CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia, November 15. WHEN discussion is waged over the men’s breaststroke events at the collegiate level, the names of Vladislav Polyakov (Alabama) and Mike Alexandrov (Northwestern) are typically mentioned as the leading candidates to win NCAA titles. More, Mihaly Flaskay (Southern California) is mentioned as a contender in the 100 distance.
Well, don’t forget about the University of Virginia’s Vanja Rogulj, a Croatian who posted a pair of sizzling times over the weekend. As the 17th-ranked Cavaliers competed in a quad meet, Virginia exited the competition with victories over Penn State and Purdue, but suffered a defeat to Auburn, the three-time defending NCAA team champ.
In the 100 breast, Rogulj blasted through his four laps in 53.53 and added a solid mark of 1:58.30 in the 200 distance. A two-time Olympian for Croatia, Rogulj also helped the Cavaliers to season-best times in the 200 and 400 medley relays. Rogulj’s outing landed him Atlantic Coast Conference Performer of the Week accolades.
Rogulj is a six-time All-American and was named the ACC Swimmer of the Year last season, an award that followed his Freshman of the Year nod in 2004. At last year’s NCAA Championships, Rogulj placed sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke and finished fifth in the 200 breast. His efforts guided Virginia to a 13th-place showing in the team standings.