Malone Wins 500y Free Title, USC's Fourth Straight At Pac-12 Championships|
March 3, 2016
Junior Reed Malone continued a USC tradition of excellence in the 500y free with his first career conference title while four other Trojans made A final appearances during the second night of the 2016 Pac-12 Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Federal Way, Wash., on Thursday (March 3).
USC finished second after the second day with 229 points as it pursues a repeat conference crown. Stanford leads with 275, while Arizona is third (220), Cal is fourth (198), Utah fifth (139) and Arizona State sixth (128).
Malone, who posted a 4:15.27 in prelims for the second seed, won the final in 4:11.80, two seconds ahead of Stanford’s Liam Egan and 0.50 off his PR. Malone’s win is USC’s 29th title in the 500y free, 11th since 2001 and the fourth in row. Malone was second behind former teammate Cristian Quintero the past two years.
Freshman Patrick Mulcare came close to the USC record in the 200y IM, his fifth-place finish in the A final of 1:44.22 just 0.12 off Dimitri Colupaev’s 1:44.10 set in 2011. Mulcare, whose final time makes him the second-fastest ever at Troy, first lowered his PR to 1:44.39 in prelims. Junior Michael Domagala, in his first 200y IM A final, finished eighth (1:44.75) after an earlier PR of 1:44.83 in prelims.
Senior Morten Klarskov just missed qualifying for the A final of the 200y IM, in ninth, and proceeded to win the B final in 1:45.20, just 0.05 off his prelim effort. Junior Steven Stumph was fourth in the B final (12th overall) in 1:45.66, shaving 0.25 off his PR.
Sophomore Ralf Tribuntsov didn’t swim the 50y free last year, but was an A finalist today and took fifth in 19.74, 0.01 off his then-PR prelim swim. Freshman Kyle Grissom also turned in a PR in prelims in 19.88 and then went 19.95 to finish 11th. Junior David Morgan Jr. finished a career-best 15th in the 50y free in 20.22.
USC closed the night with a fourth in the 200y free relay as Tribuntsov, sophomore Jon Knox, Klarskov and Grissom went 1:18.26. Tribuntsov lowered his PR to 19.58 with his leadoff, making him the sixth-fastest Trojan ever in the race.
The 1-meter diving points from last week’s men’s diving championships were applied to the meet, which included a second-place from Collin Pollard, a ninth from Dashiell Enos and a 10th from Deon Reid. “Clearly, this is a meet between four teams and repeating as team champion was not going to be and will not be an easy task,” USC Coach Dave Salo said. “We are holding onto second place behind Stanford similar to last year after night two. Cal and Arizona are very much in the mix.
“We had some strong swims tonight and I’m especially excited for the win by Reed Malone in the 500. He swam a strong tactical race to take the win and we are very proud of that being the fourth win in a row. Coach Daland would be proud!
“The 50 free had solid performances from Ralf in the a final with Kyle teaming with Morgan in the B final for some valuable points. The 200 free relay is sporting three new faces so there is a lot of improvement we can make in the next couple weeks before NCAAs.
“We are hanging in there but there is much work to do in the next two days. Overall I am really proud of these guys for staying focused and acting like the defending champions they are. And let’s not forget the diving points we’re getting each day. Those are very key, too.”