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AUSTIN, Texas, March 27. THE men’s 50-yard freestyle came down to the touch, which proved not to be enough to split the difference as Alabama’s Kristian Gkolomeev and Arizona’s Brad Tandy wound up tying at the NCAA Division I Men’s Championships. The duo matched each other for the title with 18.95s.
That’s Alabama’s first national title since Vlad Polyakov won the 200-yard breast in 2007 after having won in 2005. Meanwhile, that’s Arizona’s second victory ever in the 50 free as Roland Schoeman is the only other Wildcat to ever win the event.
That’s also the first tie in the men’s 50-yard freestyle since 1956 when Stanford’s Robin Moore and Yale’s Rex Aubrey shared the title with 22.1s. In 1964, there was a timing tie between Yale’s Mike Austin and teammate Steve Clark with matching 21.00s, but at that time officials could overrule a clock-based tie, so the officials gave the win to Austin.
In fact, outside of a handful of what were called judges decision wins that were really ties, there’s only been a few ties ever in NCAA history.
Auburn’s Cesar Garcia tied Michigan’s Jason Coben for the 10-meter diving title in 2003 with matching 575.80-point tallies, while Michigan’s Richard Nelson tied Princeton’s Gardiner Green in the 100 breast in 1963 with matching 1:02.2s.
“Obviously I wish I would have won it, but I’d rather take a win than second place so that’s fine,” Tandy said. “I’ve been trying to work on my second 25 (yards) and I didn’t quite hit it but I was able to hold the speed I had from the first.”
“I feel great. I don’t know what to say. I didn’t expect that. I’m a freshman and that’s awesome,” Gkolomeev said. “Oh my God, it’s great. I have three more years. This is the best.”
Florida’s Brad deBorde (18.98), Minnesota’s Derek Toomey (19.05), California’s Seth Stubblefield (19.09), Texas’ John Murray (19.11), Florida State’s Paul Murray (19.14) and Texas’ Matt Ellis (19.20) earned A final team points as well.
NC State’s Simonas Bilis raced his way to the consolation heat win in 19.21, touching out Auburn’s Marcelo Chierighini (19.22) by the slimmest of margins. California’s Tony Cox (19.28), California’s Tyler Messerschmidt (19.33), UNLV’s Joao De Lucca (19.46), NC State’s David Williams (19.57) and Georgia Tech’s Andrew Kosic (19.57) also vied for the consolation title in the B final.
1 Gkolomeev, Kristian FR Alabama 19.05 18.95 18.5
r:+0.69 9.25 18.95 (9.70)
1 Tandy, Brad JR Arizona 18.96 18.95 18.5
r:+0.60 9.11 18.95 (9.84)
1. California 105
2. Florida 103
3. Michigan 85
4. Texas 80
5. Arizona 55.5
6. Auburn 45
7. Georgia 44
8. UNLV 30
9. Stanford 27
10. USC 23