Vanderkaay Leads 1-2-4 U-M Finish in NCAA 400 Free

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- Sophomore Peter Vanderkaay (Rochester, Mich./Adams HS) earned his first NCAA title and paced the University of Michigan men's swimming and diving team to sixth place with 74 points after the first day of short-course meters action (Thursday, March 25) at the 81st annual NCAA Championships held in the Nassau County Aquatic Center. Vanderkaay was the top finisher in the 400-meter freestyle as he clocked in with the world's fourth-fastest time this season, 3:40.78.


Peter Vanderkaay (left) and Ketchum provided U-M a 1-2 punch in the 400 freestyle.

Coming off a 1-2-3 finish in the 500-yard freestyle at the Big Ten Conference Championships (Feb. 26-28), Vanderkaay paced a 1-2-4 U-M finish in the 400-meter freestyle this evening, with senior captain Dan Ketchum (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore HS) and junior Andrew Hurd (Oakville, Ontario/Trafalger HS) following in second and fourth, respectively.

Vanderkaay's victory marks the first Michigan NCAA swimming title since 2001 and the first time a Wolverine won the equivalent to the 500-yard freestyle since 1997.

Vanderkaay jumped out to an early lead after the first 50 meters and never gave up his position at the front of the pack. Making the waves up front, Vanderkaay had an opening split of 53.91, just one second off the American record pace set by Chad Carvin in 2000. He continued his flirtation with Carvin's record, clocking middle 100s of 56.07 and 56.44. Though the race was in hand, Vanderkaay dropped the hammer over the final 100 meters and touched the wall in 3:40.78, just 0.12 seconds behind Carvin's 2000 posting of 3:40.66.

With Vanderkaay out almost a full-body lead over the field, Ketchum was in a battle for second in the middle of the pool with Stanford's Jayme Cramer and Arizona's Tyler DeBerry. Pulling stroke for stroke, Ketchum finally took control of the second spot at the bell lap and opened a full head-and-shoulder lead over DeBerry with 30 meters left to earn a runner-up finish of 3:44.92.

Swimming in lane eight in his first NCAA Championships final, Hurd silently began to creep up the field over the last 50 meters, eventually pushing his way into the fourth spot in 3:45.91.

With the three Wolverines in the top four of the race, Michigan earned 52 points to tie for the team lead after two events. Auburn won the opening race of the evening -- the 200-meter freestyle relay -- in an U.S. Open-record 1:23.75 and had a swimmer finish seventh in the 400 free to also score 52 points.

The foursome of sophomore Chris DeJong (Holland, Mich./Holland HS), sophomore Davis Tarwater (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School), senior/junior Christian Vanderkaay (Rochester, Mich./Adams HS) and Ketchum added 22 points to U-M's day-one total as they finished eighth in the 400-meter medley relay. DeJong opened with 100-meter backstroke spilt of 53.19, followed by Vanderkaay's breaststroke spilt of 1:00.63. Tarwater clocked in with a butterfly spilt of 52.18, and Ketchum anchored with a 48.61 freestyle for a combined time of 3:34.61.

Texas headlined the final race with a world-record clocking of 3:25.38. In fact, Texas, Auburn (3:27.19) and Stanford (3:27.74) all posted times below Australia's former world record posting of 3:28.12, set back in 2002.

Michigan will look to improve on its sixth-place standing Friday (March 26) as the Wolverines return to the pool for the second day of the national championships meet. Prelims begin at noon with the trials of the 200-meter medley relay, with event finals slated for a 7 p.m. start.

Top Teams (after Day 1)

 1. Auburn 211 2. Stanford 113 3. Texas 110 Arizona 110 5. Florida 77 6. MICHIGAN 74 7. California 67 8. Tennessee 57 9. Northwestern 49 10. Texas A&M 41 

Event Winners/U-M Finishes (Day 1)
(Prelimary time in parentheses for U-M if faster than finals time)

200-yard Freestyle Relay 1. Auburn 1:23.75#% 2. Arizona 1:25.69 3. Stanford 1:25.69$ 4. Texas 1:26.74 5. Minnesota 1:27.22 6. Texas A&M 1:27.63 7. Florida 1:27.74 California DQ 400-Meter Freestyle 1. Peter Vanderkaay, U-M 3:40.78 2. Dan Ketchum, U-M 3:44.92 (3:44.11) 3. Tyler DeBerry, Arizona 3:45.51 4. Andrew Hurd, U-M 3:45.51 (3:45.49) 5. Jayme Cramer, Stanford 3:45.94 6. Robert Margalis, Georgia 3:46.07 7. B.J. Jones, Auburn 3:47.30 8. Yuri Suguiyama, UNC 3:47.45 29. Davis Tarwater, U-M 3:50:59 46. Zayd Ma, U-M 3:56.80 200-Meter Individual Medley 1. George Bovell, Auburn 1:53.93@%! 2. Markus Rogan, Stanford 1:55.51 3. Ryan Lochte, Florida 1:55.62 4. Eric Shanteau, Auburn 1:55.94 5. Mark Gangloff, Auburn 1:56.64 6. Doug Van Wie, Auburn 1:59.08 7. Adam Mitchell, Minnesota 1:59.34 8. Rainer Kendrick, Texas 1:59.71 34. Chuck Sayao, U-M 2:01.37 50-Meter Freestyle 1. Fred Bousquet, Auburn 21.10@%! 2. Ian Crocker, Texas 21.53 3. Ryan Wochomurka, Aurburn 21.59 4. Dranganja Duje, Cal 21.61 5. Derek Gibb, Auburn 21.69 6. Lyndon Ferns, Arizona 21.73 7. Andrew Schnell, Stanford 21.94 8. Eric LaFluer, Arizona 21.95 One-Meter Diving 1. Jevon Tarantino, Tennessee 388.65 2. Andy Bradley, South Carolina 384.90 3. Joona Puhakka, Arizona State 373.40 4. Phillip Jones, Tennessee 363.50 5. Chris Colwill, Georgia 360.45 6. Mitch Richeson, Ohio State 349.90 7. Caesar Garcia, Auburn 345.85 8. Miguel Velazquez, Miami (Fla.) 340.10 34. Jason Coben, U-M 242.25 400-Meter Medley Relay 1. Texas 3:25.38@%$! 2. Auburn 3:27.19 3. Stanford 3:27.74 4. California 3:30.82 5. Florida 3:31.53 6. Northwestern 3:32.00 7. Arizona 3:34.13 8. Michigan 3:34.61 (3:33.64) (Chris DeJong, Christian Vanderkaay Davis Tarwater, Dan Ketchum) # - World's fastest time @ - World Record % - U.S. Open Record $ - American Record ! - NCAA Record

Contact: Gene Skidmore (734) 763-4423