FEDERAL WAY, Washington, March 28. ARIZONA's Albert Subirats had a tough time doing it, but he mustered enough energy to catch Auburn's Alexei Puninski to win the 100 fly for the second straight year at the NCAA Division I Men's Championships.
Subirats dropped a time of 45.07, the sixth-fastest ever, to defend his title from a year ago when he clocked a U.S. Open and NCAA record of 44.57. He guaranteed himself the chance to pull off the 100 back-100 fly single-night feat like last year as well.
"I've been (swimming three events in a night) since my sophomore year," Subirats said. "You prepare all year knowing you have three races in one day. It's tough, this year has been a little harder on me than last year. But, you've got to do it for the coaches and the team and that's what I did."
Arizona's fifth win in the event ever is the third consecutive for the Wildcats with Lyndon Ferns winning in 2006. Martin Pepper (1996) and Seth Pepper (1993) were the other Arizona winners.
The heat was one of the fastest ever as Puninski placed second in 45.51, and was out under record pace with a 20.60. The time moved Puninski into eighth all time in the event ahead of Lars Frolander (45.59) and behind Mike Cavic (45.44).
Stanford's Austin Staab cut his lifetime-best from prelims of 45.79 down to a 45.61 for third place. That performance leaves Staab as the 10th-fastest of all time.
Northwestern's Kyle Bubolz also chipped in with a sub-46 for fourth in a sterling time of 45.74 to move into 11th all time in the event.
Arizona held a 45-point advantage over Auburn, 216-171, after the event. Michigan (159), Texas (156) and Stanford (151) closed out the top five.