By Phillip Whitten
AUSTIN, December 4. THE University of Texas won both the men's and women's team titles at this weekend's Texas Invitational in Austin, but it was the #2 and 3-place teams, Arizona and Wisconsin, that stole the show.
On the final day of the three-day meet, the Arizona Wildcats continued to demonstrate just how tough they'll be in the freestyle relays at the 2005 NCAAs.
The men's 100 free is a case in point, and it proved an interesting counterpoint to yesterday's 200 free. In that race Arizona's Lyndon Ferns won the final in a very fast 1:34.63, but teammate Simon Burnett took the B final in an NCAA/US Open record 1:32.22. Tonight it was Burnett who took the 100 free final in an impressive 42.96, ahead of Texas' Garrett Weber-Gale at 43.53. But Ferns won the B final in an even faster 42.57, splitting 20.35 at the 50. (Later, Burnett led off the 400 free relay in 42.90).
Not to be outdone, the Lady Wildcats' Lacey Nymeyer swam a pr 48.80 to take the 100 free with Texas' Sarah Wanezek a strong second in 49.16. But the second fastest 100 was turned in by the Cats' Jenna Gresdal, who took the B final in a pr 48.96.
In an unlikely coincidence, Arizona's Nate Stevens and Dave Rollins tied for first today in the 200 breast in 1:57.56. Earlier in the meet, Rollins tied for first with teammate Ivan Barns in the 100 breast at 54.18.
USC's Larsen Jensen and Michigan's Peter Vanderkaay waged a titanic battle in the men's 1650 free, with the Olympic silver medalist getting the win in 14:44.89, three strokes ahead of Vanderkaay at 14:47.89 – the nation's two fastest times this season.
Wisconsin won the first two women's events today, with Olympian Carly Piper getting things rolling with an impressive 16:06.91 in the 1650.
Susan Johnson followed with a 1:55.32 victory in the 200 back, just ahead of USC's (and Britain's) Joanna Fargus at 1:55.74 in a race that saw the first five finishers better the NCAA automatic qualifying standard.
Arizona's Erin Seiper took the 200 breast in 2:11.29 ahead of Wisconsin's Amalia Sarnecki at 2:12.01.
Arizona went 1-2 in the 200 fly with Emily Mason clocking 1:55.40 to Whitney Myers' 1:56.11.
The men's 200 back was won by Michigan's Chris DeJong in a very swift 1:42.41 while teammate Davis Tarwater took the 200 fly in 1:44.80.
Arizona won both the women's and men's 400 freestyle relays. In the women's race, the Wildcats finished 1-2, their "A" team clocking 3:17.55, and their "B" team finishing in 3:18.25.
The Cats won the men's race as well, despite swimming without Lyndon Ferns. At the finish, Arizona punched in at 2:56.11, followed by Michigan in 2:56.92.