Arizona’s Kevin Cordes First American Under 51 in 100 Breast Prelims

Editorial coverage sponsored by SpeedoUSA

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 29. ARIZONA's Kevin Cordes became the first American to break 51 seconds as he moved ever closer to Damir Dugonjic's NCAA and U.S. Open record in the men's 100-yard breast at the NCAA Division I Men's Championships.

Cordes raced out to a 23.96 at the first turn, before scorching the back half with a 26.97 to finish with a blistering 50.93. That swim bettered his American record from last November split 23.94, 51.10. This morning's time also stands second all time in the event, splitting a pair of Dugonjic times of 50.86 and 50.94 from 2009 and 2011, respectively.

Cordes is the only Wildcat ever to win the event, a surprise given just how deep Arizona's breaststroke has become in just the last year-and-a-half. If he defends his title this evening, he would become just the 15th swimmer to do so. He would also remain on the path to become just the third swimmer with a career sweep in the event, joining Brendan Hansen and Steve Lundquist.

Southern California sprinter Vlad Morozov demonstrated his ridiculous versatility with a 52.05 to qualify second. That time nearly moved him into the top 15 all time in the event, a stunning occurrence considering his top events are the 50 and 100-yard freestyles.

Michigan's Richard Funk, already the 13th-fastest all time with a 51.91 from Big Tens last month, checked in third with a 52.11, while Arizona also picked up a second top-eight time with a 52.27 from Kevin Steel for fourth.

Georgia's Nicolas Fink (52.54), California's Trevor Hoyt (52.62), Missouri's Sam Tierney (52.66) and Indiana's Cody Miller (52.66) also made the championship eight. Miller has the potential to go much faster, considering he already moved to fourth all time in the event with a 51.50 at Big Tens last month, and could wind up turning in an outside smoke performance this evening.

Rest of the events
200 medley relay
Auburn continued to demonstrate its sprint resurgence this year, taking the top time in the 200-yard medley relay this morning. Kyle Owens (21.03), Stuart Ferguson (23.94), Marcelo Chierighini (20.12) and TJ Leon (19.34) qualified first in 1:24.43.

Auburn has won this event an NCAA-leading seven times since its inception in 1989. Previous Auburn victories occurred in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Those relays included some big guns like Cesar Cielo, Matt Targett, Dave Denniston and head coach Brett Hawke.

Michigan's Miguel Ortiz (21.04), Bruno Ortiz (23.59), John Wojciechowski (20.94) and Zack Turk (18.89) finished second in 1:24.46. Michigan has never won this event, as the Wolverines continue to morph from a distance-first program into a well-rounded crew under head coach Mike Bottom.

Stanford's David Nolan (21.22), Andrew Saeta (23.91), John Lane (20.53) and Aaron Wayne (18.98) placed third in 1:24.64, while Arizona got away with sitting all-everything breaststroke Kevin Cordes as Mitchell Friedemann (21.31), Carl Mickelson (23.69), Giles Smith (20.15) and Jeff Amlee (19.63) wound up fourth in 1:24.78.

Vlad Morozov keyed another strong time for the USC Trojans as Luca Spinazzola (21.81), Sergio Lujan-Rivera (23.73), Chase Bloch (20.82) and Morozov (18.47) qualified fifth in 1:24.83. Tom Shields had a special butterfly leg for California as Anthony Cox (21.30), Trevor Hoyt (23.82), Shields (20.39) and Shayne Fleming (19.36) qualified sixth in 1:24.87.

Texas (1:25.67) and Penn State (1:25.76) rounded out the top eight in the finale.

400 IM
Georgia's Chase Kalisz, who already threw down a smoking 3:39.82 at SECs to move into the top 15 all time in the 400-yard IM, qualified first in the distance medley event with a sterling 3:40.09 this morning. Only two previous Bulldogs have won the event as Robert Margalis (2003) and Bill Cregar (2:011) are previous Georgia victors in the event at NCAAs.

Wisconsin's Michael Weiss raced to second in 3:40.59, and is one of the favored swimmers heading into the meet. Weiss stands ninth all time with a 3:39.17 from last month at Big Tens, and has plenty of room to improve.

Florida's Dan Wallace checked in with a third-place 3:40.80 this morning, while Texas' Austin Surhoff also cleared 3:41 this morning with a fourth-seeded time of 3:40.93.

California's Josh Prenot (3:41.06), Indiana's Stephen Schmuhl (3:41.98), Arizona's Michael Meyer (3:42.21) and Michigan's Dylan Bosch (3:42.42) rounded out the championship eight heading into this evening.

Four teams went one up, one down in the event with Michigan, California, Indiana and Florida all qualifying one swimmer each into the championship and consolation heats.

100 fly
California and Michigan held serve in the 100 fly as both squads put two swimmers into the championship field. Two-time champion Tom Shields led the way with a 45.27, but will be vying for Austin Staab's NCAA and American record of 44.18 this evening.

Shields has won this event in two of the previous three years, with wins in 2010 and 2012. He's only the third Golden Bear to have won the 100 fly as Par Arvidsson (1979, 1980) and Duje Draganja (2005) are the previous California victors in the event. His teammate Marcin Tarczynski qualified fourth with a 45.97.

Michigan, meanwhile, also earned a pair of spots in the finale. Miguel Ortiz qualified third in 45.69, while Sean Fletcher took seventh in 46.05. Arizona's Giles Smith earned the second seed in the morning with a strong 45.68.

Ohio State's Tim Phillips (45.99), Florida's Marcin Cieslak (46.04) and N.C. State's Barrett Miesfeld (46.16) also grabbed transfer spots into the championship field.

200 free
The men's 200-yard freestyle finale will look like a tri-meet between Michigan, Texas and Southern California as all three squads put two swimmers into the championship heat.

USC made some serious noise in the event, qualifying 1-2 in the 200 free, as Cristian Quintero turned in a 1:33.16 and Dimitri Colupaev claimed second in 1:33.42. USC is currently tied with Arizona for the most 200-yard free wins in NCAA history as both squads have won the event seven times. Quintero and Colupaev will be looking to break that tie this evening.

Previous Trojan winners including Roy Saari (1965, 1966), Jim McConica (1971, 1973), Bruce Furniss (1977, 1978) and Klete Keller (2001).

Texas and Michigan, however, each also put two swimmers into the finale. Clay Youngquist (1:33.63) and defending champion Dax Hill (1:33.88) qualified fourth and eighth for the Longhorns. Hill will need some outside smoke to become the first person to successfully defend the 200 free title since Airzona's Simon Burnett went back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.

Michigan's Michael Wynalda (1:33.71) and 500-yard free winner Connor Jaeger (1:33.81) placed fifth and sixth as the Wolverines continued to secure team-scoring opportunities. Stanford's Tom Kremer (1:33.44) and Louisville's Joao De Lucca (1:33.85) also made their way into the top eight.

100 back
After turning in a sizzling time to qualify third in the 100 fly, Michigan's Miguel Ortiz returned with the top time in the morning in the 100-yard back at the NCAA Division I Men's Championships.

Ortiz clocked a 45.48 and could become Michigan's first winner ever in the 100-yard back at the NCA meet. That's a shock, considering Michigan entered the meet with an NCAA-leading title tally of 160 in program history, now 161 after Connor Jaeger's win in the 500-yard free last night.

Arizona's Mitchell Friedemann qualified second in 45.58, and will be vying to join Albert Subirats (2007) as Arizona winners in the event. Auburn's Kyle Owens qualified third in 45.79, while Stanford's David Nolan turned in a 45.92 to wind up fourth in finals.

Two-time defending champion Tom Shields cruised into fifth with a 46.01. He could become just the sixth swimmer to ever win three 100-yard backs in a career, joining John Naber (4), Clay Britt (3), Peter Marshall (3), Yoshi Oyakawa (3) and Jeff Rouse (3). Teammate Jacob Pebley also made the top eight with a seventh-ranked 46.11

Indiana's Eric Ress (46.03) and James Wells (46.14) completed the championship finale finishes by qualifying sixth and eighth in the event.