College Station, TX (March 22) – Georgia Tech swimmer Shilo Ayalon (Kfar Hanassi, Israel) opened competition at the 2001 NCAA Swimming Championships on March 22 by placing 25th in the 500-yard freestyle. The three-day national championships are being held at Texas A&M’s Student Recreation Center Natatorium in College Station, Texas.
Ayalon finished his prelim heat with a time of 4:24.48 and was the 25th overall finisher, just missing tonight’s bonus consolation race. Michigan senior Chris Thompson will be the top-seed in tonight’s final heat, as he set a new pool record with his time of 4:16.47, bettering the previous mark by just under four seconds.
Ayalon is scheduled to compete in two more events at the NCAA meet, including the 1650-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley. He is the ninth-seeded swimmer entering the 1650-yard event on Sunday, and he will swim in the 400 IM on Saturday beginning at noon. Fellow sophomore Tomonori Tsuji (Osaka, Japan) will open his competition at the NCAAs on Saturday by swimming in the 100-yard breaststroke. Tsuji will also be in action on Sunday in the 200 breaststroke as well.
The duo became the first Yellow Jacket swimmers to earn trips to the NCAA meet since Tim Halligan competed at the 1988 championships.