NCAA Men’s Championships: Pick-Me-Up from Past Helps Zalan Sarkany Dominate 1,650

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

NCAA Men’s Championships: Pick-Me-Up from Past Helps Zalan Sarkany Dominate 1,650

Leadership takes a lot of forms. For Cam Peel Saturday, it was a text to an old friend.

Arizona State distance swimmer Zalan Sarkany was down on himself after a rough start to NCAAs. He finished 12th in the 500 free, then 17th in the 400 individual medley. With Sarkany having a swim in the 1,650 freestyle ahead as the top seed, Peel a transfer from the University of Michigan, called in a favor from someone he knew from his Wolverine days: Felix Aubock, the 2019 champion in the mile.

“He got him to send me a personal message with a video,” Sarkany said. “I was feeling a little bit down after the 400 IM and 500 of course, I wasn’t feeling too good. But that definitely cheered me up. It was definitely a motivational video I got for him. I guess he had the same situation with that, because the 500 and the 200 free didn’t go well for him, but eventually he was able to win the mile.”

It did the trick, Sarkany setting the tone with a dominant swim of 14:30.57 to jump from eight last year to the win. He was more than five seconds clear of Gio Linscheer of Florida, who never posed much of a challenge.

It was exactly the kind of swim you want from a top seed: Tone-setting and drama-free.

It came at a perfect moment. Arizona State officially led by 56.5 points. But California’s divers managed one A final and one B final on platform, meaning it was essentially less. And being pursued by a program with six national titles in the last decade-plus and a top-two-finish streak that is about as old as some of the swimmers on deck … nothing is every guaranteed on an NCAA Saturday where Cal is concerned.

All that team drama magnified Sarkany’s robust defense of his emphatic top seed.

“Obviously that was a really important thing to do,” he said. ‘I think first day or second day, I was doing the 500 B final and it’s the same thing. It’s always important to set off the tone in a good way and make everybody get high for their races.”

Andrew Taylor made it a 2-3 result for Florida, and Krzysztof Chmielewski of USC fourth. Chmielewski went 14:39.10, .08 ahead of NC State’s Owen Lloyd and .09 up on SMU’s Jack Hoagland.

Hoagland blasted the penultimate heat with a time of 14:39.19. The SMU senior, who had two A finals this week, finished fifth in the event this year. Bar Soloveychik of Minnesota was second in that heat, finishing seventh overall in 14:41.40.

Ilia Sibirtsev of Louisville won the third to last heat in 14:41.87. That was good for eighth, ahead of three in the fastest final. Daniel Matheson jumped into 11th place for Arizona State.

