By Phillip Whitten
EAST MEADOW, New York, March 25. AUBURN’S Fred Bousquet did it the hard way. But he did it.
The Frenchman, defending NCAA champion in the 50 free, almost didn’t make it back for the evening’s finals today. In the prelims he clocked 21.94, tying Lithuanian Rolandas Gimbutis for the eighth and final spot.
“I was very mad at myself,” he said. I was national champion. My mother traveled all the way from France and my sister came from Israel just to see me swim, and I wasn’t even in the finals,” Bousquet said. “I was in a swim-off for the last spot.
“I needed to be mad and our guys knew it. They made me feel good that I could swim faster and they made me feel ashamed. So I knew I had to win the swim-off.
“I knew this guy (Gimbutis) from European meets in the last three or four years. He’s a tall guy and I knew that if he was ahead at the 25, he would win.”
Gimbutis was never ahead. Bousquet got a great start and touched in 21.50 to Gimbutis’s 22.17. The Frenchman was in the final – in lane 8.
Lane 8 is not a bad place to be. In the final, Bousquet got another good start and simply smoked the field. When he touched in 21.10, the crowd roared its appreciation. It was a new world record, cracking the former standard of 21.13 by Britain’s Mark Foster in 2001.
EVENT: 4 MEN's 50 Meter Freestyle
NCAA Record: :21.21 Anthony Ervin California 2000
World Record: :21.13 Mark Foster GBR 2001
American Record: :21.21 Anthony Ervin California 2000
US Open Record: :21.21 Anthony Ervin California 2000
QUALIFYING FOR "A" Cut: :19.74
QUALIFYING FOR Meet Qualifying: :19.96
RESULTS of FINALS
RANK NAME YEAR TEAM PRELIM TIME
1) BOUSQUET, FRED JR AUBURN :21.94 :21.10**
** World Record: NCAA Record: US Open Record:
2) CROCKER, IAN SR TEXAS :21.44 :21.53
3) WOCHOMURKA, RYAN JR AUBURN :21.62 :21.59
4) DUJE, DRAGANJA JR CAL. BERKELEY :21.53 :21.61
5) GIBB, DEREK SR AUBURN :21.69 :21.69
6) FERNS, LYNDON SO ARIZONA :21.73 :21.73
7) SCHNELL, ANDREW SR STANFORD :21.91 :21.94
8) LaFLEUR, ERIC SR ARIZONA :21.62 :21.95
9) GREVERS, MATT FR NORTHWESTERN :21.96 :22.01
10) JAYME, CARLOS SR FLORIDA :22.10 :22.08
11) BRUNELLI, NICK SR ARIZONA STATE :21.98 :22.10
12) GIMBUTIS, ROLANDAS FR CAL. BERKELEY :21.94 :22.13
13) O'BRYAN, BOBBY SR STANFORD :22.09 :22.20
14) CAVIC, MILORAD SO CAL. BERKELEY :22.07 :22.27
15) GUERALDI, RENATO SR CAL. BERKELEY :21.99 :22.33
16) ROSE, MATT SR TEXAS A&M :22.05 :22.36