Malone, Tribuntsov Win Pac-12 Titles To Lead USC's Pac-12 Night Three Efforts|
March 4, 2016
Junior Reed Malone won his second title in as many days, this time in the 200y free, while sophomore Ralf Tribuntsov won Troy’s first 100y back crown in almost two decades to lead No. 9 USC on third night of the 2016 Pac-12 Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Federal Way, Wash., on Friday (March 4).
The Trojans, the defending conference champions who also got a pair of close-call second-place performances by a pair of freshmen, remain second after night three with 477 points while Stanford holds the lead at 552. Cal is third (430) followed by Arizona (365), Arizona State (249) and Utah (235).
Malone, a night after winning his first-ever Pac-12 title by taking the 500y free, followed up with his first title in the 200y free in a PR of 1:33.08, holding off Cal’s Long Gutierrez (1:33.44). He is now the third-fastest Trojan in the race. The 200y free win is USC’s seventh in a row, extending its Pac-12-record in the race, and Troy has won the event 11 times since 1997.
Malone is following in the footsteps of the graduated Cristian Quintero, who won both the 200y and 500y free the past three years and, in 2015, added the 100y free. Malone will swim the 100y free tomorrow and try to join Quintero as the only Pac-12 men to sweep that particular triple.
Junior Michael Domagala also turned in a great 200y free, finishing fifth in 1:35.06.
Tribuntsov joined Malone atop the medal podium today after winning the 100y back in 45.57, 0.27 off his prelim effort but 0.15 ahead of Arizona’s Chatham Dobbs. It was USC’s first win in the race since Olympic champion Lenny Krayzelburg won it back-to-back in 1997-98. It is USC’s 14th victory overall in the event.
Freshman Alex Valente, in his first A final, took second in the 100y fly in a photo finish, touching in 46.10 to Cal’s Justin Lynch’s 46.08. Valente was 0.01 ahead of third and 0.03 ahead of fourth. In the B final, senior Maclin Davis was 12th (47.31) and freshman Cash DeLoache was 15th (47.67). Valente was also a B finalist in the 100y back.
Freshman Carsten Vissering also posted a second, this time in the 100y breast as he swam a 52.41, lowering his PR 52.50 prelim effort and becoming the second-fastest Trojan ever in the race. Cal’s Connor Hoppe won in 51.86. Junior David Morgan Jr. was fourth in 53.00, also putting him in the top 10, while junior Steven Stumph was eighth (53.49). Senior Morten Klarskov won the B final in 53.39.
Freshman Patrick Mulcare swam to fourth in the 400y IM in 3:43.35, becoming the fourth fastest Trojan in the event and lowering his PR from the morning (3:46.24).
The Trojans closed the night with a second in the 400y medley relay as Mulcare, Vissering, Valente and Tribuntsov went 3:07.14, 0.25 from defending their title in the event.
Said USC Coach Dave Salo: “Deja vu all over again? We are sitting in the same place as last year, trailing Stanford with Cal right behind. But we are looking at a little larger deficit. If we are going to pull out a team win we have to be exceptional tomorrow morning in the prelims.
“Tonight we had some lights out performances from our guys. We got started tonight with an exceptional swim in the 400 IM by Pat, swimming the event solely for team points. His 3:43.35 time and fourth-place finish coming from behind inspired the entire team. Seeing Reed win the 200y free and continuing to dominate that event over the last decade has been awesome.
“In close contests in both the 100 fly and 100 breast our freshmen came through with near wins as Alex and Carsten touched the wall in second place in their events.
“Ralf came away with a great win in the 100 back with a 45.57 performance which he can build on for better swim at NCAAs in a couple weeks. Without the added performances of Mike Domagala, Jon Knox, David Morgan, Steven Stumph, Morten Klarskov and Tim Wynter we would be in a bit of a hole. But these guys stepped up to bring in a lot of points tonight - and their better events are tomorrow.
“The 400 medley relay highlighted our future with the first three legs being swim by freshmen. The future looks great for these guys and the Trojans! I am really proud of these guys hanging in there and not conceding this meet to anyone.”
Action closes Saturday with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.