FEDERAL WAY, WA -- Two school records fell and the Aggies will return for three night swims later today as the Texas A&M men’s swim team shined in the first day prelims at the 2008 NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships on Thursday at the King County Aquatic Center.
Fifth-year senior Ozzie Gardner crushed the school record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 19.49 to advance to tonight’s Championship final in the race. Gardner was in sixth place in his heat after the first 25, but rallied with a smoking 9.96-second final 25 to finish third in his heat and tied for sixth overall after the prelims. Gardner broke the Aggies’ 10-year old school record of 19.64 set by Jerrod Kappler at the 1998 Big 12 Championships in College Station. Also in the race, sophomore Casey Strange swam a strong 19.88 but did not advance to the finals.
The Aggies also took down the school record in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:10.18, which smashed the old record by more than two-and-a-half seconds. The foursome of Nikita Denisyako (47.64 backstroke split), Alejandro Jacobo (52.94 breast split), Israel Duran (47.32 fly split) and Gardner (42.69 split) were the No. 11 qualifiers and will return to swim in the consolation final.
A&M opened the session by lowering its season-best in the 200 free relay by .3 of a second with a time of 1:18.50. The Aggie foursome of Casey Strange, Ozzie Gardner, Brad Raiford and Luke Chambless were the No. 11 qualifiers and will swim in the consolation final later tonight.
The evening finals were start at 9 p.m. (central) with the 200 free relay.