Hoosiers Head to NCAA Championships
March 24, 2004
Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana men's swimming and diving team will compete in the 2004 NCAA Championships starting Thursday, March 25 in Long Island, N.Y. The Championships will be hosted by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and will be held at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y., on Long Island
The event will run through Saturday, March 27 with a schedule of events for each day. Prelims are slated to start at 12:00 p.m. every day with finals to follow at 7:00 p.m. With 2004 being an Olympic year, the NCAA Championships will be swam in short course meters as opposed to the normal short course yards.
A group of six Hoosier swimmers and divers will compete at the NCAA Championships this season. Indiana's 200 medley relay along with sophomore Kevin Swander, freshman Colin Russell and junior Murph Halasz all earned automatic qualifying times at the Big Ten Championships to earn a spot at NCAAs. The 200 medley relay, which won the Big Ten title, consisted of Halasz and Swander along with seniors Matt Leach and Claes Andersson. The senior duo will also compete for the Hoosiers in the backstroke and freestyle events, respectively. Both Hoosier relays, 200 and 400 medley relays, are seeded in the top eight. Junior diver Ryan Fagan will compete on all three levels of diving at the Championships for IU as well.
Swander turned in a stellar performance at the Big Ten Championships on his way to earning the Hoosiers' first-ever Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships. The Greenwood, Ind., native won the first individual Big Ten title for the Hoosiers since 1996. In doing so, he shattered the Indiana school record, Big Ten Meet and Championship record as well as the Boilermaker Aquatic Center Pool record in the 100-yard breaststroke. He also finished runner up in the 200 breaststroke with a school-record time. Swander enters as the lone Hoosier individual seeded in the top eight. He enters seeded third in the 100 and eighth in the 200.
Halasz and Russell both turned in solid performances to earn automatic births as well. Halasz eclipsed his own 200-yard butterfly time as he finished runner up in the event at the Big Ten Championships. He also broke a 32-year old Hoosier record in the 100-yard butterfly taking third. His time of 47.90 broke former Olympic Gold Medallist Mark Spitz's school record. Russell nearly broke the 200-yard freestyle school record at the Big Ten Championships as well. The Barrie, Ontario, native took third in the event with an automatic qualifying time of 1:35.88. Russell also took fifth in the 500-yard freestyle. Both his times are seeded in the top 16 heading into the Championships.
All five IU swimmers heading to the NCAA Championships earned All-Big Ten honors this season. Swander, Halasz, Andersson and Leach were all first-team selections, while Russell was a second-team choice.
As a result of his third-place finish on the three-meter at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships, Fagan qualified for the NCAA Championships on all three diving levels. It will be the first NCAA Championship for Fagan. At the Big Ten Championships this seasons, the Pittsburgh, Pa., native advanced to the finals on all three levels for the first time.
The Hoosiers finished 21st at last season's NCAA Championships on the shoulders of diver Marc Carlton. Carlton scored all 24 Hoosier points as he placed in the top eight on the three-meter and platform. Claes Andersson was the lone Hoosier to compete in swimming at the Championships last season. He finished 28th in the 50-yard freestyle.
Here is a look at the Schedule for the NCAA Championships:
Thursday, March 25
Friday, March 26
Saturday, March 27
Hoosiers by Seeding
200-meter Individual Medley
400-meter Medley Relay
200-meter Medley Relay
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