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FEDERAL WAY, Washington, March 22. WITH the entire crowd looking at lane three and four, Arizona and Texas, battling for the win, California snuck in from lane eight to capture the first NCAA title on offer at the NCAA Division I Men's Championships.
California's foursome of Tyler Messerschmidt, Shayne Fleming, Fabio Gimondi and Seth Stubblefield won in 1:16.58, the same time Texas posted to lead prelims this morning. Stubblefield came home in 19.00 on the anchor. The win is California's third all time in the event's history. The Golden Bears first won the title with a 1:15.78 from Duje Draganja, Rolandas Gimbutis, Jonas Tilly and Milorad Cavic in 2005. Nathan Adrian, Graeme Moore, Joshua Daniels and Guy Barnea also won with a 1:15.71 in 2010.
Auburn's Drew Modrov, Karl Krug, Tofey Leon and Marcelo Chierighini grabbed second overall with a 1:16.67, while Arizona's Adam Small, Kelley Wyman, Mitchell Friedemann and Thomas Gutman wound up third in 1:16.71. Chierighini clocked a 19.02 on the anchor leg. Texas faded to fourth in 1:16.72. Stanford (1:17.14), Southern California (1:17.91), Florida (1:18.17) and Louisville (1:18.22) also swam in the championship heat. Additionally, Louisville's Joao De Lucca had another strong anchor leg with a 19.09.
A trio of 18 splits went down with Wyman (18.83), Fleming (18.94) and Krug (18.95) all going sub-19 as the second legs. Notably, Kenyon's Zachary Turk had the top 50-free split of the night at the NCAA Division III Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., with an 18.78 for his squad.
Florida State's Paul Murray, Zachary Bailey, David Sanders and Mark Weber won the consolation heat in 1:18.34, while Michigan took second in 1:18.36. Ohio State (1:18.41), Minnesota (1:18.47), North Carolina (1:18.61), Texas A&M (1:18.72), Iowa (1:18.96) and Purdue (1:19.05) also completed in the B final.
California jumped out to the lead with 40 points, while Auburn (34), Arizona (32), Texas (30) and Stanford (28) rounded out the top five.
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