March 24, 2006
ATLANTA – Michigan’s Peter Vanderkaay opened the night by breaking the oldest American record on the books by edging former Wolverine great Tom Dolan with a time of 4:08.60 to win his second consecutive national title in the 500-yard freestyle. Florida’s Ryan Lochte followed with an American record of his own posting a time of 1:40.55 in the 200 individual medley to capture his second straight national title for the Gators.
“I’m happy that the record is still in the Michigan family,” said Vanderkaay. “It was a tough record for Tom [Dolan] to do 10 years ago, it was pretty special for him back then and for me to be right on it and barely go faster is pretty special for me right now.”
“I had no idea, I was just going out there and doing what I do the best I could,” said Lochte. “I knew he was here tonight,” Lochte said of Phelps. “I tapped him in the gut when I was walking over to the starting blocks.”
Auburn holds on to the team lead after day one with 178.50 points and are followed by Arizona (136.50), Stanford (132), Florida (97) and Texas (82) rounds out the top five.
In the 50 free, NC State’s Cullen Jones clocked a time of 19.18 to win his first national title. Jones was followed closely by Stanford’s Ben Wildman-Tobriner who finished with a time of 19.22.
“I put a lot of effort into trying to lengthen my stroke and trying to get stronger all year,” said Jones. “It was big trying to stand in the shoes of Fred Bousquet’s shoes, but one day, hopefully, I can get there.”
On the one-meter springboard, Georgia’s Chris Colwill tallied a winning score of 407.10 to win the first national title of the NCAA meet for the Bulldogs. Arizona State’s Joona Puhakka finished second with a final score of 398.20.
“The competition was really tight, ” said Colwill. “I just told myself to focus on one dive at a time and that was the key to me winning tonight.”
Arizona’s 400 Medley Relay team of Nick Thoman, Ivan Barns, Albert Subirats and Adam Ritter swam a time of 3:06.08 to capture the relay for the Wildcats.
Day two of the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships will be on Friday, beginning with prelims at 12 Noon ET.