Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 29. LOUISVILLE's Joao De Lucca earned his team's second NCAA title ever with a blistering outside smoke performance in the men's 200-yard free at the NCAA Division I Men's Championships.
De Lucca blasted a time of 1:31.51 from lane 1 to become the third fastest performer all time in the event's history. Only Simon Burnett (1:31.20) and Ricky Berens (1:31.31) have been faster with Berens' top time coming this year as part of an unorthodox American record in the 500-yard free in Austin, Texas. Coming into the meet, De Lucca had stood 14th overall with a 1:32.57 from last November.
As the NCAA has been doing all meet, plenty of perfect choices for award presenters as Berens, a volunteer coach with Texas, was on hand to dish out the hardware.
De Lucca beat USC's Dimitri Colupaev (1:32.74) by more than a second, but that's not the largest margin of victory ever in the event's history. Burnett downed Michigan's Peter Vanderkaay by 2.11 seconds (1:31.20 to 1:33.31) in the fastest swim ever in 2006.
Stanford's Tom Kremer raced to third-place honors with a time of 1:33.07, while USC's Cristian Quintero picked up fourth in 1:33.24.
Michigan's Michael Wynalda (1:33.38), Texas' Clay Youngquist (1:33.52), defending champ Dax Hill of Texas (1:33.73) and Michigan's Connor Jaeger (1:33.85) also competed in the championship heat. Georgia's Matias Koski led the B final with a 1:33.84.
Michigan stretched its lead to 270-220.5 ahead of two-time defending champion California. USC moved to third with 160 points, while Texas (159) and Florida (153.5) held fourth and fifth heading into the 100 breast.