DALLAS, Texas, January 12. THE No. 8 Northwestern men obliterated five meet and pool records during Friday's action at the two-day Dallas Morning News Swimming & Diving Classic hosted by Southern Methodist University at the Perkins Natatorium.
Northwestern leads the field with 180 points after the first day of competition, nine points better than second-place and third-ranked California. SMU is in third with 152 points, while No. 10 Florida State is fourth with 131.
Each of the four squads entered one team per relay and two swimmers per event. The swimmers were seeded into a championship final and consolation final.
Northwestern wasted no time announcing its presence at the meet.
The quartet of Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest), Mike Alexandrov (Champaign, Ill./Centennial), Kyle Bubolz (Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha North) and Bruno Barbic (Zagreb, Croatia/V. Gymnazija) — one of the favorites to challenge for the NCAA title in the event — set a meet and pool record in the 400 medley relay, winning the race with an NCAA 'A' standard of 3:10.87.
Third-ranked Cal was second in the race with a 3:13.86, nearly three full seconds behind NU. The previous pool and meet record in the event was 3:12.10, set by Cal in 2003.
In the first individual event, Alexandrov won the 400 IM with an NCAA 'B' cut of 3:50.18, out-racing SMU's Ian Clark by .71 seconds. Sophomore Adam Beckman (Kearney, Neb./Kearney) took third in the consolation final with a 4:01.80 for the 'Cats.
In the memorial 200 free, Grevers timed in with an NCAA 'A' cut of 1:34.21 to shatter the previous pool and meet records. The time also blew away Grevers' previous school record of 1:36.13 in the event. For his victory in the event, Grevers was awarded the Jerry Heidenreich Memorial 200 freestyle event honors.
Eric Nilsson (Weston, Mass./Weston) grabbed first in the 200 free consolation heat, swimming a season-best time of 1:36.75 for an NCAA 'B' cut.
Barbic took third in the 50 free, swimming a 20.44 for NU. Bubolz turned in an NCAA 'B' time of 20.25 to win the consolation final.
In the 1-meter diving event, Northwestern's Alex Kiaie (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet) was fourth with a score of 267.70 — a personal-best score for the sophomore.
In the 100 fly, Bubolz came out and ripped apart the pool and meet records with an NCAA 'A' cut of 46.76 — his best time of the year and just .40 seconds shy of his school record. The previous pool and meet record was 46.94, set by Cal's Michael Cavic in 2003.
Jon Ehret (Phoenix, Ariz./Brophy College Prep) took third in the consolation final of the 100 fly with a 50.14, also his best time of the year.
Grevers also took down the meet and pool records with an NCAA 'A' cut of 46.86 to win the 100 back. The two-time defending NCAA champ outswam Cal's David Russel, who turned in an NCAA 'A' time of 47.30 to finish second. The previous meet and pool record of 46.99 was set by Cal's Alex Lim in 2003.
Beckman took third in the consolation of the 100 back with a 50.80.
Alexandrov also brought down the previous pool and meet records in the 100 breast, swimming an NCAA 'A' cut of 53.01 to win the event by .24 seconds over Cal's Alex Hetland. Alexandrov's time was just .06 seconds shy of the school-record time he swam to finish third at the 2005 NCAA Championships.
Northwestern's John Franklin (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./North Broward Prep) won the consolation final with a time of 57.15.
The team of Nilsson, Barbic, Beckman and Ehret ended up second in the 800 free relay with a time of 6:41.88 to conclude Friday night's action.