Hoosiers Sit in 17th after Day One of NCAA Championships
March 25, 2004
East Meadow, N.Y.- The Indiana men's swimming and diving sits in 17th place after the first day of the 2004 NCAA Championships. The Hoosiers' 20 points on the first day of competition nearly matched the 24 total points IU scored at last season's NCAA Championships. The Hoosiers last top 20 finish was in 1996 when IU placed 19th.
"Overall, I was pleased with the way we swam today," Indiana head swimming coach Ray Looze said. "We are happy to be in 17th, but with that being said, we have the chance to move up tomorrow. We have a lot of first year guys. Aside from Claes (Andersson), everyone here is a first year guy. We are trying to force feed these guys experience and hopefully it will help us to move up."
Freshman Colin Russell led the way for the Hoosiers taking 11th overall in the 400-meter freestyle. The Barrie, Ontario, native improved upon his preliminary time after touching the wall with a time of 3:46.18. After conversion from short course meters to short course yards, the 400-meter freestyle is equivalent to the 500-yard freestyle, Russell's time was a season-best 4:18.52 and the second-fastest time in school history.
"Colin had a really good swim tonight," Looze said. "He swam like a veteran, and we are really proud of the way he swam in the 400 freestyle."
The Hoosiers placed two relays among the top 15 on the first day at the NCAA Championships. It marked the first time since 1996 that a Hoosier relay has scored at the NCAA Championships. In 1996, three Hoosier relays scored with the 800-yard freestyle relay placing eighth, the 400-yard freestyle relay placing 15th and the 200-yard medley placing 16th.
The 400-meter medley relay of senior Matt Leach, sophomore Kevin Swander, junior Murph Halasz and senior Claes Andersson finished with a 12th-place time of 3:36.17. The University of Texas won the event in a World Record time of 3:25.38. The Hoosiers were only five one-hundredths of a second behind Tennessee, who finished 11th. The 12th-place finish was the highest for a relay in the 400 medley since an 11th-place finish in 1982. It is the first time the 400 medley relay has scored at the NCAA Championships since the 1985 season.
The Hoosiers also placed 15th in the 200-meter freestyle relay marking the first time that relay has scored points in NCAA competition since 1991. The team of Andersson, Swander, Halasz and Leach went a time of 1:32.85.
Junior Ryan Fagan competed in the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career on the one-meter. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native finished 30th in the event with a score of 254. 35.
"Ryan got off to a really good start," said head diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber. "His first two dives were probably the best I have seen him do all year. It is his first NCAA Championships, and he was nervous. I told him all we can do is build on today. He gets better the higher he goes, so we are looking forward to Friday and Saturday."
The Hoosiers will continue the NCAA Championships Friday with prelims at 12:00 p.m. and finals at 7:00 p.m. The events to be competed on day two of the NCAA Championships are the 200-meter medley relay, the 400-meter individual medley, the 100-meter butterfly, the 200-meter freestyle, the 100-meter breaststroke, the 100-meter backstroke, the 800-meter freestyle relay and the three-meter diving. The preliminary round for the three-meter diving event is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.
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