FEDERAL WAY, Washington, March 28. THE remarkable climb of Indiana's Ben Hesen continued with his initial NCAA title in the 100 back at the NCAA Division I Men's Championships.
After finishing second to Arizona's Albert Subirats last year, Hesen blistered the field with the second-fastest time in the event ever when he touched in 44.72. Hesen actually was under Ryan Lochte's American-record pace with a 21.40 at the 50-yard mark.
Hesen began this year last summer at the USA Swimming National Championships when he went out under world-record pace alongside Michael Phelps. He wound up losing to the swimming supernova, but he gained much confidence from the swim and has been a man on a mission.
Hesen's victory is Indiana's seventh in the event and first since Michael Stamm won the 100 back for the Hoosiers in 1973 with a 50.91. Other Hoosiers to win are Frank McKinney (1959), Charlie Hickcox (1967-68), Larry Barbiere (1970) and Santiago Esteva (1971).
Additionally, the win broke Indiana into the 80s for total program titles as the 80th event win. The Hoosiers joined Michigan (157), Stanford (135), Ohio State (117), Southern California (112) and Texas (91) above the 80 total.
"Before the race I looked up at my fans and team and knew I had to win," Hesen said. "I had no choice. In my opinion they are the best and the wildest and that is just my style. I like it. I love it. It was great.
"I'm real proud, right now I probably can't even come up with all the words but I think it's great," Hesen continued. "We've got some young swimmers coming in and we're going to start to get the cream of the crop rolling back into Indiana."
Subirats had his second straight year of winning both the 100 back and 100 fly denied when he settled for second with a time of 45.40 that is tied for 11th all time. California's David Russell placed third in 45.42.
Arizona extended its lead to 97 points over Texas, 336 to 239, while California (204.5), Stanford (203) and Auburn (176) rounded out the top five.