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AUSTIN, Texas, March 29. LOUISVILLE’s Joao De Lucca accomplished a historic feat by matching the 100-yard free title with his 200 free win from earlier at the NCAA Division I Men’s Championships.
De Lucca raced his way to victory in a time of 41.70, making him the first man since 1995 when Gustavo Borges pull off the difficult 100, 200 free double. The swim vaulted De Lucca to 11th all time in the event.
“I didn’t expect to win the 100 free at all. To be honest I really thought (Auburn’s) Marcelo [Chierighini] was going to get this one. He’s done a really really good job this season. I knew he was going to come for me so I changed my strategy. I went out faster,” De Lucca said. “I was kind of scared. Definitely winning and beating Marcelo, we’re (national) teammates. We have a big rivalry. He started swimming when he was 15 or so and he’s really good… We have this big rivalry. We’re good friends but the rivalry has always been there and definitely winning this race means a lot to me. I didn’t expect to win at all. I’m shocked. It’s kind of like winning the first time.”
Auburn’s Marcelo Chierighini placed second overall in 41.97, well off his lifetime best of 41.46, but more than enough to claim second-place points this evening. USC’s Cristian Quintero popped a 42.14 to take third overall in the A final.
Penn State’s Shane Ryan placed fourth in 42.32, while John Murray claimed some much needed points for Texas with a fifth-place 42.43.
Auburn’s Kyle Darmody (42.51), California’s Seth Stubblefield (42.59) and Florida’s Brad deBorde’s (42.82) closed out the rest of the finishes in the finale. Stubblefield’s swim continued the trend of points going Cal’s way.
The swims kept breaking the way of the Golden Bears as Tyler Messerschmidt dropped a 42.28 to win the consolation heat. It’s been a long road back for Messerschmidt, who missed out on competing last year as he took some time away to clean up some academics. He responded to the challenge, and is back in style this year. Meanwhile, Matt Ellis of Texas wound up taking just seventh overall with a 42.98 as California kept stretching its projected lead.
Alabama’s BJ Hornikel (42.39), NC State’s Simonas Bilis (42.42), Tennessee’s Luke Percy (42.56), Alabama’s Kristian Gkolomeev (42.59), Auburn’s James Disney-May (42.84) and Minnesota’s Derek Toomey (43.24) also competed in the B final.
1 De Lucca, Joao SR Louisville 42.09 41.70 20
r:+0.70 9.59 19.94 (10.35)
30.69 (10.75) 41.70 (11.01)
2 Chierighini, Marcelo SR Auburn 41.52 41.97 17
r:+0.73 9.61 20.26 (10.65)
30.97 (10.71) 41.97 (11.00)
3 Quintero, Cristian JR Southern Cal. 42.11 42.14 16
r:+0.69 9.64 20.26 (10.62)
31.30 (11.04) 42.14 (10.84)
1. California 385.5
2. Texas 365.5
3. Florida 319
4. Michigan 256
5. Georgia 237
6. Auburn 174
7. USC 156
8. Stanford 136
9. Arizona 135.5
10. Indiana 112