By Phillip Whitten
200 meter breaststroke
EAST MEADOW, New York, March 27. YESTERDAY Brendan Hansen became only the second man to win the 100 breaststroke all four years of his college career. Tonight he was shooting to become the first to do the same in the 200 breast.
Only two men before him had won the 100 and 200 distances of the same stroke for four consecutive years: John Naber in the backstroke and Pablo Morales in the fly. As he stood on the starting block, the burden of history lay heavy on Hansen’s broad shoulders.
Could he do it?
Not to worry.
All of the stress disappeared with the sound of the starter’s horn. Then it was smooth stroking for 200 meters. Hansen took the lead at the first turn and at the 50 he had forged a lead of 45-hundredths over Wyoming’s Scott Usher.
The Texas senior kept forging ahead, recording the fastest split for each 50 meters. He was 28.22 at the 50, 59.49 at the 100, 1:31.76 at the 150 and 2:04.73 at the finish.
It was a new NCAA record, breaking Ed Moses’ 2:06.40 from 2000. The time made Hansen the second-fastest performer in history behind Moses. It also assured him a place among college swimming’s greatest stars, as he became only the third man to achieve a quadruple-double.
“I was really fired up after Ian’s swim,” Hansen said, “but I was trying to stay calm.
I focused on getting out fast so I could have some open water to do a really fast time.”
“I could hear the crowd yelling each time my head popped up,” he said, “and that really spurred me on..
Asked about the quadruple-double, he said: “It hasn’t hit me yet. I think, though, that someday, when I look back, it’ll really blow my mind.
Wyoming’s Usher was second in 2:07.66, pulling away from Stanford’s Gary Marshall (2:07.98) in the final 50.