Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 28. SOUTHERN California's Vlad Morozov, who already blew up the swimming community and its Twitter contingent with a 17.86 split in the 200 free relay, came up big in the 50-yard free for the win at the NCAA Division I Men's Championships.
Morozov raced to a victorious time of 18.63 in the splash-and-dash, splitting an 8.99 at the turn. That swim shot him to third all time in the event's history behind only Cesar Cielo (18.47) and Matt Targett (18.52).
If not for a change in rules regarding American records a few years back due to dual citizen Mike Alexandrov setting a record while representing Bulgaria, Morozov would now be in possession of the American record. Morozov, a dual citizen who represents Russia internationally but has pursued a sports citizenship change in the past, is now faster than fellow American citizen Nathan Adrian's American record of 18.66. Could be interesting to see if someone entices Morozov to flip to the U.S. roster.
The win is USC's fifth in the history of the event at NCAAs. Previous USC victors are Dan Frawley (1969) and Joe Bottom (1975, 1976, 1977).
Auburn's Marcelo Chierighini finished a swift second in 18.99, off his 10th-ranked lifetime best of 18.85 from SECs last month. Minnesota's Derek Toomey finished third in 19.18.
Michigan's Miguel Ortiz (19.39), Florida's Brad deBorde (19.40), California's Seth Stubblefield (19.46), Auburn's James Disney-May (19.58) and California's Shayne Fleming (19.58) also vied for the NCAA title in the event. Indiana's Daniel Kanorr won the B final in 19.42.
Michigan was the first to crack 100 points, leading with 121 points. California improved its second-place tally to 89.5 points, while Auburn stood third with 80.5 points. Florida (73) and Southern California (70) held fourth and fifth.