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COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 27. MICHIGAN's Tyler Clary, the NCAA and American record holder in the distance medley, had no peer in this evening's championship heat of the men's 400 IM.
Clary defended his title from last year with a pool record time of 3:38.89. That effort erased the 3:40.27 he set during Big Tens last month. The win gave Michigan its fourth in a row in the event at NCAAs. Prior to Clary winning with his American record of 3:35.98 last year, Alex Vanderkaay topped the event in 2007 (3:40.89) and 2008 (3:41.58).
"I am really happy," Clary said. "I paced the race exactly how I wanted. I've got to work harder next year on my second half 200, but I am very, very, very pleased I was able to pull off this win."
Clary definitely bounced back from some adversity this year. Earlier in the season, Clary had the H1N1 virus and also fought through some shoulder ailments en route to his second straight victory in the event.
Overall, Michigan has now won the event 10 times. Other winners include Carl Robie (1965), Tom Dolan (1995, 1996) and Tim Siciliano (1999-2001). Clary's time of 3:38.89 also now stands as the 12th fastest of all time. Clary now owns three of the top 12 times.
Georgia Tech's Gal Nevo finished second with a time of 3:40.68, while Georgia's Billy Cregar placed third in 3:41.08.
With one up and one down, Texas took a slim lead in the team race with 197 points. California dropped to second with 192 even after scoring three down. Arizona (153), Florida (149) and Auburn (148.5) made up the top five.
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