March 16, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - With the Vols holding comfortably in 12th-place, the Tennessee men's swim team started off Friday, day 2 of the NCAA Championships, with a strong start as the 200 medley relay placed fifth in the preliminaries. The Vols came into the race with a 1:26.75 seed time which came from their impressive performance at the Princeton Invitational earlier this season. The relay built with stalwart swimmers Brad Boswell, Barry Murphy, Andrew Engle and Octavio Alesi dashed to a preliminary time of 1:25.73 and clinched All-America honors.
After high-caliber teams - such as Northwestern, Texas and Arizona - disqualified in the finals, the UT 200 medley relay snatched third-place in a time of 1:25.69. The Auburn Tigers won the event followed by the Stanford Cardinal in second-place. The event propelled the Vols to eighth in the overall standings going into the 100 butterfly.
The 100 butterfly saw Engle and Alesi slated with 47.87 and 46.97 seed times, both of which also came at the Princeton Invitational. Engle raced fiercely but ended up with a time of 47.65 which only earned him 25th-place. Alesi finished the race in 47.00, ranking him 12th in the preliminaries and qualifying him for the consolation final. However, he fell back to 14th in the final, swimming a slightly slower 47.19.
Next Nolan Morrell attempted his first swim of the day in the 200 freestyle. Morrell, starting with a 1:36.65 seed time from the Princeton Invitational, swam the event in 1:36.73, which put him in 29th-place. Arizona's Darian Townsend won the race in 1:33.29.
Murphy, the only Volunteer in the 100 breaststroke, followed the 200 freestyle and erased almost a second off his seed time of 55.08 to 54.19. He placed 23rd while Northwestern's Mike Alexandrov broke the NCAA record of 51.86 set by Tennessee's Jeremy Linn in 1997. Alexandrov splashed in with a time of 51.56. After this long-awaited record breaking, the Vols sat comfortably in 10th-place overall.
Just before the diving break, Senior Boswell and junior Michael Wolfe finished 5th and 22nd, respectively, in the preliminaries. Wolfe improved his seed time of 48.12 from the SEC Championships to 47.98 and Boswell knocked over a second off his from the Princeton Invitational. After one disqualification in the finals, Boswell slipped back to 6th, retained his All-America honor and secured the Vols in 10th- place overall - just eight points behind Southern California.
After Auburn's Steven Segerlin won the 3-meter diving, Tennessee headed into the 200 freestyle relay with a seed time of 6:29.50. The relay - consisting of Morrell, Wolfe, Boswell and Jim Dabney - swam a 6:27.83 and placed 10th in the relay, beating their 11th-place competitors of Ohio State who finished 13th but lost to their 9th-place competitors of Southern California who finished just ahead of the Vols in ninth.
UT head coach John Trembley and staff were pleased with the day's performance and look forward to the opportunities tomorrow in the final day of competition at the NCAA Championships.
"It was a great day for Tennessee Swimming," Trembley said. "The team members are having a blast because we had great performances in every event. The 200 medley, however, was particularly exciting. The guys have performed great, and we cannot wait for tomorrow to start."
Auburn still substantially leads the championships with 380 points. Arizona and Stanford battle for 2nd-place as they are only separated by 17 points.
The Vols begin tomorrow with preliminaries at noon and the finals at 7 p.m.
2007 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
Day 2: March 16, 2007
|200 Medley Relay|
|400 Individual Medley|
|1.||Alex, Vanderkaay (Michigan)||3:40.89|
|2.||Lucas Salatta (Florida)||3:41.08|
|3.||Pat Mellors (Virginia)||3:42.03|
|4.||Vanni Mangoni (Southern California)||3:43.93|
|5.||Bradley Ally (Florida)||3:44.41|
|1.||Albert Subirats (Arizona)||44.57|
|2.||Ben Wildman-Tobriner (Stanford)||45.36|
|3.||Matt Targett (Auburn)||45.87|
|4.||Kyle Bubolz (Northwestern)||45.93|
|5.||Alexei Puninski (Auburn)||46.06|
|14.||Octavio Alesi (Tennessee)||47.19|
|25.||Andrew Engle (Tennessee)||47.65|
|1.||Darian Townsend (Arizona)||1:33.29|
|2.||Dominik Meichtry (California)||1:33.45|
|3.||Adam Ritter (Arizona)||1:33.76|
|4.||Jean Basson (Arizona)||1:33.85|
|5.||Nick Nilo (Arizona)||1:33.90|
|29.||Nolan Morrell (Tennessee)||1:36.73|
|1.||Mike Alexandrov (Northwestern)||51.56|
|2.||Paul Kornfeld (Stanford)||52.19|
|3.||Vlad Polyakov (Alabama)||52.25|
|4.||Tyler Ohalloran (Texas)||52.66|
|5.||Keenan Newman (Stanford)||52.94|
|23.||Barry Murphy (Tennessee)||54.19|
|1.||Albert Subirats (Arizona)||44.83|
|2.||Ben Hesen (Indiana)||45.45|
|3.||Matt Grevers (Northwestern)||45.61|
|4.||Tom Sacco (Texas)||46.84|
|5.||James Wike (Auburn)||46.87|
|6.||Brad Boswell (Tennessee)||46.88|
|22.||Michael Wolfe (Tennessee)||47.98|
|1.||Steven Segerlin (Auburn)||415.80|
|2.||Kellen Harkness (Ohio State)||407.15|
|3.||Magnus Frick (Hawaii)||407.05|
|4.||Eric Sehn (Texas A&M)||399.20|
|5.||Brandon Watson (Brigham Young)||386.85|
|800 Freestyle Relay|
|Team Scores after Day 2|