AUSTIN, Texas – Arizona sophomore Kevin Cordes became the first male to ever break the 1:51 mark in the 200 breast to lead the Wildcats on the final day of the USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships on Saturday inside the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
Cordes, just a day after breaking the American record in the 100 breast, shattered the 200 record with an amazing time of 1:50.73. The swim not only broke the American record of 1:51.73 set by Mike Alexandrov but it also beat Neil Versfeld's U.S. Open and NCAA record of 1:51.40 set in 2009.
In a strange turn of events, Arizona alum Clark Burckle became the second-fastest man in the history of the event with a strong 1:51.20 before having it overturned by a disqualification. The disqualification was for an illegal flutter kick during his swim. However, Burckle filed a protest and had his disqualification overturned, thus reinstating his strong race as the second-fastest time ever.
Meanwhile, earlier in the night Margo Geer blistered what proved to be an extremely fast championship heat with a winning time of 47.16 in the 100 free, just missing her lifetime best of 47.14 set at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Geer out-touched four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, who came in second with a time of 47.60.
The Wildcats closed out the night by completing a perfect meet in the relay events. The men and women combined to go 8-for-8 in the relay events. On the women's side, Geer, Bonnie Brandon, Megan Lafferty and Alana Pazevic posted a blistering meet record of 3:13.90 in the 400 free relay. That swim bested the 3:14.50 set by California back in 2010.
Giles Smith, Mitchell Friedemann, Woody Joye and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or just missed the meet record of 2:51.19 in the 400 free relay with a winning time of 2:51.21. The effort proved to be enough to clear the NCAA A cut of 2:53.94.
Brandon also finished with a strong individual effort on the night as she earned silver in the 200 back with a time of 1:51.49, which cleared the NCAA A cut of 1:53.17. In addition, the time broke the school record in the 200 back, breaking the previous mark of 1:51.99 set by Anna Agy in 2009. Franklin nearly set the American record game with a stunning time of 1:49.18.
For the weekend, the Wildcats set two American records and an incredible eight meet records.
Arizona will take a break from competition until the women host Northern Arizona, Oregon State and New Mexico State at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center on January 4. The men return to action on January 25-26 when they host California and Stanford.
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