Records fall on first day of American Short Course Championships
AUSTIN, Texas -- The foursome of University of Texas greats Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker and Neil Walker broke the American record in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:24.00 Thursday night at the Texas Swimming Center.
Michael Phelps who was also competing at the meet broke an American record in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 3:36.26. His time eclipsed the former record of 3:38.18 set by Tom Dolan of Michigan in 1995.
"I am very pleased with how the race turned out tonight," said Phelps. "I looked at this as my big meet this spring and wanted to go after the record. I had been working very hard on my breaststroke, but knew if it was going to happen I had to come through with my strengths."
Peirsol, Hansen and Crocker owned the most recent medley relay record along with fellow UT alumni Daniel DiToro with a time of 1:24.46 set at the 2003 NCAA Championship finals.
"This is just a great atmosphere and the pool is great," said Hansen, after the 100-yard breaststroke final and before the medley relay. "The place is set up for some great times and hopefully it will happen again tonight."
For Hansen and Crocker it was their second first-place finish of the night. Hansen won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 52.01 for a new pool record and just missed the American record of 51.86.
Crocker won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 44.73 and missed breaking his own American and Texas Swimming Center pool record of 44.72 by the slimmest of margins.
Also competing at the meet was women's alumni Tanica Jamison. She took second-place in the women's 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.95 behind Margar Hoelzer.
Current Longhorns, senior Matt Molnar (Auburn, Ala.), sophomore Daniel Rohleder (Austin, Texas) and freshman Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.), also competed in the meet. Molnar took third in the 100-yard breaststroke with a NCAA consideration time of 54.76.
In the 100-yard butterfly, Rohleder took third-place with a NCAA consideration time of 47.62 and Klueh finished in fifth-place with a time of 48.42, also good enough for NCAA consideration.
The American Short Course Championships will continue tomorrow, March 3, with preliminary heats of the men's and women's 200-yard butterfly, 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke, 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle relay starting at 9 a.m. Finals of all events will start at 6 p.m.