"Shocked" Bousquet Helps AU to NCAA Meet Lead

Coach David Marsh's Tigers, with an historic swim by excited senior Fred "Freddy Biscuits" Bousquet, jumped to a solid lead at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

Minneapolis, Minn.--With an inspiring performance by senior Fred Bousquet leading the way, the Auburn took the lead after the opening day of the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday night.

The Tigers scored 172 points. Arizona is second with 130. The Cal Golden Bears are third with 126 points, Stanford is next with 120 and Florida is fifth with 86 points.

Bousquet made swimming history in the Thursday prelims with the fastest 50 freestyle in history, an 18.74 clocking. In the finals on Thursday night, he again broke the 19.0-second barrier again, something nobody else has done, to win in 18.90.

That was Auburn's only individual title in day one when the Tigers took second in a pair of relays and scored points in every event.

Bousquet swam his first 25 yards in 9.38 seconds in the final and trailed Duje Draganja of Cal (9.29) and Auburn's Ryan Wochomurka (9.32) at the turn. His second 25, a 9.52, moved him to a victory over Dragna, who was second at 19.01. Wochomurka was sixth with a 19.45, the third top-eight finish of his career. Junior George Bovell swam the consolation finals, clocking a 19.62 to finish 11th.

Fred Bousquet celebrates his victory in the 50-yard freestyle on Thursday night.

Bousquet said swimming another sub 19.0 50 wasn't his main goal in the finals on Thursday night. "The main goal tonight was to win and get the most points you can for the team," Bousquet said.

"Ever since this morning when I went 18.7, I couldn't stop thinking about it. When I went back to the hotel I wasn't able to take a nap. Every time I closed my eyes I would start thinking about it again and again. When I came back tonight I decided to relax and do as any Auburn swimmer would do and just try and be a champion."

Bousquet joined David Edgar of Tennessee (1970-72) and Joe Bottom of Southern Cal (1975-1977) in winning the 50 title in three successive seasons.

"One of the toughest things to do is to experience a high, recover from it and get back up," Auburn Coach David Marsh said of Bousquet's performance. "Fred had two swims tonight. The (200 free) relay he was a little disappointed with some technical things he did and then he came back in the 50 free and I really sensed that he really wanted to win it.

"I am really proud of the way he willed himself to win tonight," Marsh added. "He is the first person to go under the 19-second barrier and he set the standard for the entire NCAA population in the glamour event."

Bousquet said he thought going under 19.0 was possible at the meet. I had it in my mind to break 19. I knew that my time from last year (2004 NCAA Championships 21.10 for 50 meters) converted to 18-something. First I didn't think I would do it in the morning and I really didn't think I would go down to 18.7. I was shocked."

The Tigers, who are looking to win a third straight title, opened the meet with a fast time of 1:16.00 in the 200 freestyle relay, which bettered the NCAA record held by Auburn of 1:16.09. However, Cal swam 1:15.78 to win the race and set a new record.

Wochomurka led off for the Tigers with a 19.48 split, putting the Tigers in fourth after the first leg. Bousquet was next on the relay, splitting a field-best 18.64 and bringing the Tigers into second place before giving way to freshman Bryan Lundquist, who split 19.14. Bovell brought the Tigers home in a time of 18.74 for his 50, the second-fastest anchor of the night.

Senior team captain B.J. Jones scored Auburn's first individual points of the meet as the LaGrange, Ga., native finished 14th in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:19.97.

Junior Eric Shanteau then swam a personal record time of 1:44.15 in the 200 individual medley, but Florida's Ryan Lochte set an NCAA record in 1:41.71 while Shanteau took second place. The second-place finish was the highest NCAA finish of Shanteau's career, bettering his fourth-place finish from 2004.

Also swimming the championships of the 200 IM was junior Doug Van Wie, who placed fourth with a time of 1:44.69, which was also a personal-best time. Swimming the 200 IM consolation, junior Kurt Cady finished 13th in 1:47.21 and freshman Rory Connell was 15th in 1:47.91.

Sophomore Steven Segerlin scored on the 1-meter diving board for the first time in his career as the Webster, N.Y., native posted a 370.25, a career-best, to earn a fourth-place finish. Matt Bricker also earned his first top-eight finish on that board as he went 328.40 in the finals to place eighth.

"It was a really intense final," Segerlin said. "I don't think I have seen one-meter scores that high in I don't know how long. I think all of us went our personal-best. It was really exciting and I am really proud."

The Tigers ended the first day with a third place in the 400 medley relay with Van Wie (46.35), sophomore Sean Osborne (53.80), Bousquet (46.05) and Bovell (41.72) swimming a time 3:07.92. Stanford was first in 3:06.45.

"It was a great day overall," Marsh said. "I thought tonight some of the keys were Doug Van Wie moving up in the 200 IM and then leading off the 400 medley relay. George Bovell really came to life and did a good job as well. Two divers going top-eight on the boards is the biggest event of the day for us. I am very excited."

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