Event 15  Men 1650 Yard Freestyle
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 14:12.08  2/22/2020 Bobby Finke, Florida
         Meet: M 14:12.52  3/27/2021 Bobby Finke, Florida
     American: A 14:12.08  2/22/2020 Bobby Finke, Florida
   U. S. Open: O 14:12.08  2/22/2020 Bobby Finke, Florida
         Pool: P 14:22.41  3/25/2017 Clark Smith, Texas
    Name                 Year School               Seed     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
  1 Sarkany, Zalan         SO ASU              14:23.01   14:30.57   20  
    r:+0.64  23.09        48.61 (25.52)
        1:14.61 (26.00)     1:40.75 (26.14)
        2:06.89 (26.14)     2:33.22 (26.33)
        2:59.69 (26.47)     3:26.09 (26.40)
        3:52.36 (26.27)     4:18.75 (26.39)
        4:45.11 (26.36)     5:11.59 (26.48)
        5:38.08 (26.49)     6:04.54 (26.46)
        6:31.14 (26.60)     6:57.64 (26.50)
        7:24.22 (26.58)     7:50.74 (26.52)
        8:17.07 (26.33)     8:43.56 (26.49)
        9:10.06 (26.50)     9:36.73 (26.67)
       10:03.46 (26.73)    10:30.24 (26.78)
       10:56.87 (26.63)    11:23.73 (26.86)
       11:50.62 (26.89)    12:17.40 (26.78)
       12:44.20 (26.80)    13:10.96 (26.76)
       13:37.83 (26.87)    14:04.52 (26.69)    14:30.57 (26.05)
  2 Linscheer, Gio         SO Florida          14:38.78   14:36.01   17  
    r:+0.71  24.20        50.32 (26.12)
        1:16.85 (26.53)     1:43.43 (26.58)
        2:10.23 (26.80)     2:36.97 (26.74)
        3:03.78 (26.81)     3:30.76 (26.98)
        3:57.65 (26.89)     4:24.38 (26.73)
        4:51.12 (26.74)     5:17.82 (26.70)
        5:44.30 (26.48)     6:11.00 (26.70)
        6:37.60 (26.60)     7:04.25 (26.65)
        7:30.91 (26.66)     7:57.64 (26.73)
        8:24.13 (26.49)     8:50.84 (26.71)
        9:17.40 (26.56)     9:43.98 (26.58)
       10:10.66 (26.68)    10:37.45 (26.79)
       11:04.29 (26.84)    11:30.83 (26.54)
       11:57.53 (26.70)    12:24.11 (26.58)
       12:50.92 (26.81)    13:17.56 (26.64)
       13:44.14 (26.58)    14:10.58 (26.44)    14:36.01 (25.43)
  3 Taylor, Andrew         FR Florida          14:38.41   14:37.80   16  
    r:+0.66  23.61        50.10 (26.49)
        1:16.92 (26.82)     1:43.93 (27.01)
        2:10.80 (26.87)     2:37.68 (26.88)
        3:04.72 (27.04)     3:31.42 (26.70)
        3:58.19 (26.77)     4:25.21 (27.02)
        4:52.03 (26.82)     5:18.68 (26.65)
        5:45.44 (26.76)     6:12.10 (26.66)
        6:38.98 (26.88)     7:05.84 (26.86)
        7:32.52 (26.68)     7:59.20 (26.68)
        8:25.97 (26.77)     8:52.83 (26.86)
        9:19.65 (26.82)     9:46.40 (26.75)
       10:13.18 (26.78)    10:39.97 (26.79)
       11:06.69 (26.72)    11:33.43 (26.74)
       12:00.33 (26.90)    12:27.19 (26.86)
       12:54.05 (26.86)    13:20.77 (26.72)
       13:47.14 (26.37)    14:13.05 (25.91)    14:37.80 (24.75)
  4 Chmielewski, Krzyszto  FR USC              14:37.74   14:39.10   15  
    r:+0.62  23.84        49.81 (25.97)
        1:16.13 (26.32)     1:42.51 (26.38)
        2:08.93 (26.42)     2:35.41 (26.48)
        3:01.85 (26.44)     3:28.47 (26.62)
        3:55.12 (26.65)     4:21.81 (26.69)
        4:48.63 (26.82)     5:15.28 (26.65)
        5:41.94 (26.66)     6:08.81 (26.87)
        6:35.61 (26.80)     7:02.45 (26.84)
        7:29.30 (26.85)     7:56.22 (26.92)
        8:23.36 (27.14)     8:50.48 (27.12)
        9:17.38 (26.90)     9:44.23 (26.85)
       10:11.14 (26.91)    10:38.11 (26.97)
       11:05.07 (26.96)    11:32.19 (27.12)
       11:59.26 (27.07)    12:26.40 (27.14)
       12:53.31 (26.91)    13:20.41 (27.10)
