PHOENIX, Arizona, March 7. ONE championship winning streak ended last night, while two others seem to be on pace to remain intact. Let's start at the Pac 12 men's meet, where the California Golden Bears ended Stanford's 31-year reign at the meet. Cal was leading for the entire meet, but Stanford fought hard on the final day, making up a 65-point deficit to get within 25 points of retaining the title. Tom Shields was the only three-event winner at the meet, adding the 200 fly to his 100 fly and 100 back wins. And Vlad Morozov continued to shine in the sprint freestyles with a 41.38 in the 100 free, a personal best in the event for the Russian. He came back later to anchor USC's winning 400 free relay with a 40.81, the only swimmer under 42 in the entire relay event. David Nolan had his hands full in the 200 back, just touching out Cal freshman Jacob Pebley by six hundredths of a second. With the team win, Cal heads to the NCAAs in prime position to make it three in a row for the Bears.
Over at the NCAA Division II meet, the Drury Panthers are on pace to get back the women's title they lost by one point last year, and continue their men's title streak to nine. What's remarkable about Drury's lead in the point totals is they were unable to win a single event last night, which shows the remarkable depth they brought to the meet, where nearly every Drury swimmer who competed in prelims yesterday got a second swim. Two Division II records fell last night, as Piotor Jachowicz of Wayne State swam a 1:44.82 to break his own division record by almost a second. Jachowicz is just a sophomore, so look for this record to continue to fall in the next two years. To conclude last night's competition, Florida Southern and Grand Canyon battled in the men's 200 medley relay, with Florida Southern getting the win and the NCAA record by two hundredths over Grand Canyon with a 1:27.21.
The 1000 freestyles started the night, with Florida Southern freshman Allison Crenshaw posting a 9:57.29 for the win, leading two other swimmers under the 10-minute mark. Mark Rubin, a senior at Incarnate Word, won the men's 1000 with a 9:02.85. Rubin went to high school right here in Phoenix and won his first national title last night.
Amanda Thomas of Southern Connecticut defended her title in the women's 200 IM, but was unable to get close to the meet record she set last year, so we're still waiting to see the first sub-2:00 200 IM in women's Division II history. Incarnate Word's Tamiris Nascimento won the 50 freestyle as expected with a 22.76, just three hundredths ahead of Ashland's Julie Widmann. Michael Branning also won the men's 50 as expected and also had a tough battle to the wall, getting there just three hundredths ahead of Ouachita Baptist's Marcus Schlesinger. Branning got caught up at the turn, keeping him from improving on the 19.55 he swam at the conference meet a couple of weeks ago. And though it was a close race in the men's 200 medley relay, Wayne State was the clear winner of the women's event with a 1:41.52.
Drury leads the women's meet by 30 points, and the men are ahead by 20 points going into today's competition.
Up in Buffalo, New York, Indian River is dominating the national junior college championships, as they have done for the past 31 years. Unlike Stanford, it looks they will not be challenged to keep their streak alive. Bradley Tandy was the star of the 400 medley relay with a 43.29 freestyle split, which would have been competitive at the Division I level. Not surprisingly, that's where Tandy is headed next season, when he'll make the move to the University of Arizona. The bulk of competition begins today, and we'll see how Tandy does in the 50 free. Last year he went 19.06 to win the title. To break 19 seconds would really send a message to his Division I potential competitors.
Of course we'll be providing complete recaps of all these meets on swimmingworld.com, so be sure to stay with us throughout the championship week.
In Leeds, England, several swimmers are competing in the British International Open, which begins today. This week was typically the time when Great Britain holds its national championships, but the recent performance review suggested moving the nationals to the summer and selecting the world championship team then, instead of six months before worlds. Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Natalie Coughlin were the big draws in today's finals, competing in the 100 free final. Kromowidjojo is the reigning Olympic champion in the 50 and 100 freestyles, and, well, Coughlin needs no introduction. Kromowidjojo won the 100 free today in 54.14, with Coughlin fourth in 54.90. With Rebecca Adlington announcing her retirement, Great Britain is looking for someone to replace her in the distance freestyle events. That race was scheduled to start right as we began taping today's' show, so be sure to go to swimmingworld.com to find out who won the women's 800, as well as the other events on the docket in Leeds.
This meet will also feature British backstroker Liam Tancock, who will be racing for the first time since the Olympics, as well as 200 breast Olympic silver medalist Michael Jamieson. Anthony Ervin is racing the 50 and 100 freestyles as the lone American representative at the meet.
Garrett Weber-Gale is at the White House speaking on behalf of the Let's Move initiative, promoting a healthy eating lifestyle that he's been advocating through his Athletic Foodie company. Weber-Gale tweeted this photo this morning as he arrived on the White House grounds.