Vanderkaay Wins Mile, Helps U-M Finish Fifth at NCAAs

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- Sophomore Peter Vanderkaay (Rochester, Mich./Adams HS) sent retiring University of Michigan men's swimming and diving head coach Jon Urbanchek out in style, as the sophomore swept the individual distance freestyle events, Michigan's specialty under Urbanchek, with a victory in the 1,500-meter freestyle Saturday (March 27) at the Nassau County Aquatic Center. Behind Vanderkaay's victory, the Wolverines completed the three-day NCAA Championships in fifth place with 271 points. Auburn successfully defended its team title with 634 points.


Vanderkaay added his name to the list of 10 Wolverines who have won multiple individual titles at a single NCAA meet.

In a mirror image of its previous two days of action, U-M used a freestyle event to enhance its team score, as the Wolverines received 35 points from their 1,500-meter freesytlers. Vanderkaay led the charge, swimming at the front of the pack for the entire race. Junior Andrew Hurd (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Trafalger HS) was fifth and junior Zayd Ma (Ann Arbor, Mich./Clonara HS) placed 16th.

Swimming in the fifth and final heat of the 1,500 free, Vanderkaay wasted little time to set the pace of the race when he jumped out early to take the lead at the 50-meter turn in 27.22. With older brother Christian Vanderkaay (Rochester, Mich./Adams HS) as his lap counter, the younger Vanderkaay never relinquished the lead, though he had tough competition through the race's entirety.

Virginia's Ian Prichard was the first of Vanderkaay's three challengers, but Vanderkaay was able gain open water on the Virginia senior at the 300-meter mark. Next to push Michigan's sophomore was Georgia's Robert Margalis, who jumped into the mix at the 650 mark. Margalis began cutting into Vanderkaay's lead and was within 0.50 seconds of the U-M swimmer over the next 150 meters.

PVK continued to swim his own race, eventually opening a one-second advantage over Margalis, but then came a big push from Southern California's Ousama Melloui, who came up from third place to contend for the title over the final 300 meters of the race. Vanderkaay opened a full body-length lead with 250 to go, but Melloui would not go away. With a 100-meter split of 57.03 with just 100 to go, Melloui pulled within a shoulder length.

The battle came down to the final 50 meters with Vanderkaay holding a slight advantage. The two went stroke for stroke, but Michigan's swimmer was able to pull ahead over the final 25 meters to out-touch Melloui by just under a second, 14:44.53 to 14:45.49.

In the fourth heat of the timed finals, Hurd jumped off the blocks and never looked back. Knowing he had to post the time to beat with one heat remaining, Michigan's junior gained open water on the field 250 meters into the race, eventually claiming the heat title with a winning time of 15:03.27, nearly four seconds faster than second place.

Ma's fourth-place showing of 15:15.96 in the third heat of the race held up to finish 16th overall, and his 16th-place showing meant every U-M athlete who competed at the national championship meet earned a point.

In other "A" final action, sophomore Davis Tarwater (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School) swam to fourth place in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 1:55.48. With Michigan in the hunt for its eighth top-five finish under Urbanchek, Tarwater handed the Wolverines 15 points in the first individual championship final of his career.

In the final race of the evening, Michigan's foursome of senior captain Dan Ketchum (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore HS), Tarwater, Hurd and Peter Vanderkaay combined to finish eighth in the 400-meter freestyle relay with a time of 3:15.96. The eighth-place finish enabled the Wolverines to hold fifth place in the team standings with 271 points.

Earning All-America honorable mention were senior Jason Coben (Newtown Square, Pa./Marple Newtown HS) and sophomore Chris DeJong (Holland, Mich./Holland HS), who finished 16th in the platform diving and 200-meter backstroke, respectively.

ESPN2 will air a 90-minute special recap of the NCAA Championships on Monday (March 2) at 1:30 p.m. EST.

A few Wolverines will enter the pool next weekend in Indianapolis, Ind., for the Counsilman Classic Grand Prix.

