AUSTIN, TX., November 2. KAITLIN Sandeno and Erik Vendt ought to ask their coach for a raise — or at least a little lighter workload!
The two Trojan stalwarts swam six tough events each over the last two days in dual- and tri-meets against Texas, Stanford and Texas A&M, with Sandeno going four-for-six in the gold department and Vendt winning five.
But it was all for naught as No. 1-ranked and treble-defending NCAA champ Texas beat the Trojan men, 208-143. On the women's side of the ledger the Longhorns edged their Southern California foe by a single-point, 177-176.
Stanford's women beat Texas, 184-169.
The Longhorn ladies pulled out their win over USC in dramatic fashion, placing first and second in the final event of the day, the 400 yard freestyle relay. Senior All-American Tanica Jamison, junior Lacey Elliott and sophomores Michelle Molina and Sara Wanezek teamed up for the race's top time, 3:24.57.
Following close behind with a 3:24.57 was Texas' "B" team. By capturing the sprint relay's top two spots, Texas was able to complete a comeback that saw them down to USC by a 92-75 margin after Friday's initial day of competition.
"We knew going into the last race that we had to capture first and second place," co-head coach Mike Walker said. "I'm really pleased with how our team performed, especially considering how far we were down yesterday. That is a testament to our upperclassmen's leadership and our underclassmen's enthuisasm."
Texas' women won two individual events this afternoon, both by Wanazek, who claimed firsts in the 50 free (23.25) and the 100 backstroke (55.83). She also led off the 'Horns' 400 sprint relay in 50.83.
Sandeno, who won golds in the 500 free, 400 IM and 200 back Friday, came back today to win the 1650 free (16:31.48) and then scored runner-up finishes in the 200 fly and the 200 IM. Theformer was won by her teammate, Jana Krohn, in 1:59.55 with Sandeno clocking 2:00.66 and Trojan Margie Pedder completing the sweep with her 2:00.98 for third.
Stanford froshwoman Kristen Caverly, Swimming World's Prep Swimmer of the Year last year, took the 200 IM gold with her 2:00.73 to Sandeno's 2:01.53. Texas' Singaporean Olympian, Joscelin Yeo, was third (2:01.65).
Caverly obviously had become tired of playing second-fiddle to Sandeno aftger finishing runner-up in the 400 IM and 200 back opening day, plus taking second to teammate Tara Kirk in the 200 breast.
Kirk added the 100 breast title tonight with a very fast and nation-leading 1:00.69. Who was ssecond? Yup, Caverly (again!) in 1:02.84 with Yeo third (1:03.36).
Texas opened the proceedings with a 1:42.60-1:43.35 200 medley relay win over Stanford with SC next (1:44.63). Stanford's other winner was sophomore Lacey Boutwell, who already had claimed golds in the 100 free-fly, and added the 200 free title this afternoon with a 1:49.04-1:49.81 over Jamison.
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After winning the 400 IM, 500 free and 200 breasst yesterday, all in nation-leading times, you'd think Trojan boss Mark Schubert'd cut Vendt some slack and let him swim races like the 50 free and 200 medley relay.
Vendt, NCAA Swimmer of the Year last spring, started out the day swimming the mile, which he won by nearly 50 seconds in yet another nation-leading time (15:03.74) — probably the fastest 1650 ever this early in the season.
Then he swam the 200 fly, where he was (gasp!) fifth (1:49.02). But he got to keep his scholarship with his final swim, a 1:50.45 win in the 200 IM. Teammate Paul Fahey (1:51.93) second.
The day's biggest surprise was in the 100 breast, where Texas' double-defending NCAA champ Brendan Hansen lost for the second straight time. Yesterday it was the 200 to Vendt. Today it was the 100 to USC's Hungarian import, Mihaly Flasky, who clocked a pr and nation-leading 55.14 to the Texan's 55.27.
But Hansen's swims must be seen in context: the 'Horns had a tough workout in the morning. As the defending champion in both breaststroke events, it would not be wise to bet against him come NCAAs, especially since the meet's here in his home pool.
Texas scored three wins when sophomore Rainer Kendrick splashed home first in the 200 fly (1:47.32) with USC's Erik Tolmachoff runner-up (1:48.66); then 100 free champ Chris Kemp added the 200 (No. 1 national 1:37.22) with the Trojans' Tunisian Olympian, Ous Mellouli, next (1:38.37); and world 200 back record-holder Aaron Peirsol won the 100 (48.82) with A&M's Matt Rose next (49.87).
Rose scored the Aggie's only victory when he won the 50 free (20.27).
Texas will host its traditional Longhorn Invitational the first weekend of next month and look for some super-fast swimming, particularly by Hansen and Peirsol.
— Bill Bell