PHOENIX, Arizona, March 8. THIS morning Swimming World learned that North Carolina junior Stephanie Peacock will not be at the NCAA championships in two weeks, as an undisclosed illness that kept her out of the ACC championships has not gone away and will keep the reigning 1650 freestyle champion in Chapel Hill. Peacock was a big contributor to the UNC team at the NCAA championships last year, scoring 36 of the team's 44 points.
Ricky Berens got the crowd at the American Short Course Championships on its feet last night in Austin, Texas, as the two-time Olympian set an American record in the 200-yard freestyle with a 1:31.31. It's the second-fastest performance in history, just a couple of ticks off the U.S. Open record of 1:31.20 set by Simon Burnett in 2006. Ricky showed up to the pool this morning to swim in the prelims of the 200 free, but instead of going for the full 200, he only swam a 100 fast, posting a lifetime best 41.90 at the 100-yard mark then swimming easy for 100 yards. This was the first time Berens had been under 42 seconds in his career, which shows continued improvement for the 24-year-old.
That wasn't the only record broken last night, as two NCAA Division II marks fell in Birmingham, Alabama. First up was Wayne State's Piotr YA-HOE-VICH in the 400 IM with a blazing fast 3:47.62. He took down defending champion Marko Blazevski in the process to make it a sweep of the IMs.
The other record fell in the men's 400 medley relay, as Florida Southern and Grand Canyon renewed their fierce matchup from the 200 medley relay, which Florida Southern won by mere hundredths. This time, it was Grand Canyon that got to the wall first with a 3:11.93. One of the highlights of that relay was the 51.98 breaststroke split by Eetu Karvonen of Grand Canyon, who will be defending his 100 breast title today.
Grand Canyon got another win on the board last night, as Mychala Lynch defended her 100 fly title with a 54.31 over Alaska's Margot Adams. Queens University freshman Caroline Arakelian won the women's 400 IM with a 4:17.51 to take down defending champ Amanda Thomas, and UC-San Diego's Anjali Shakya won the women's 200 free in a wall-to-wall victory with a 1:47.95.
Besides Jachowicz, other men's individual champions included Ouachita Baptist's Marcus Schlesinger in the 100 fly with a 47.54, and Drury senior Vladimir Sidorkin in the 200 free with a 1:35.76.
Sidorkin was a key leg in helping the Drury men beat Grand Canyon in the 200 free relay, splitting a 19.50 on his anchor leg swim. With the two victories last night, the Drury men now hold a 78-point lead over Grand Canyon going into day three's competition. The Drury women were still unable to get a win at the NCAAs, but their depth helped keep their lead, by 57 points, over defending team champs Wayne State. Ashland won the women's 200 free relay with a 1:32.20, while LIU Post took the 400 medley relay with a 3:42.48.
You can read more about last night's competition in our recap on swimmingworld.com, courtesy of our on-deck correspondent Richie Kryzanowski.
The final Division I men's conference meet is underway, and the Ivy League championships is showing us a good team battle between Harvard and defending champions Princeton. Princeton is looking to make it five in a row, but Harvard is putting up a good fight so far with three wins on the first night. The Crimson men won the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay, as well as 1-meter diving. The big swim of the day was the 200 IM, where Dartmouth's Nejc Zupan swam a 1:43.94, just three tenths off the automatic NCAA qualifying standard. Zupan's best event will be tomorrow, when he swims the 200 breast. He swam a 1:53.87 in December which is now the fifth-fastest collegiate time in the country. Chuck Katis of Harvard will likely give Zupan a run in the 200 breast, and we'll have results of the meet for you on swimmingworld.com.