Final Team Standings (Top 10)

 1. Auburn 634 2. Stanford 377.5 3. Texas 374 4. Arizona 322 5. MICHIGAN 271 6. Florida 266 7. California 255.5 8. Tennessee 140 9. Minnesota 130 10. Georgia 112.5 

Event Winners/U-M Finishes (Day 3)
(Prelim time in parentheses for U-M if faster than finals time)

1,500-Meter Freestyle 1. Peter Vanderkaay, U-M 14:44.53 2. Ousama Mellouli, Southern Cal 14:45.49 3. Robert Margalis, Georgia 14:57.77 4. Ian Prichard, Virginia 15:03.27 5. Andrew Hurd, U-M 15:03.87 6. Shaun Phillips, Stanford 15:05.88 7. Jan Wolfgarten, Florida 15:06.79 8. Nate Knopf, Auburn 15:07.93 16. Zayd Ma, U-M 15:15.96 200-Meter Backstroke 1. Aaron Peirsol, Texas 1:50.64!$%@ 2. Markus Rogan, Stanford 1:51.37 3. Bryce Hunt, Auburn 1:53.15 4. Peter Marshall, Stanford 1:53.95 5. Chris Kellam, Florida 1:54.66 6. Hongzhe Sun, Stanford 1:55.47 7. Luke Wagner, Virginia 1:55.77 8. Nate O'Brien, Texas 1:56.27 16. Chris DeJong, U-M 1:58.39 (1:55.29) 100-Meter Freestyle 1. Ian Crocker, Texas 46.25!$%@ 2. Draganja Duje, California 46.64 3. Fred Bousquet, Auburn 46.87 4. George Bovell, Auburn 47.39 5. Ryan Wochomurka, Auburn 47.49 6. Carlos Jayme, Florida 47.55 7. Eric LaFleur, Arizona 48.13 8. Terry Silkaitis, Minnesota 48.42 200-Meter Breaststroke 1. Brendan Hansen, Texas 2:04.73! 2. Scott Usher, Wyoming 2:07.66 3. Gary Marshall, Stanford 2:07.98 4. Giordan Pogioli, Purdue 2:08.81 5. Mark Gangloff, Auburn 2:09.77 6. Phil Davis, Washington 2:10.04 7. Greg Owen, Arizona 2:10:05 8. Caleb Rowe, California 2:10.53 200-Meter Butterfly 1. Rainer Kendrick, Texas 1:54.97! 2. Jayme Cramer, Stanford 1:55.00 3. Daniel Cruz, Kentucky 1:55.15 4. Davis Tarwater, U-M 1:55.48 5. Michael Raab, Virginia 1:55.71 6. Matt McDonald, Stanford 1:55.93 7. Juan Veloz, Arizona 1:56.06 8. Adam Sioui, Florida 1:56.50 Platform Diving 1. Caesar Garcia, Auburn 635.05 2. Steven Segerlin, Auburn 574.80 3. Miguel Velazquez, Miami 533.55 4. Josh Anderson, Arizona 515.80 5. Derek Starks, Miami 498.75 6. Matt Bricker, Auburn 494.85 7. Ray Vincent, USC 478.45 8. Jon Linette, Texas 466.35 16. Jason Coben, U-M 419.20 400-Meter Freestyle Relay 1. Auburn 3:08.85#!% 2. California 3:10.68 3. Arizona 3:13.18 4. Florida 3:13.53 5. Minnesota 3:14.01 6. Texas A&M 3:15.00 7. Stanford 3:15.18 8. Michigan 3:15.96 (3:15.73) (Dan Ketchum, Davis Tarwater, Andrew Hurd, Peter Vanderkaay) # - World's Fastest Time @ - World Record $ - American Record % - U.S. Open Record ! - NCAA Record

Previous Results: Day 1 | Day 2

Contact: Gene Skidmore (734) 763-4423