Quintero Wins Third Straight Pac-12 Title In 500y Free|
March 5, 2015
Senior Cristian Quintero won his third consecutive conference title in the 500y free while sophomores Reed Malone (500y free) and Santo Condorelli (50y free) posted a pair of second-place finishes to lead the No. 11 USC Swimming and Diving team on the second night of the 2015 Men's Pac-12 Swimming Championships in Federal Way, Wash., on Thursday (March 5).
USC, seeking its first conference title since 1979, is third after the second day with 242.5 points. Stanford leads with 288 points and is followed by Cal (248.5), USC, Arizona (174), Utah (126) and Arizona State (111).
The 500y free quickly turned into a two-man battle between Quintero and Malone. Malone, who also took second in the race to Quintero last year, held the lead after 200, 300 and 350 yards. But Quintero took over at the 400-yard mark, led by 0.34 with 50 to go and held off a charging Malone, winning 4:11.25 to 4:11.30.
"Racing Reed is always fun and exciting," Quintero said. "He never gives up and you can't count him out until you actually touch the wall, which is what makes him such a great competitor. He performed his best time, so I'm happy for him.
"The overall team had a great day. All of the IM'ers stepped up with personal best times. Ian Silverman set a couple records, and Santo beat his best time in the 50y free three times today. We also had some great help from the divers, who performed amazing last week. We're expecting tomorrow to be an even better day."
Said Malone: "Cristian is an extraordinary person and while winning is always nice, there's no other person I would rather get second to. From where we're sitting now, we're really excited for the rest of the meet."
Quintero's win in the 500y free is USC's 28th and the 11th since 2001. Quintero's time was 1.23 seconds off his school record while Malone set a personal best. Freshman Pawel Furtek also swam in the final, taking sixth in 4:17.91.
Condorelli finished second in the 50y free with a 19.29, 0.34 behind Arizona winner Brad Tandy's 18.95, while sophomore Dylan Carter tied for fifth with a 19.52. Condorelli earned the top seed in the `A' final after a 19.27 in prelims that made him the second-fastest Trojan all-time in the event (he went 19.33 on a later relay lead-off). Carter, Troy's third-fastest ever in the race who was sixth last year, was 0.01 off his best in the final.
Junior Morten Klarskov turned in a pair of best times in the 200y IM today, first in prelims (1:45.30) and then in a sixth-place effort in the `A' final (1:44.84). Sophomores Michael Domagala (1:45.35) and Steven Stumph (1:45.91) finished 12th and 14th, respectively, after their `B' final swims.
USC closed out the night's racing with a close second in the 200y free relay as Condorelli, Carter, freshman Ralf Tribuntsov and Quintero swam a 1:16:88, just off Cal's winning time of 1:16.57.
"It was another strong evening," USC Coach Dave Salo said. "The Cristian and Reed battle was a classic and all eyes were on which one would take the championship title. All of our guys came back tonight and swam better than the prelims with most lifetime best times.
"It is going to be a great battle for the team championship between Stanford, Cal and USC. Tomorrow is going to be an important day if we are going to challenge to win the team title.
"Our relay can be a lot better at NCAAa with more work on the starts. Our goal here is to make the NCAA Championships as well as score points so we are getting both done."
Freshman Ian Silverman, a Paralympic gold medalist with a mild form of cerebral palsy that affects his lower legs, swam in exhibition heats and broke a pair of Paralympic American records, first in the 500y free (4:27.23) and then in the 50y free (21.04). They are among a host of American and world records he owns.
Points from the 1-meter springboard from last week's Pac-12 Men's Diving Championships are included in today's scores. Junior Collin Pollard placed fourth while freshman Dashiell Enos was ninth, senior Jordan Gear was 13th and junior Deon Reid was 16th.
The meet continues Friday through Saturday (March 6-7) with prelims beginning at 11 a.m.and finals at 6 p.m. each day.