Klueh topples 400 individual medley school record at NCAA Championships
MINNEAPOLIS -- UT sophomore Michael Klueh fell just shy of the 400 individual medley finals during the afternoon preliminary session but made up for it in the evening consolation finals, breaking an 11-year-old school record Friday evening at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at Minnesota's University Aquatic Center. Texas ended the second day in fourth place with 225 points with one day remaining. Auburn leads the meet with 380 points.
Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) rewrote one of UT's oldest school records after previously holding the No. 2 mark in school history. He completed the event in a new school mark of 3:45.31, to top the school-record time of 3:45.50 set by Matt Hooper at the 1996 NCAA Championships. Junior Caleb McDermott (Canyon Lake, Texas) took eighth in the championship final at 3:45.31.
"It's about time we broke that school record," said UT head coach Eddie Reese. "All records are made to be broken, and that one lasted long, so that was a good one to get out of the way."
Texas collected substantial points in the 100 backstroke, where senior Tommy Sacco (Dallas, Texas) led the way with a fourth-place showing in 46.84. Senior Garrett Weber-Gale (Fox Point, Wis.) and junior Daniel Rohleder (Austin, Texas) competed in the consolation final, taking third and fourth, respectively. Weber-Gale placed 11th overall at 47.42 while Rohleder took 12th at 47.49.
"Tommy's having a great meet," Reese said. "And, his 100 backstroke leading off the medley relay last night was much better than we had ever hoped for."
Senior Tyler O'Halloran (Boardman, Ohio), who set a new personal best in the 100 breaststroke preliminary round at 52.61, took fourth in the 100 breaststroke final at 52.66. He will end his UT career with the fifth-fastest 100 breaststroke mark in school history.
"Tyler's breaststroke was great, and he looked good," Reese said. "He swam it the right way to give himself a chance to win it, and he was really fast."
Texas entered the meet with the top seed in the 800 freestyle relay, but Arizona captured the event in a NCAA record time of 6:14.14. UT took fourth place at 6:20.78. McGinnis led off in 1:33.90 and was followed by Klueh in 1:35.28. Freshman Dave Walters clocked 1:37.47 in the third leg before freshman Ricky Berens closed the relay in 1:34.13.
Walters (Yorktown, Va.) collected his first individual All-America selection by taking eighth in the 200 freestyle in 1:35.49. Junior Matt McGinnis (Raleigh, N.C.), who narrowly missed the championship final during the afternoon preliminary round, clocked 1:33.39 - the second-fastest time in UT history - which would have been good for a second-place finish in the championship final.
Berens set a new personal best in the 100 butterfly, clocking 46.87 for second in the consolation final and 10th place overall.
The evening finals got underway on a sour note for the Longhorns, as UT's 200 medley relay was one of three to be disqualified due to an early jump on a relay exchange.
The relay, featuring Sacco, O'Halloran, Berens and Weber-Gale, would have placed fourth at 1:24.59 for the second-fastest time in school history, but the mark did not stand and Texas was unable to accept 30 points for the fourth-place relay. Northwestern and Arizona also were disqualified in the relay.
"You don't ever want to get a relay disqualified; there is nothing worse than that," Reese said. "There's no recourse, no second chances and no points."
Freshman diver Mike Wong (Cerritos, Calif.) placed 22nd in the three-meter preliminary event at 325.35, and junior Brian Smith (Carrollton, Texas) took 29th at 290.80.
The third and final day of the 2007 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships begins on Saturday with the preliminary round at noon Central.
800 Freestyle Relay