Arizona Daily Wildcat
The scene was the same as last year Ä the Arizona men's swimming team's Chad Carvin versus Michigan's Tom Dolan, dueling it out in their sport's most grueling event, the 1,650-yard freestyle. At the 1994 NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Carvin came out the winner, shattering the American, NCAA and U.S. Open records in the process.
This year, it was Dolan who came out on top, again shattering all three records, winning the race in a blistering time of 14:29.31 and breaking Carvin's '94 record of 14:34.91.
Dolan and Carvin entered the race with the two fastest times in the nation, respectively. They opened Saturday night's race at a blistering pace, both a good six seconds under Carvin's '94 pace at the 500-yard mark. Carvin started to pull away at 700 yards and was a body length ahead at 800 yards and still six seconds under the '94 pace. It was at the 1,400-yard mark that Dolan made his move, caught Carvin and pulled away for the victory, shaving more than five seconds off the old record. Carvin came in second with a final time of 14:38.32.
"I tried to go out comfortable and hang with him," said Carvin, a junior. "I figured my only chance was to bury him in the middle. I thought it was a pace I could hold, but he got me in the end.
"I knew we were swimming
fast in the first half. Once I started to hit the wall, I just wanted to hold him off, but it got harder and harder."
Said Dolan: "I wanted to make it my own race. I had some breathing problems in the middle of the race, but when I saw him (Carvin) slow down, that was all the incentive I needed."
Arizona finished the meet in eighth place with 211.5 points for its fifth top-10 finish in the last six years. Michigan won the meet with 561 points, depriving Stanford of a fourth straight title. The Cardinal finished second with 475 points, followed by Auburn (393) and Cal (234). Carvin tied for fifth in the individual standings by scoring 51 points in his three events.
In other Arizona action, Oliver Lampe gave the Wildcats 16 points as he finished third in the championship final of the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:44.88. He swam in lane one, after qualifying seventh out of the morning preliminary. Next to Carvin, Lampe was the only Wildcat to swim in a championship final on the last day.
Jason Hodder pulled a come-from-behind swim in the last 25 yards of the race to win the consolation final of the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:00.03.
School record-holder Trever Gray made his NCAA debut in the consolation final of the 200 backstroke. He earned honorable mention All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in that heat at 1:46.55. He swam a 1:45.71 in the morning.
The Arizona team of Robert Abernethy, Craig Brockman, Abe Wick and Lampe put a finishing touch on the meet in the final event of the day, as they finished second in the consolation final of the 400 free relay (2:57.32) adding 14 points to the team total.
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