       13:47.42 (27.01)    14:13.94 (26.52)    14:39.10 (25.16)
  5 Lloyd, Owen            SR NC State         14:41.32   14:39.18   14  
    r:+0.75  24.34        50.79 (26.45)
        1:17.52 (26.73)     1:44.41 (26.89)
        2:11.35 (26.94)     2:38.23 (26.88)
        3:04.95 (26.72)     3:31.92 (26.97)
        3:58.88 (26.96)     4:25.72 (26.84)
        4:52.66 (26.94)     5:19.61 (26.95)
        5:46.27 (26.66)     6:13.16 (26.89)
        6:40.05 (26.89)     7:06.79 (26.74)
        7:33.58 (26.79)     8:00.44 (26.86)
        8:27.43 (26.99)     8:54.21 (26.78)
        9:20.92 (26.71)     9:47.67 (26.75)
       10:14.55 (26.88)    10:41.17 (26.62)
       11:08.06 (26.89)    11:35.00 (26.94)
       12:01.85 (26.85)    12:28.59 (26.74)
       12:55.03 (26.44)    13:21.65 (26.62)
       13:48.12 (26.47)    14:14.29 (26.17)    14:39.18 (24.89)
  6 Hoagland, Jack         5Y SMU              14:44.08   14:39.19   13  
    r:+0.70  23.46        48.90 (25.44)
        1:14.87 (25.97)     1:41.14 (26.27)
        2:07.62 (26.48)     2:34.27 (26.65)
        3:00.86 (26.59)     3:27.43 (26.57)
        3:54.18 (26.75)     4:20.82 (26.64)
        4:47.61 (26.79)     5:14.50 (26.89)
        5:41.43 (26.93)     6:08.08 (26.65)
        6:35.02 (26.94)     7:02.08 (27.06)
        7:29.20 (27.12)     7:56.25 (27.05)
        8:23.30 (27.05)     8:50.43 (27.13)
        9:17.28 (26.85)     9:44.23 (26.95)
       10:11.16 (26.93)    10:38.07 (26.91)
       11:04.86 (26.79)    11:31.85 (26.99)
       11:58.63 (26.78)    12:25.44 (26.81)
       12:52.45 (27.01)    13:19.49 (27.04)
       13:46.29 (26.80)    14:13.14 (26.85)    14:39.19 (26.05)
  7 Soloveychik, Bar       JR Minnesota        14:45.59   14:41.40   12  
    r:+0.68  24.45        50.58 (26.13)
        1:17.23 (26.65)     1:43.84 (26.61)
        2:10.71 (26.87)     2:37.57 (26.86)
        3:04.54 (26.97)     3:31.46 (26.92)
        3:58.63 (27.17)     4:25.51 (26.88)
        4:52.66 (27.15)     5:19.63 (26.97)
        5:46.69 (27.06)     6:13.62 (26.93)
        6:40.60 (26.98)     7:07.73 (27.13)
        7:34.74 (27.01)     8:01.43 (26.69)
        8:28.56 (27.13)     8:55.34 (26.78)
        9:22.18 (26.84)     9:48.92 (26.74)
       10:15.64 (26.72)    10:42.36 (26.72)
       11:09.17 (26.81)    11:36.03 (26.86)
       12:02.67 (26.64)    12:29.41 (26.74)
       12:56.57 (27.16)    13:23.60 (27.03)
       13:50.16 (26.56)    14:16.46 (26.30)    14:41.40 (24.94)
  8 Sibirtsev, Ilia        5Y Louisville       14:47.31   14:41.87   11  
    r:+0.62  24.34        50.67 (26.33)
        1:17.17 (26.50)     1:43.81 (26.64)
        2:10.64 (26.83)     2:37.45 (26.81)
        3:04.50 (27.05)     3:31.47 (26.97)
        3:58.43 (26.96)     4:25.29 (26.86)
        4:52.34 (27.05)     5:19.36 (27.02)
        5:46.34 (26.98)     6:13.39 (27.05)
        6:40.42 (27.03)     7:07.47 (27.05)
        7:34.53 (27.06)     8:01.45 (26.92)
        8:28.54 (27.09)     8:55.51 (26.97)
        9:22.29 (26.78)     9:49.03 (26.74)
       10:15.89 (26.86)    10:42.63 (26.74)
       11:09.32 (26.69)    11:35.64 (26.32)
       12:02.17 (26.53)    12:28.76 (26.59)
       12:55.70 (26.94)    13:22.44 (26.74)
       13:49.22 (26.78)    14:15.93 (26.71)    14:41.87 (25.94)
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Alice Wright Belknap
Alice Wright Belknap
20 days ago

Great Job Ilia !!!! Proud you made top 8 in NCAAs :))

Frank A Wilson
Frank A Wilson
20 days ago

Za/an, You came through when it counted! Well done!

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