By Emily Sampl
BOULDER, Colorado, February 6. THIS weekend, the Northeast-10 championships kicked off the conference championship slate, while several intriguing men's dual meets highlighted the last weekend of major dual meet competition for this school year. Here are a few highlights from the past three days of racing.
One of the first conference meets of the season, the Northeast-10 Conference Championships, got underway Friday in New Haven, Conn. and witnessed several conference record-breaking swims in the first two days of competition. LeMoyne kicked off the record-breaking spree with a 1:25.57 in the men's 200 free relay. Southern Connecticut's Matt Sorena then eclipsed his own NE-10 record in the 500 free with a 4:36.01. Sorena's teammate, Amanda Thomas, kept the ball rolling for the Owls with a new conference record in the women's 200 IM (2:02.50), an NCAA A-cut. Thomas added a second A-cut and Northeast-10 record with a leadoff of 56.07 on the Owls' winning 400 medley relay.
On Saturday evening, Thomas continued her incredible meet with a third A-cut and NE-10 record in the 400 IM (4:20.76), while Saint Rose's Vadim Yafayev successfully defended his title in the men's 400 IM with a NE-10 record of 4:01.34. Bentley's Anne Kaduboski (100 fly, 57.12), Southern Connecticut's Austin Mizell (100 breast, 57.40) also set new NE-10 records in finals. Heading into tonight's final session, Southern Connecticut holds comfortable leads in both the men's and women's team races.
On Friday, the top-ranked California men raced to a 160-133 win over rival USC in Berkeley. Tom Shields continued his impressive season, winning the 200 free (1:36.19), 200 back (1:44.35) and 100 fly (46.92) to lead the Bears. Nathan Adrian had an equally dominant meet, winning the 50 free in 19.25 and 100 free in 42.57. Adrian's time in the 50 may be the fastest recorded at a dual meet, while his swim in the 100 is certainly up there as well. Damir Dugonjic added a sizzling 53.67 in the 100 breast, the fifth-fastest time in Division I this season.
On Saturday, USC traveled to Palo Alto for a dual against Stanford. Distance king Chad LaTourette won the mile in an outstanding time of 14:52.23, the second-fastest time recorded this season behind only his own 14:47.06. Several other Stanford swimmers had noteworthy swims at the meet, as Bobby Bollier picked up a win in the 200 fly with a 1:45.81 and Alex Coville led a trio of swimmers under the 20-second mark in the 50 free with a 19.79. Vlad Morozov (19.92) and Aaron Wayne (19.99) finished second and third.
The Texas A&M Aggies traveled to the University of Texas on Saturday for the 2011 installment of the State Farm Lone Star Showdown between the two rivals. Despite a strong start, the Aggies couldn't hold on and fell to Texas, 170.5-127.5. Several Longhorns posted statement swims at the meet, including Dax Hill (100 free, 43.20), Austin Surhoff (200 back, 1:43.94), Jackson Wilcox (500 free, 4:17.79) and Eric Friedland (200 breast, 1:55.64). Friedland's time is among the fastest recorded 200 breast swims in dual meet competition. Omar Enriquez (1650 free, 15:06.23), Balazs Makany (200 free, 1:36.24) and Amini Fonua (100 breast, 54.35) had solid swims for the Aggies.
Only a couple of highly ranked women's teams raced this weekend, with some of the fastest times coming out of the Virginia-North Carolina State meet. Virginia's Katya Bachrouche put up the second-fastest time in the 1000 free this year with a 9:40.96, behind only Haley Anderson's 9:40.26. Anne Myers finished second in 9:42. 61, the fourth-fastest time this season. Lauren Perdue grabbed a duo of wins in the 200 free (1:47.27) and 50 free (22.75).
For complete results from all of the meets this weekend, check out the College Channel.