Nov. 30, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas – The Arizona swim teams followed up a strong performance on day one with a dominant effort on day two which included two more relay sweeps and an American record set by Wildcat sophomore Kevin Cordes at the AT&T Winter National Championships on Friday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
The Wildcats are a perfect six-for-six in the relay events for the weekend after following up four relay wins on Thursday with the men and women each winning its relay on Friday. The women opened the day with a meet record 1:36.46 by Lauren Smart, Ellyn Baumgardner, Megan Lafferty and Margo Geer in the 4x200 medley relay.
The early highlight of the day followed up the women’s meet record performance as the Arizona men went 1-2 in the 4x200 medley relay. The team of Mitchell Friedemann, Kevin Cordes, Giles Smith and Nicholas Popov took the gold medal and a new meet record with a time of 1:24.84. Meanwhile, the Wildcat quartet of Michael Sheppard, Carl Mickelson, Ellis Miller and Jeff Amlee placed second with a solid time of 1:26.58.
In a very close race in the 100 fly, the title eventually went to Tucson Ford Aquatics’ Christine Magnuson, who finished in a time of 51.86. Magnuson beat out USC’s Kendyl Stewart and Kathleen Hershey of Texas.
Smith took third in the men’s 100 fly with a time of 45.81, finishing just behind Tom Shields (44.88) and Davis Tarwater (45.32). Shields’ time was a new meet record.
Baumgardner finished second with a time of 58.86 in a very fast 100 breast final. Laura Sogar took the top spot with a meet record of 58.32. Baumgardner out-touched Jessica Hardy for second place by .03.
Meanwhile, the performance of the night perhaps went to Cordes, who led the way with an American record of 51.10 in the 100 breast. Michael Alexandrov, who held the previous meet record of 51.35 was only just off that with a 51.62 to take second. U of A alum Clark Burckle was third in 51.99. Cordes led from start to finish with a strong 23.9 opening 50. The performance bested Mike Alexandrov's meet record of 51.35 from 2010 and also scorched Cordes’ national record of 51.32 set at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Smart took the bronze medal in the 100 back with a solid time of 52.59. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin won her second event of the night with a time of 51.87.
The fireworks of the night concluded with another spectacular performance by a member of Ford Tucson Aquatics. Matt Grevers set the second American record of the night to win the 100 back. His time of 44.55 was .05 ahead of the previous mark, set by Ryan Lochte in 2006 at the NCAA Championships.
“The obvious highlights were the two relay wins and the American records by Kevin Cordes and Matt Grevers along with the victory by Christine Magnuson,” Arizona head coach Eric Hansen said. “Overall we swam really well and we feel we qualified a significant number of people for NCAAs. Everybody got the job done and we are really swimming better each session. We are looking forward to finishing up tomorrow with another night like tonight.”
The impressive performance by the Wildcats on Friday came just a day after they broke three meet records. The women broke the meet record in both the 4x200 free relay and the 4x400 medley relay, while the men shattered the meet record in the 4x400 medley relay.
A link to web streaming of the meet, live results and the psych sheet can be found here.
The third and final day of competition continues on Saturday, with preliminaries starting at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m.
USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships
Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center – Austin, Texas
Thursday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 1
Preliminaries: 9 a.m. each day
Finals: 5 p.m. each day
All-session pass: $42
Daily: $15 (includes prelims and finals)
Youth (12 and under) and seniors (60+): $10
Single session (either prelims or finals each day)
Youth (12 and under) and seniors (60+): $5
USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships Schedule
Saturday, Dec. 1
400 freestyle relay (finals session only)
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.