By Kevin Noth, SwimInfo Special Correspondent
Photos by Tim Morse
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., March 26. THE 200 breaststroke has a new champion and his name is Vladislav Polyakov. After four years of dominance by Brendan Hansen of Texas, the Alabama sophomore seized the moment, taking the NCAA title in a pool record time of 1:53.93.
Polyakov held a substantial lead through 150 yards, but held off a hard-charging Mike Alexandrov of Northwestern, who recorded a 29.30 final split, by .11. Alexandrov came up for second in a time of 1:54.04.
Third place went to Gary Marshall of Stanford after clocking 1:54.54. Marshall maintained thoughts of going two for two in the breaststroke events after capturing the 100 crown last night. But the Cardinal senior faded on the final 25 split, losing more than a half second to Polyakov and over a full second to Alexandrov.
Scott Usher of Wyoming took fourth (1:55.33) and Vanja Rogulj of Virginia (1:56.17) placed fifth. Dave Rollins (Arizona), Henrique Barbosa (Cal) and Eric Shanteau (Auburn) complete the championship field in sixth through eighth, respectively.