Minneapolis, Minn. ?C After the first day of competition at the 2007 NCAA Championships, the No. 5 Arizona menˇ?s swim team is in second place with 121 points, while posting one individual champion and setting two new school records.
Senior Adam Ritter captured the first individual title of his collegiate carrier in the 200 IM, smashing his own school record with a time of 1:41.72. Ritter is now recorded as the third fastest NCAA performer of all time in the event behind Floridaˇ?s Ryan Lachte and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. His win also marks the first 200 IM title in school history.
"To be even mentioned in the same sentence as Lachte and Phelps is an honor for sure," Ritter said. "Some people write (Arizona) off as mainly a freestyle school, but I am glad that this win shows the versatility that the program really has. Iˇ?m feeling optimistic (about our position). A lot of teams are swimming really well here, and to be second after the first day is great for us. I think tomorrow and the third day we are going to be even stronger."
Starting off tonightˇ?s action for the Wildcats was the 200 free relay team of junior Albert Subirats, sophomore Nicolas Nilo, Ritter and junior Darian Townsend, which broke another school record with a time of 1:16.26.
"I didnˇ?t think we would be in second place after day one, or any day for that matter," head coach Frank Busch said. "The guys are great, the relays were solid and all of the individual swims were amazing. So for the 11 guys we have here, this was a great team effort and itˇ?s really fun to watch them do this well."
In the 50 free, Subirats was only two hundredths of a second away from tying the school record with a time of 19:08, as he was part of a three-way tie for second place with Auburnˇ?s Matt Targett and Stanfordˇ?s Ben Wildman-Tobriner.
In the 500 free, freshman Jean Basson finished third overall with a personal best time 4:13.44. Townsend also posted a personal best time in the consolation finals of the 200 IM, finishing 10th overall (1:45.00).
Finishing tonightˇ?s action was the 400 medley relay team of freshman Jake Tapp, junior Ivan Barnes, Subirats and Ritter, which finished fourth with a time of 3:06.29.
Competition at the NCAA Championships will resume tomorrow at the University Aquatic Center. Preliminary action will begin at 12 p.m. (CST) and finals will start at 7 p.m.
Records Broken After Day One (five events)
Adam Ritter 200 IM 1:41.72 school
Subirats, Nilo, Ritter, Townsend 200 FR 1:16.26 school