships in Long Island from March 25-27. Crocker, who owns a gold medal from the 2000 Olympics, will be aiming for his fourth straight title in the 100 butterfly. Only Mark Spitz of Indiana and Pablo Morales of Stanford have won the 100 butterfly at the NCAA Championships four years in a row.
The world record by Crocker set on Monday will be made official by FINA in a month. The FINA organization requires several compliance issues, such as measurements of the pool and drug testing, before making a world record official.