LONG BEACH, Calif., March 3. HEADING into tonight's Day Two finals at the PAC-10 Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, 23-time defending champion Stanford has positioned itself to cushion its lead. The Cardinal scored 80 points on the opening night and built a 14-point edge over California and Arizona.
In the preliminaries of the 500 freestyle, Stanford corralled four of the top six berths to the final, led by Shaun Phillips. The sophomore went 4:15.72 for the No. 1 slot and was followed by Southern California's Ous Mellouli (4:16.99), the defending champ.
Stanford also has Andy Grant (third), Mike McLean (fourth) and Danny Beal (sixth) in the 500 free final. USC's Larsen Jensen, the Olympic silver medalist in the 1,500 free, qualified ninth and missed making the championship final.
The 200 individual medley is also Stanford-dominated, as the Cardinal have the top two qualifiers for the final in Tobias Oriwol (1:45.61) and Hongzhe Sun (1:45.75). Mark Stephens and Gary Marshall are fifth and sixth for coach Skip Kenney. Cal has the third and fourth qualifiers in John Dorr (1:46.18) and Miguel Molina (1:46.25).
The 50 free prelims were ruled by Cal, which boasts Duje Draganja as the top seed (19.24) and Rolandis Gimbutis, Jonas Tilly and Milorad Cavic in the third through fifth positions. Stanford's Ben Wildman-Tobriner was just behind Draganja in 19.26. Arizona's Simon Burnett qualified sixth, but teammate Lyndon Ferns managed only ninth.
The 200 free relay will also be contested tonight.