Jaeger Wins 500 Free National Title, U-M in First at NCAAs
Connor Jaeger

March 28, 2013

Prelims  | Finals  | Live Results
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Site: Indianapolis, Ind. (IU Natatorium at IUPUI)
Event: NCAA Championships (Day 1 of 3)
U-M Team Standing: 1st Place (153 points) after Day 1
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 29 -- at NCAA Championships - Day 1 (Indianapolis, Ind.), 11 a.m./7 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Junior Connor Jaeger (Fair Haven, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven) of the No. 1-ranked University of Michigan men's swimming and diving team became the 103rd student-athlete in program history to win a national championship, taking first in the 500-yard freestyle (4:10.84) on the first day of the NCAA Championships on Thursday (March 28) at the IU Natatorium. The Wolverines are in first place after day one with 153 points, nearly a full 30 points ahead of second-place California (123.5 points).

Jaeger is the first U-M swimmer to win a national championship since Tyler Clary won the 400-yard individual medley in 2010. Additionally, he is the fifth swimmer in program history to win a national championship in the 500-yard freestyle, joining Marcel Wouda (1993), Tom Dolan (1995-96), John Piersma (1997) and Peter Vanderkaay (2005-06). Jaeger built up speed as the race went on, taking the lead for good during the fourth 50-yard segment, holding off Texas' Michael McBroom down the stretch for the win. Jaeger dropped almost two seconds from preliminaries to finals (4:12.81 to 4:10.84), establishing a new career high, a time that is also the third fastest in program history.

The 500-yard freestyle was Michigan's deepest event of the evening with five point-scorers, led by Jaeger. Four others swam in the consolation final, led by freshman Anders Lie Nielsen (Vanloese, Denmark), who won the heat at 4:16.82, officially finishing ninth. Nielsen started fast and ended the same way, beating out Indiana's James Barbiere and Stanford's Daniel Thomson down the last 25 yards to win the heat. Senior/junior Hassaan Abdel Khalik (Mississauga, Ontario/Silverthorn Collegiate) took 13th (4:17.36), followed by junior Sean Ryan (Hixson, Tenn./McCallie School) in 15th (4:18.09) and senior Ryan Feeley (Rye, N.Y./Rye) in 16th (4:22.99).

The Wolverines took third in both relays on Thursday. They started the evening session off with the 200-yard freestyle relay, as the quartet of sophomore Bruno Ortiz (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International), graduate student Zachary Turk (Akron, Ohio/St. Edwards), senior Sean Fletcher (Vienna, Va./James Madison) and senior Miguel Ortiz (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International) took third (1:16.49). The foursome took nearly three tenths-of-a-second off their preliminaries time from the morning (1:16.80), with each swimmer receiving NCAA All-America honors. The Wolverines won the preliminaries in the morning, but Auburn dropped a full second-and-a-half from the morning to the evening to take the title (1:15.48), winning by seven tenths-of-a-second over second-place Southern Cal (1:16.22).

The final race of the evening was the 400-yard medley relay, where the Maize and Blue quartet of M. Ortiz, sophomore Richard Funk (Edmonton, Alberta/Strathcona), Fletcher and B. Ortiz set a new school record (3:04.73). The same four were the previous school record holders, as they swam 3:05.42 at the Big Ten Championships.

Two Wolverines swimmers received NCAA All-America honors in the 200-yard IM. Freshman Dylan Bosch (Johannesburg, South Africa/Crawford College, Sandton) finished sixth (1:43.17), while junior Kyle Whitaker (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) was right behind in seventh (1:43.26).

Michigan was led in the 50-yard freestyle by M. Ortiz, who took fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (19.39), picking up his third career NCAA All-America mention (second of the night). Two others swam in the consolation final, with B. Ortiz taking 10th (19.56) and Turk taking 11th (19.66), both receiving NCAA All-America honorable mentions.

The Wolverines return to the pool tomorrow (Friday, March 29) for day two of the NCAA Championships, beginning with preliminaries at 11 a.m. and event finals at 7 p.m. Events scheduled to be contested are the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard IM, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and 800-yard freestyle relay.

Top 10 Teams (After Day 1)

 1. MICHIGAN      153
 2. California    123.5
 3. Auburn        112.5
 4. Southern Cal  100
 5. Texas          99
 6. Florida        97
 7. Arizona        81
    Stanford       81
 9. Indiana        68
10. Georgia        34

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 1 Finals)
(Preliminary time in parentheses if faster than finals time)

200-yard Freestyle Relay
 1. Auburn                     1:15.48
 3. MICHIGAN                   1:16.49
   (Bruno Ortiz, Zachary Turk,
    Sean Fletcher, Miguel Ortiz)
500-yard Freestyle
 1. Connor Jaeger, U-M         4:10.84
 9. Anders Lie Nielsen, U-M    4:16.82 (4:16.25)
13. Hassaan Abdel Khalik, U-M  4:17.36 (4:16.28)
15. Sean Ryan, U-M             4:18.09 (4:16.69)
16. Ryan Feeley, U-M           4:22.99 (4:16.85)
200-yard Individual Medley
 1. Marcin Cieslak, Florida    1:42.52
 6. Dylan Bosch, U-M           1:43.28
 8. Kyle Whitaker, U-M         1:43.55
24. John Wojciechowski, U-M    1:44.93
29. Peter Brumm, U-M           1:45.37
50-yard Freestyle
 1. Vlad Morozov, USC            18.63
 4. Miguel Ortiz, U-M            19.39 (19.31)
10. Bruno Ortiz, U-M             19.55
11. Zachary Turk, U-M            19.66 (19.52)
29. Sean Fletcher, U-M           19.80
One-Meter Diving
 1. Kristian Ipsen, Stanford    473.75
400-yard Medley Relay
 1. Arizona                    3:02.09
 3. MICHIGAN                   3:04.73
   (Miguel Ortiz, Richard Funk,
    Sean Fletcher, Bruno Ortiz)


• With Connor Jaeger's win in the 500-yard freestyle, Michigan has now crowned at least one national champion in 22 of the last 26 NCAA Championships meets.

• During the preliminaries of the 50-yard freestyle, Miguel Ortiz established the second-fastest time in program history (19.31). Younger brother, Bruno Ortiz, set the program record of 19.27 at the Big Ten Championships last month. Miguel also re-established his school record in the 100-yard backstroke after swimming 45.85 on the leadoff leg (swam 46.01 in the preliminaries). He set the school record of 46.05 at the Big Ten Championships.

• Anders Nielsen (4:16.25) and Hassaan Abdel Khalik (4:16.28) both narrowly missed making the 'A' final in the 500-yard freestyle, as the eighth-place finisher, Zane Grothe (Auburn) was timed at 4:16.17.

• Two others swam the 200-yard IM, including John Wojciechowski, who finished 24th (1:44.93) and Peter Brumm, who took 29th (1:45.37).

Sean Fletcher set a new career best in the 50-yard freestyle during preliminaries (19.80). He finished 29th. His previous best was 19.82, set at last year's NCAA Championships.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423