Tigers Smash World Records At NCAA Championships

No. 1 Auburn roared to a strong start in day one of three days of competition at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships by swimming world record times in two individual events and one relay.

East Meadow, N.Y.--Auburn finished a spectacular day one at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships with three world records and a large lead on the rest of the field.

Auburn completed the first of three days of competition with 211 points. Stanford is second with 113 points while Texas and Arizona are tied for third with 110. Florida is fifth with 77 and is followed by Michigan (74), Cal (67), Tennessee (57), Northwestern (49) and Texas A&M (41).

The Tigers, who are ranked No. 1 nationally, are the defending national champions and are undefeated this season.

George Bovell sets a world record Thursday night at the meet on Long Island in New York.

The Tigers started the morning preliminaries in spectacular style as George Bovell (21.58), Ryan Wochomurka (21.43), Derek Gibb (21.13) and Fred Bousquet (21.32) beat the world record time in the 200-meter freestyle relay with a clocking of 1:25.46.

The quartet started the Thursday night finals with an even more impressive swim as they smashed their own record with a time of 1:23.75. Bovell opened the relay with 21.40, Wochomurka followed with a time of 21.04, Gibb swam a 20.76 and Bousquet brought it home in a time of 20.55. Nobody challenged the AU quartet that calls itself the "Four Horsemen." Arizona was a distant second with a time of 1:25.69.

"It has been a goal of ours all year to win the relay," Gibb said. "We knew we had something special with SECs when we broke the NCAA record in yards (in the 200 freestyle relay). Coming into this meet, we had a lot of confidence in ourselves. It helps having a world record-holder (Bousquet) on your side in the 50 free. We knew we had something special."

In the first individual event, junior B.J. Jones was seventh for the Tigers in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 3:47.30.

Bovell, a sophomore, picked up an individual victory and a world record with his time of 1:53.93 in the 200 individual medley. He was almost two seconds ahead of runnerup Markus Rogan of Stanford

"I felt a lot of pressure which I put on myself," said Bovell, the defending NCAA champ in the event. "I probably would have never forgiven myself after coming so close (this morning) and not accomplishing it."

Auburn racked up big points in the event as Eric Shanteau was fourth behind Bovell in 1:55.94 and was followed by teammates Mark Gangloff (1:56.64 for fifth), and Mark van Wie (159.08 for sixth). The old world record time was 1:54.65 held by two swimmers.

Sophomore Fred Bousquet celebrates his world record in the 50-meter freetyle.

Auburn's hot streak continued as Bousquet set the world record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.10 to defeat Texas star Ryan Crocker, who swam 21.53. The old world record was 21.13 set by Mark Foster of Great Britain in 2001. Bovell swam a time of 21.94 in the preliminary to claim the eighth and final spot in the final.

"I guess I need to be a little mad to swim faster and my teammates knew it so they put me in good condition for the race,: Bousquet said. "Everybody was behind me."

Auburn's Wochomurka finished third in the 50 with a time of 21.59. Gibb was fifth in 21.69.

In the one-meter springboard, senior Caesar Garcia finished seventh for the Tigers with 345.85 points.

Texas won the second relay and final event of day one when it broke the world record in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:25.38. Auburn finished second with a time of 3:27.19 with Bryce Hunt, Gangloff, Bousquet and Bovell swimming for the Tigers. Their time was under the old world pace set by the Australian national team (3:28.12) in 2002.

"Obviously it was a thrilling night for us," Auburn Coach David Marsh said. "Tomorrow (Friday), as any coach on deck will tell you, is the key day. That will determine the momentum that will carry over to the end of the meet. Part of our challenge will be to calm down after today."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories