NCAA Div. I Men’s Champs, Day 1 Finals: Vanderkaay Records Second-Fastest 500 Free in History to Defend Title

By Kevin Noth, Swiminfo Special Correspondent
Photos by Tim Morse

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., March 24. MICHIGAN junior Peter Vanderkaay successfully defended his middle-distance freestyle title, touching the wall in a sizzling time of 4:09.82 for the 500-yard distance.

Vanderkaay, who was seeded second after being out-touched by Minnesota’s Justin Mortimer in the prelims, clocked the second-fastest time in the history of the event and set a new pool record en route to a second consecutive individual title.

Last year, Vanderkaay destroyed the field in the 400-meter free, winning the event by more than four seconds. Vanderkaay once again left little doubt about the final outcome, cruising to victory nearly five seconds ahead of Arizona’s Tyler DeBerry, who placed second in a time of 4:14.35.

Mortimer took the bronze just one-tenth of a second behind DeBerry, while Georgia’s Robert Margalis and Stanford’s Shaun Phillips placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

USC placed two swimmers among the top eight as Ous Mellouli took sixth and teammate Larsen Jensen finished eighth. Matt McGinnis of Texas placed seventh for the Longhorns.