By Phillip Whitten
Federal Way, WA – Stanford University swam to its 18th straight Pac-10 Championship yesterday, as the conference meet ended at the Kings County Aquatic Center. Cal was second, USC third.
While Stanford was wrapping up team honors yesterday, individual honors were spread among four four schools, with Cal gathering the lion’s share. The Bears sent a message to all of collegiate swimming when, in the meet’s final event, they swam to an awe-inspiring NCAA and US Open record in the 400 yd freestyle relay, becoming the first team ever to crack 2:50.
The Cal team of Matt Macedo (42.99), Scott Greenwood (43.42), Anthony Ervin (41.73) and Bart Kizierowski (41.71) touched in 2:49.85.
Earlier Kizierowski and Ervin finished one-two in the individual 100, Kizierowski, the defending NCAA champ, clocking a meet record 42.29, with the freshman second in 42.82.
USC’s Ryosuke Imai completed his sweep of the breaststroke events, winning the 200 in 1:56.58. Cal had five swimmers in the eight-man final, and finished two-three-four, with all three men swimming 1:58s.
Arizona’s Ryk Neethling left no doubt that he is king of the distance events. The winner of the 500 earlier stroked to a 14:36.32 clocking in the 1650, a meet record, and more than two lengths of the pool ahead of his closest pursuer, USC’s Erik Vendt.
Stanford had two winners on the meet’s final day. Freshman Randall Bal wrapped up the best meet of his life by winning the 200 back in 1:43.56. Earlier he had won the 100. The battle for second was ferocious as only five hundredths of a second separated the next three finishers: Stanford’s Dan Westcott (1:44.61), USC’s Leonardo Costa (1:44.65) and Cal’s Matt Macedo (1:44.66).
The Cardinal’s Adam Messner also finished on a high note as the 200 free champ took the 200 fly in 1:43.34, more than a second ahead of ASU’s Attila Czene (1:44.41).