By Tadzio Garcia
Stanford University is on track to win their 31st conference championship after pulling away from the competition on the second day of the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Championships at East Los Angeles College.
The Cardinal increased yesterday’s two-point lead over second place Cal to 67.5 points. Arizona moved ahead of USC for third place.
“We are here to swim our fastest times to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Our points are a result of our fast times,” said associate head coach Ted Knapp, who is coaching in his 28th season for Stanford.
Six-time All-American and Stanford senior Chad La Tourette won his first ever 500-yard freestyle title after trailing USC’s freshman standout Cristian Quintero at the 300 mark.
La Tourette edged Quintero 4:17.38 minutes to 4:17.83. Stanford senior David Mosko took third place at 4:18.00.
USC sophomore Vladimir Morozov won the 50 freestyle crown in 19.48 seconds. It was USC’s first 50 freestyle conference title since 1996.
Stanford junior Aaron Wayne took second at 19.55, followed by Arizona senior Adam Small’s third place finish at 19.71.
Stanford freshman David Nolan’s victory in the 200 individual medley, at 1:42.52, was the second-fast time in the country this year. It was also the second-fastest in Stanford history. Stanford won this 200 IM title last year.
Cal senior Martin Liivamagi was second with a time of 1:44.28. Liivamagi, from Estonia, holds the Cal school record in this event.
Teammate sophomore Marcin Tarczynski, who clocked-in at 1:45.37, repeated his 2011 third place finish. Tarczynski, of Poland, qualified for the 2011 World Championships in China after placing first in the event at the Polish Nationals.
Stanford won its fourth event out of six after winning the 200 freestyle relay in 1:17.92. The title went to the relay team of junior Aaron Wayne, freshman David Nolan, senior Geoff Cheah and junior Andrew Saeta.
Saeta grew up down the street from East Los Angeles College where he was a 20-time prep All-American at Pasadena Poly High School.
USC missed winning the 200 freestyle title by .04 of a second finishing at 1:17.96. The second place relay team consisted of Trojan sophomores Vladimir Morozov, Dimitri Colupaev, Jack Wagner and senior Jeff Daniels.
Cal finished third at 1:18.13 with a relay team that consisted of freshman Tyler Messerschmidt, sophomore Shayne Fleming, freshman Seth Stubblefield and freshman Fabio Gimondi.
The Championships continue today, March 2 with preliminaries and standard times trials at 11 a.m. followed by the finals at 6 p.m.
The events will be the 400 IM, the 100 butterfly, the 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and the 400 medley relay.
The standings after two days of competition, including national rankings (in parenthesis) are, as follows:
Men’s Championship Standings, Day 2
1. (3) Stanford, 324.5 points
2. (6) California, 257 points
3. (1) Arizona, 181 points
4. (5) USC, 169 points
5. Utah, 114 points
6. Arizona State, 108 points
7. UC Santa Barbara, 107.5 points
8. Cal Poly SLO, 67 points