March 5, 2011
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LONG BEACH, Calif. – On night three of the men’s swimming Pac-10 Championships at the Belmont Olympic Plaza Pool, No. 6 Arizona notched eight swimmers scoring in championship heats and seven scoring in consolation finals led by Ivan Tolic’s runner-up performance in the 100 backstroke.
In the 400 I.M. to lead off the night, Austen Thompson went out fast and got home with an excellent time of 3:48.86 to place fifth in the championship heat. With NCAA’s about three weeks away, Thompson figures to be in peak shape in this event.
Lead by Tolic’s 100 fly eighth place finish of 46.91 in the championship heat, the Wildcats fielded six additional swimmers across the B and C finals with Craig Jordens leading the charges with a third place finish in the consolation heat at 47.22. Others scoring included Ellis Miller (47.45) and A.J. Tipton (48.04.)
The team of Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or and Matt Barber led UA in the 200 free, placing fifth and eighth, respectively, with times of 1:35.48 and 1:36.74. With their championship heat finishes, Arizona collected 25 points to add to its total.
Following the lead of the 200 freestyle finish, Kelley Wyman and Carl Mickelson also placed fifth and eighth respectively in the championship heat of the event. Wyman swam a 53.05 while Mickelson was not far behind with a 53.60.In the B consolation final, Kevin Steel was runner-up with a time of 53.83, Kevin Munsch was third at 54.12 and Tommy Gutman was fifth at 54.73.
Then came UA’s highest finish of the night with Tolic, a senior originally by way of Zagreb, Croatia, posted a 46.76 to score the Cats 17 points and give it a big lift going into the 400 medley relay. Also swimming in a final in the 100 back was Cory Chitwood who won the B heat with a time of 47.57. Michael Sheppard was fifth in the same heat at 48.16.
With his showing in the 100 back, Tolic earned his way onto the medley relay and did not disappoint, splitting a 46.27, by far one of the fastest times in the country, to give UA the early lead and have it followed by Wyman, Jordens and Shapira Bar-Or who eventually took third place in 3:09.09.
Tomorrow closes out the final day of the men’s swimming Pac-10 championships with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, and the 400 free relay.
Currently in the point standings, Arizona is in fourth place and trails third place USC by three points, 339-336.
Points Standings Through 14 Events
1. Stanford – 599
2. California – 580
3. USC – 339
4. Arizona – 336
5. Arizona State – 190
6. UC Santa Barbara – 115
7. Cal Poly – 114